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Medicare Changes in 2023 with Taylor Garner

January 13, 2023

Medicare Changes in 2023 with Taylor Garner

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Medicare Changes in 2023 with Taylor Garner Show Notes

We’re thrilled to get the ball rolling with Season Eight of The Guided Retirement Show. Season Eight begins with a familiar guest, as Garner Insurance Agency, LLC Owner Taylor Garner returns to The Guided Retirement Show. Taylor last appeared on the podcast in March to discuss health care costs in retirement. For this episode, he and Dean Barber will talk about Medicare changes in 2023.

In this podcast interview, you’ll learn:

  • There was an historic 8.7% bump in the 2023 Cost-of-Living Adjustment for Social Security recipients
  • We received some good news on the Medicare Part B premium front as well
  • Inflation is at the root of the Medicare changes in 2023
  • As always, it’s important to plan ahead when considering Medicare changes
  • The pros and cons of group health insurance vs. Medicare

What’s the Biggest Medicare Change for 2023?

There are quite a few Medicare changes for 2023. The biggest one that Social Security recipients will probably notice is the 8.7% increase with the 2023 cost-of-living adjustment. The last time there was an increase of more than 10% was 1981, when it was 11.2%.

“Here’s some quick math for everyone at home. For every $1,000 that you’re bringing in off Social Security income, that’s going to equal to an extra $87 a month. We all know that that’s needed right now.” – Taylor Garner

The big COLA increase was one of the first things that we noted on our 2023 Retirement Planning Calendar. To ensure that you of the many important financial updates in 2023, download your copy of the calendar below.

Medicare Changes

2023 Retirement Planning Calendar

If you think about it, it wouldn’t be that uncommon for a married couple to receive combined Social Security benefits of $50,000. So, with the 8.7% COLA increase, that couple would receive another $4,350 in Social Security benefits. With inflation still running rampant, the 2023 COLA increase could make a big difference for a lot of people. To help put this COLA increase in perspective, beneficiaries saw a 5.9% bump in 2022 and 1.3% increase in 2021.

Medicare Part B Premium Falls to $164.90

And to put some icing on the cake, there’s some good news about the Medicare Part B premium as well. The Medicare Part B premium fell for the first time in 41 years in 2023. In 2022, it was $170.10 a month. It dropped to $164.90 a month for 2023.

“For the first time in a long time, people on Social Security will have a meaningful increase in what they’re able to spend and live on.” – Dean Barber

Inflation Is a Big Reason for These Medicare Changes in 2023

While the huge COLA increase and rare Medicare Part B premium decrease are welcomed Medicare changes in 2023, it’s no secret as to why they came about. It’s been 40-some years since we’ve seen Medicare changes like this, and it’s also been 40-some years since we’ve experienced inflation at this level. Inflation has hurt a lot of people over the past 12 to 18 months. If you haven’t already, make sure to read our article, 10 Ways to Fight Inflation in Retirement.

The Federal Reserve has had a very hard time with trying to get inflation under control. It remains to be seen for when they’ll achieve that.

“I think we’re going to be in an environment for quite some time where interest rates are going to need to remain high to bring down inflation.” – Dean Barber

But there is some more good news here. Even if you’re not receiving Social Security yet, if you’re 62 or older, you’re going to get a benefit from that. Let’s break down why.

If you’re 62 and are looking at your statement and it says that at 67 that it’s going to be $2,000 a month, that’s wrong. Why? It’s actually going to be $87 more per $1,000. Everyone is getting that increase that’s over the age of 62. That’s a lot better than that Medicare changes that we’re used to year after year.

What About Medicare Supplements?

After reviewing some of the main Medicare changes for 2023 with Taylor, Dean started to wonder about Medicare supplement changes. Medicare doesn’t take care of everything, so it’s important to know about what Medicare supplements entail.

“You have health insurance options that work with Medicare. But to be honest, not a lot has changed. You would think that with Medicare recipients having more money to spend that maybe insurance companies would increase their rates to try to grab those extra dollars. We haven’t seen that yet. Companies will have rate increases because they always do. But the rate increases that we’ve seen are nothing out of the norm.” – Taylor Garner

It’s been steady as she goes for the most part in the insurance market. There has even been a reduction in Medicare Part D prescription drug plan monthly premiums as well. That’s good news as well.

