On Friday, the House passed President Joe Biden’s $1.7 trillion social spending and climate bill called the Build Back Better Plan. While the Senate must still pass its version and the possibility exists that any final measure agreed upon by both chambers may look different from what’s in play now, here are some changes that could come about on the Medicare front.
- If the Medicare provisions remain intact, the federal government would be permitted for the first time to negotiate the price of certain drugs with pharmaceutical companies. This move is intended to decrease the cost of some prescription drugs.
- Beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket spending for Medicare’s drug benefit (Part D) would be capped at $2,000 annually beginning in 2024 (with yearly adjustments) and the cost for insulin would be limited to $35 per month.
- Hearing services would be covered under Part B starting in 2023. This would include hearing rehabilitation and treatment services, as well as hearing aids.
Earlier versions of the spending bill included dental and vision coverage, but they were scrapped, so we must wait and see what is actually enacted into law.
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