Beginning in 2025 The maximum amount people with Medicare will have to pay out of pocket for their prescription drugs will be $2,000 a year. This limit, the first of its kind, will apply both to people with stand-alone Part D plans and to people who get their drug coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan.
It’s not too soon to adjust your budget. $2,000 a year is $166 per month. If you are taking a number of drugs or expensive drugs, setting aside that $166 each month may ease dealing with out of pocket costs. You may even want to start saving a pool of money now so when 2025 comes around you are better able to handle the $2,000.
Part D members will have the option of spreading out cost-sharing payments over the course of the year, something Medicare is calling “smoothed” cost sharing. This is designed to protect people from being hit with such a big drug bill at one time that it might discourage them from filling or taking a prescription.
Did you write this? “It’s not too soon to adjust your budget.” What happen to just saving first and no budgets?
But your point is well taken. I’ll plan to have a pile of money or expect to take out up to $4000 ($2k for me and $2K for my wife) for drugs when we start on Medicare. It does make planning your expenses a little easier. It could be more than what I am paying now but it is now a known max amount.
My apologies to future taxpayers who will have to pick up the difference in drug costs, but I didn’t write the law but I will take advantage of the Medicare Part D program. I really have no choice because I can’t pay retail now for my drugs.
Good point, that pool of money should be there before retirement. Sadly few people see it that way. It’s a matter of planning more than budget though – know the full expected cost of all health care costs before one retires.
Healthcare has always been the big question mark. In my late 40’s and early 50’s, I went to both the company and union retirement seminars. Obamacare was being pushed but had not been passed at the time. Nobody knew what was going to happen to healthcare and its costs. Nobody knew if the Medicare program would change 15 or 20 years from then. Medical costs were rising faster than inflation. It was hard to guess what my costs were going to be. Everything else you could add an historical inflation factor to it and guess what your fixed costs were going to be by the time you reached 65.
At least now I have an upper limit on my drug costs even if I end up on a new drug later in life. It is something I can plan for instead of guess at. I will also be able to plan that limit over time will rise over knowing Congress but I am sure it will be less than inflation. Lucky for me, I don’t believe that I would hit my $2k limit if I was on Medicare Part D today. Therefore I can rollover any unspent money for when they raise the limit much later in my life.
As I get closer to being 65, the clarity is getting better, but I needed to invest and save money decades ago, which I did correctly as far as I could tell, so far.