Reviewing Your Plans

For people that are of Medicare age—65 and older—there are a few things that they should be thinking about given the Medicare changes in 2023. First and foremost, it’s a good time to review your plans. The cost of everything is increasing right now due to inflation. There are multiple opportunities for people who are on Medicare to look at their current plans and coverages.

You might be able to stick with your same coverages and lower your monthly premiums by shopping around at different companies. Or you can change up your insurance a little bit—maybe try a different plan and again, reduce those monthly premiums.

Medicare Open Enrollment

The annual election period for Medicare Open Enrollment just passed, as those set dates are October 15 to December 7. That is when people can elect to make changes if they have Medicare Part C Advantage Plans or stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans.

However, if you have a stand-alone Medicare supplement, you can make changes at any time—pending a couple of different factors. That depends on what state you live in and your health conditions. It’s a case-by-case basis, but you can make changes to those plans at any time if you qualify.

“If I were 65 or older, I would start my Medicare planning early in the year. There are only a certain number of people who are qualified insurance brokers that can provide that advice during the open enrollment period when people can make Medicare changes. If you wait until the open enrollment period to start looking around, it’s a nightmare. People like Taylor are seeing and talking to so many people in that timeframe.” – Dean Barber

Planning Ahead Is Critical

Like with any aspect of financial planning, planning ahead is very important when making Medicare changes. By planning for possible Medicare changes earlier in the year, you can understand what’s available to you and plan to make potential Medicare changes once the open enrollment period begins.

One of the things that ties the hands of insurance brokers is that insurance companies and Medicare don’t officially release upcoming changes for the new year until late September or mid-October. Sometimes, open enrollment starts before changes in Medicare for the upcoming year are made official.

By reaching out to an insurance broker well before open enrollment, they can compile a list of your prescription drugs and primary care physicians and specialists. That way, they’ll have a good idea of what your medical routine. Once Medicare makes the annual changes official, the insurance broker can then run that information through all the different carriers.

How Big Are Medicare Changes on an Annual Basis?

There are Medicare changes every year. Most of them take place within prescription drug plans. Whether that drug plan is built into an advantage plan or it’s a stand-alone drug plan, prescription plans are going to change year to year. That’s a big thing that needs to be looked at. If you stick with the plan that you’re currently on and the changes are going to impact you negatively in the next year, you want to know about that ahead of time.

The Medicare changes we’re seeing in 2023 are big positive changes on the financial side of things. On the insurance side of things, there weren’t major changes with Medicare supplement plans, advantage plans, and prescription drug plans.

Some Exciting News About Insulin

However, a lot of the different available insulins will be capped at $35 monthly copays. That’s big news for a lot of senior citizens. Regardless of the prescription drug coverage that Medicare recipients have had, some insulin costs have been more than $100 a month. So, that’s another Medicare change that’s creating some big savings.

IRMAA Limits

We also can’t talk too much about Medicare changes without discussing IRMAA limits. IRMAA limits can cause Medicare premiums to be more expensive. With the SECURE Act 2.0, one of the things that Congress did was push back the Required Minimum Distribution age on IRAs to 73. Oftentimes, people don’t know that if they have income above a certain limit, that will put them at a higher Medicare Part B premium.

Maybe you have a good year in the stock market, some capital gains, good dividends distributions, or took too much money out of an IRA that caused you to go over that limit. Suddenly, your Medicare premiums are higher. So, while the $164.90 is the standard Medicare Part B premium for 2023, you could potential be paying three to four times that per month if your income is over those IRMAA limits. And your coverage would still be the same.

“We call that the you-did-really-well penalty. Congratulations for succeeding and doing really well with your income, but you’re going to be paying like five times what everyone else is paying.” – Taylor Garner

The same goes for Social Security. You have a cap on how much you can get even if you pay far more than someone else did. If you are a couple of years away from joining Medicare, Taylor and Dean encourage you to familiarize yourself with how it works so things like IRMAA limits don’t catch you by surprise.

