Medicare provides affordable healthcare coverage for nearly 63 million people in the U.S.1 Whether you are dealing with chronic illnesses or have a sudden health problem, you can choose a Medicare health plan that best suits your needs. While your plan can stay relatively the same year over year, there are some changes Medicare is implementing for 2022. Seniors can find out what changes Medicare is making to its coverage with an online search.

If you’re wanting to make changes to your plan, the only time to do that is during open enrollment. Search online to find out when open enrollment is taking place.

Here are some of the biggest changes Medicare customers should know for 2022.

Coverage of COVID-19 Items and Services

Since many Medicare customers are at high risk for contracting a serious case of COVID-19, there are more coverage options related to this illness. You can receive coverage on preventative measures, testing, and some treatments for this virus.

Medicare will cover FDA-authorized vaccines that significantly reduce your risk of coronavirus. You pay nothing for the vaccine as long as you carry your Medicare card to the doctor’s office or pharmacy where you get the shot. The vaccine works with the body’s natural defenses to help provide immunity to the virus.

If you suspect that you have COVID-19, Medicare will also pay for FDA-authorized tests. These tests can be taken in your local area. You will pay nothing to find out if your test comes back positive or negative.

Lastly, Medicare may pay for monoclonal antibody treatments if you’re sick with COVID-19. This is aimed at people who test positive with mild to moderate symptoms. There are certain qualifications to receive this treatment, so you will have to discuss with your doctor if the treatment is right for you.2

Coverage of Cognitive Assessment and Care Plan Services

The next time you visit the doctor for a wellness check, they may also perform a cognitive assessment that’s covered by Medicare. These assessments are performed by doctors and specialists to look for signs of diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

With Medicare, you can now receive coverage for a full review of your cognitive function. This appointment can be used to establish or confirm a diagnosis and develop a care plan. You may be referred to a specialist or community resources depending on the status of your condition.

Doctors must evaluate potential symptoms and rule them out against other conditions like depression or anxiety. There are several symptoms they look for that are related to cognitive impairment. Some of them include having trouble:

  • Remembering things;
  • Learning new things;
  • Concentrating;
  • Managing finances, and;
  • Making decisions about everyday life.3

Coverage of Blood-Based Biomarker Test for Colorectal Cancer

Medicare is offering some new coverage in relation to colorectal cancer screenings. The goal is to help customers get diagnosed early when treatment is more effective.

Now, you have the option of doing a blood-based biomarker test. This test is covered in certain cases once every three years. If your doctor or other health care provider deem you eligible, then you pay nothing.

In order to qualify, you must:

  • Be between the age of 60 and 85;
  • Show no symptoms of colorectal disease, and;
  • Carry average risk for developing colorectal cancer.4

Possible Price Increase

It’s important for Medicare customers to know there may be price increases for their coverage. These changes can impact your coverage and what you’re paying for health insurance. According to Yahoo, the following changes for 2022 prices are:

  • Part A deductible increases 3.2 percent from $1,364 to $1,408;
  • Part B premium increases 6.7 percent from $135.50 to $144.60, and;
  • Part B deductible increases seven percent from $185 to $198.5

Another increase to be mindful of involves Medicare Part D. This coverage is expected to rise 4.9 percent from $31.47 to approximately $33. Healthcare Finance News says this is calculated based on plan expectations of per capita drug spending in 2022.6

Customers can expect these added costs and changes to appear during open enrollment.

Get Ready for Open Enrollment

The time has come for Medicare customers to review their health plan. Open enrollment, which takes place from October 15 to December 7, gives you the opportunity to alter your health plan however you require.7 You can reevaluate your needs, make changes to your current plan, or purchase new policies.

To ensure you’re getting the coverage you need for 2022, start reviewing the policies offered by Medicare and how it measures up to your current plan. Evaluate the potential price increases to see how this impacts what you will be paying. If you need further assistance, talk to a Medicare representative and see how they can help personalize your plan to its best potential.