Find Hospital Clinic and Office Visit charges (average price) for 2020, and the payments that Medicare made. Find average charges for about 13,000 different codes (depending whether office or hospital facility-based). National average prices are in a large dataset file. Extremely difficult to use, even if somewhat familiar with using Excel files. File uses HCPCS codes. The most common codes were office visits 99213 (average charge about $149) and 99214 (average charge about $222). Medicare allowed about $72 for code 99213 and about $105 for 99214. Therapeutic exercise (code 97110) had average charge of $63, with Medicare allowing about $26. Lab tests, x-ray, emergency department visits are in the file. An Emergency Department visit (code 99285) had a national average facility charge of $1,201, with Medicare allowing just $174 for the ER visit facility charge. A CBC lab test 85025 had an average charge of $35 (Medicare allowed $8); a blood test coded 88053 had an average charge of $56, with Medicare allowing $10. State by state average prices are also listed. Physician charges may be available in the Provider dataset. Calendar year 2020 data from CMS updated July 2022.
Learn the basics on prescription drug coverage under Medicare. Six-page Tip Sheet explains how prescription drugs, medicines and immunizations might be covered under Medicare Part B, Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) or Medicare Part D (the drug plan for seniors). Includes Covid-19 vaccine. Includes guidelines for cancer drugs, injectibles and IV drugs. Generally, Part A (hospital insurance) does not cover outpatient drugs. Publication 11315-P updated July 2021.
Medicare inpatient prices for hospitalizations during 2019 are in this difficult to use Excel file. Amounts paid to hospitals by Medicare, on average for 2020 hospital stays, are shown. Listed by DRG and provider. Consumers can see the Medicare volume for that diagnosis and how much the hospital was allowed as Covered Charges, plus what Medicare payments were. If you can wade through it, you’ll see that total payments were quite often only one-fourth of what the covered charges were – a 75% discount. Hence, the file illustrates how hospital pricing (charge) has become meaningless for most people. Here are a few examples. A hip or knee joint replacement (DRG 470) at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, had an average charge of nearly $80,000 for over 2,945 cases. However, the total payment on average was just $23,780, an effective discount of 70% of the total charges. The hospital with the second largest Medicare volume of hip and knee replacements, New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, had an average charge of $26,389, and average total payment of $15,201. Their average discount was “just” 42%. NYU Langone Hospital in NYC, and Sarasota Memorial Hospital (FL) each had effective discounts of about 84%. All four hospitals received total average payments for joint replacement (DRG 470), between $13,000 and $27,500, but average charges ranged from $26,000 to an astounding $177,000. Published July 2022.
CMS announced that the average Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) premium cost will decrease again in 2023. CMS estimates the average monthly rate will be $18 per month (plus what you will pay directly to Medicare for Part B). The average premium in 2022 was $19.52. Medicare Advantage plans may or may not include Part D drug coverage. Nearly 32 million Medicare beneficiaries are expected to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans in 2023. The Advantage plan enrollment has been increasing in recent years as people switch from traditional Medicare. Plans vary widely by state and region. For example, the average Medicare Advantage premium for 2023 in various states is projected as follows:
Read very carefully. For many consumers, there will be a $0 monthly premium. However, in all plans, there may be copays, deductible costs, and potentially large out of pocket maximums to consider. At the end of the press release are links where you can find actual premiums by name of health plans in each state. Press Release issued September 29, 2022.
CMS announced the standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will cost $164.90 (down $5.20) in 2023 for most beneficiaries ($1,979 per year), with a $226 deductible (down $7). Part B premiums and the Part B deductible are both down about 3%. Lower cost on the drug Aduhelm is one of the reasons for lower premiums. High income seniors will pay between $230.80 and $560.50 per month. CMS says about 7% of Medicare beneficiaries pay the high-income premiums for Part B. Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and other items. The Medicare Part A hospital insurance deductible will rise by $44 (2.8%) to $1,600. High-income people will also pay more for Part D drug insurance – between $12.20 and $76.40 extra per month. Released September 27, 2022. See more Medicare cost news here
For 2023, the average basic Medicare Part D drug premium cost is expected to be about $31.50 per month, according to a CMS press release. The 2023 basic Part D premium is projected to be 1.8% lower than $32.08 in 2022. Reported July 29, 2022.
The Medicare Personal Plan Finder site at medicare.gov helps you locate supplemental health insurance plans, find out their prices (premiums), and link to a page to check Medicare Eligibility. Generally, one has to be age 65 or disabled to qualify for Medicare. Early retirement at age 62 does NOT by itself allow someone to receive Medicare benefits
Learn how Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D) work, from medicare.gov. Medicare’s help line for selecting a prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D) is 1-800-633-4227 (1-800-MEDICARE), or click on how to get prescription drug coverage.
