Part D plans and drug manufacturers will pay a larger share of costs for catastrophic coverage, and Medicare will pay a smaller share
KFF, Published: Apr 20, 2023
Medicare’s share of total costs in the catastrophic phase (reinsurance) will decrease from 80% to 20% for brand-name drugs and from 80% to 40% for generic drugs beginning in 2025. This reduction will help address concerns about the substantial increase in Medicare’s reinsurance payments to Part D plans over time, which accounted for close to half (48%) of total Part D spending in 2022, up from 14% in 2006, based on data from the Medicare Trustees 2023 annual report. Medicare Part D plans’ share of costs will increase from 15% to 60% for both brands and generics above the cap, and drug manufacturers will be required to provide a 20% price discount on brand-name drugs (Figure 4 below).
What Other Changes Are Being Made to Part D?
As of 2023, the out-of-pocket cost of insulin products is limited to no more than $35 per month in all Part D plans. In addition, adult vaccines covered under Part D, such as the shingles vaccine, are covered with no cost sharing.
Starting in 2024, people with Medicare who have incomes up to 150% of poverty and resources at or below the limits for partial low-income subsidy benefits will be eligible for full benefits under the Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) Program. The law eliminates the partial LIS benefit currently in place for individuals with incomes between 135% and 150% of poverty.
Also starting in 2024, the calculation of the base beneficiary premium will be adjusted, as needed, to limit increases in the base premium to no more than 6% from the prior year. (Premiums for individual Part D plan premiums and annual plan-level premium increases will continue to vary, however.)
Starting in 2025, Part D enrollees will have the option of spreading out their out-of-pocket costs over the year rather than face high out-of-pocket costs in any given month.
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