The Inflation Reduction Act, signed by President Joe Biden Aug. 16, includes several big changes for Medicare, including Medicare Advantage plans. These new policies will be introduced over the next several years. AARP laid out when to expect the biggest changes to take effect, year-by-year.
Changes rolling out in 2023 include no-cost coverage for all vaccines recommended for adults by the CDC and a $35 dollar monthly cap on insulin copays for Medicare Part D enrollees, AARP explained. Starting in 2023, drugmakers will be subject to penalties if they raise the cost of drugs more than the general rate of inflation.
2024 marks the rollout of caps for Medicare Part D enrollees. Starting this year, Part D enrollees who have drug costs so high they enter the catastrophic phase of coverage will not owe any additional copays for the year. Additionally, Part D premiums will be capped at a maximum price increase of 6 percent annually through 2029, and the government will expand the eligibility for financial assistance.
More price caps will be added in 2025. Out-of-pocket Medicare drug costs will be capped at $2,000 each year. This applies to traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage enrollees. Starting this year, Part D members will also have the option to spread out copay costs over an entire year, to prevent extremely high one-time bills.
This is the first year Medicare will be permitted to negotiate the costs of drugs. This policy rolls out over time, AARP reported, with the agency permitted to negotiate the cost of 10 drugs in 2026, increasing to up to 60 drugs by 2029.