The Medicare hospital insurance fund (Part A) runs out of money in 2031, according to the latest report from the Medicare Trustees. The March 2023 report by CMS discusses the state of each of the Medicare Trust funds – a $905 billion program for 65 million people in 2022. Medicare expenditures alone are estimated at 3.7% of gross domestic product (2022), down 0.1 point since last year. Part B (outpatient) and Part D (drug) have “adequate financing” – i.e., they are in decent shape. However, the hospital trust fund is projected to be depleted by 2031 (three years later than projected last year). This is the 6th consecutive year of a Medicare funding warning. Both the President and Congress have responsibilities to address the warning by working on legislation. The financial situation was improved over 2021, as utilization did not rebound from the 2021 pandemic year as much as expected. In addition, a faster-than-expected economic recovery brought in more payroll taxes to help fund Medicare. The Medicare Board of Trustees projects a surplus of income over expense for 2023 and 2024, then annual deficits eat into Medicare’s reserves. By 2031, the hospital fund gets depleted – just eight years away. In 2022, the average total Medicare benefit per enrollee was $14,908.
Analysis by the American Hospital Association shows that Medicare and Medicaid under-pay the true cost of hospital care by about $100 billion. This cost ends up being borne by other payers and commercial insurance. Using 2020 data, it is estimated Medicare paid 84 cents on the dollar, and Medicaid paid 88. February 2022 report.
Healthcare expenses for seniors are outlined in this MEPS report on Health Care Expenditures for the Elderly Age 65 and over. Median annual expenditures were $4,206 per person (about $5,724 in 2022 dollars). Average annual expenses for those with expense were $9,863 in 2011. Using medical inflation rates, $9,863 is about $13,424 in 2022 dollars. Medicare paid over 62% (up considerably from 10 years earlier); private insurance paid 16%; out-of-pocket amount declined to 12%. 96% of seniors had some healthcare expense, most often office-based care and prescribed medicines. Medications took up 22% of the total, averaging $76 per purchase. For seniors, the inpatient room rate averaged $3,199 per day (sticker shock, and nearly $4,354 in 2022 dollars); ER visit was $884 on average ($1,203 in 2022 dollars); office visit was $228. MEPS Statistical Brief #429 uses 2011 data, published Jan. 2014. Add about 36% to account for medical inflation to 2022.
Theoretically, consumers should be able to compare the 2023 star ratings for hundreds of health insurance plans that are part of the Medicare Advantage Part C with Part D drug coverage, and Part D Prescription Drug program at this site. But the files linked here are darn near impossible to use, even if you know Excel. Best bet is to review the Fact Sheet that shows the highest rated plans. Your second choice might be to review the overall summary file or the Report Card Master Table. Both are near the bottom of the zipped Data Table file download. Other files show performance scores including member ratings. But you will have to phone a friend with a PhD to help. From CMS, updated October, 2022. Overall, a better choice is to compare star ratings at this site.
Learn what Medicare covers for colonoscopy or other screens for colon cancer. Annual fecal occult blood tests (FOBTs) are free under Medicare. Other more expensive colon cancer screening tests such as colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy are covered periodically, without cost to the patient if your doctor accepts Medicare assignment as full payment. Medicare also covers at-home multi-target stool DNA lab test (e.g. Cologuard) once every 3 years for certain people ages 50 to 85. Cologuard identifies altered DNA and/or blood in stool, which are associated with the possibility of colon cancer or precancer. Find out Medicare’s details. Unfortunately, Medicare does not provide cost estimates for the public at this site
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans – Cost and Quality Ratings for consumers. Compare the prices (monthly premium average cost and annual deductible) for prescription drug coverage through Medicare (medicare.gov). See which plans have higher ratings. Uses a 5-star quality rating system that includes member satisfaction survey reports. If you put in your actual drugs and pharmacies, your annual prescription drug costs will also show. Updated October 2022. Medicare’s open enrollment begins October 15, 2022. Open enrollment will run until December 7, 2022.
Research study shows that people who were previously uninsured, have higher Medicare expenses. Study of 4,567 adults who didn’t have insurance prior to enrolling in Medicare. Once acquiring coverage, those with diabetes, heart disease or joint replacements had 21% higher medical expenditures through Medicare, than those who were previously insured. Article by McWilliams, Meara et al. Pubmed abstract in December 2009 Annals of Internal Medicine.