Do You Still Need to Sign Up for Medicare If You’re Working Past 65?

While some people can’t wait to retire, there are some people who truly enjoy their job and desire to keep working despite reaching Medicare age or their full retirement age. If you’re one of those people, you might still be asking if you need to sign up for Medicare. Well, it depends.

There are a couple of different options here. If you’re working for an employer that has 20-plus employees and the employer allows to you work beyond 65 and offers you health insurance, you don’t need to enroll in Medicare at that time. You have credible coverage, which is group health insurance that is equal to or better than original Medicare. It’s no secret that every insurance plan is better than original Medicare.

Outlining the Pros and Cons of Group Health Insurance vs. Medicare

But that still doesn’t mean that Medicare isn’t a good option if you’re in that situation. If you’re an employee with group health insurance, you’re still paying every month for your health insurance unless the employer is paying all of it, which is rare.

“What I like to do is compare how much you’re currently paying their employer or health insurance and outline what you get in return. What’s your deductible? What’s your out-of-pocket cost? Compare that side-by-side with what you can do on Medicare. If the employer coverage is going to treat you better financially and health insurance wise than what’s available on Medicare, keep your employer coverage. You can join Medicare later.” – Taylor Garner

If you’re working for an employer that has less than 20 employees, you will need to enroll in Medicare Part B when you turn 65. You need to make sure that you do that because if you don’t enroll in the different parts of Medicare when you’re supposed to, you can get permanent late enrollment penalty fees attached to the monthly premiums. You need to understand what your options are and when you need to take action.

Summing Up What to Consider with These Medicare Changes in 2023

The key is that if you’re turning 65 in 2023 and are with an employer that provides coverage that has 20-plus employees, you don’t need to enroll in Medicare. But if your company has less than 20 employees, you need to enroll in Medicare Part B even if they offer health insurance. When you do that, you’re either going to pay $164.90 a month or more depending on your earnings.

Don’t Procrastinate with Planning for Your Coverage Options

You want to lay all the options on the table as far in advance as possible so that you’re making good decisions. This isn’t something you want to get in a rush with. Planning ahead is key. If you don’t already have a financial plan in place, you need to make sure you’re considering health insurance, Medicare coverage, and Medicare changes in 2023 and future years as you’re building your plan. We’re giving you the opportunity to take this information and use our financial planning tool to incorporate it into your plan.

This is the same tool that our CFP® Professionals use with our clients, and you can access it at no cost or obligation from the comfort of your own home. You can begin building your plan today by clicking the “Start Planning” button below.

Medicare Changes

START PLANNING

If you have any questions for Taylor about the information he shared, you can contact him via his website, taylormademedicare.com. And if you’re wanting to meet with one of our CFP® Professionals to discuss how these Medicare changes in 2023 could impact your overall plan, you can schedule a meeting with us by clicking here. You can schedule a 20-minute “ask anything” session or an hour-long complimentary consultation. We can meet with you in person, by phone, or virtually. It’s whatever works best for you. We hope this information on Medicare changes in 2023 was beneficial to you and that it can some you some additional clarity with your retirement planning.


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Medicare Changes in 2023 | Watch Guide

Disclosures and Introduction: 00:00
Biggest Medicare Change for 2023: 01:12

Resources Mentioned in this Podcast

Guest Resources:

Other Resources:


Investment advisory services offered through Barber Financial Group, Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Adviser.

The views expressed represent the opinion of Barber Financial Group an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Information provided is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute investment, tax, or legal advice. Barber Financial Group does not accept any liability for the use of the information discussed. Consult with a qualified financial, legal, or tax professional prior to taking any action.

Investment advisory services offered through Barber Financial Group, Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Adviser.

The views expressed represent the opinion of Barber Financial Group an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Information provided is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute investment, tax, or legal advice. Barber Financial Group does not accept any liability for the use of the information discussed. Consult with a qualified financial, legal, or tax professional prior to taking any action.