Medicare members will experience a major spike in their premium payments in 2022 after the federal government announced the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of a new controversial Alzheimer’s drug contributed to the increase.

On Friday, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) attempted to suggest the cost-of-living adjustment will help cover the 14.5% increase despite the 6.7% estimated hike predicted earlier this year.

Medicare Part B plan holders will experience a $21.60 increase in their premiums, marking the largest hike since 2016. Members will go from paying $148.50 per month to $170.10 in the new year. The 2022 monthly premium was expected to be $158.50 in the new year.

“This significant COLA increase will more than cover the increase in the Medicare Part B monthly premium,” the CMS said in a statement. 

“Most people with Medicare will see a significant net increase in Social Security benefits. For example, a retired worker who currently receives $1,565 per month from Social Security can expect to receive a net increase of $70.40 more per month after the Medicare Part B premium is deducted.”

Medicare Part B will cover outpatient hospital services, physician services, medical equipment, certain home health services, and some other health and medical services that are not offered in Medicare Part A.

The Medicare federal health insurance covers more than 62 million people, many of whom are 65 and older.

The CMS also suggested the increase of the premium is also necessary due to the uncertainty of how much the federal agency may have to cover members who are put on Aduhelm, the Alzheimer’s drug that was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration over the summer.

However, Medicare has not determined whether all customers will be covered to take Aduhelm, which could cost an estimated $56,000 a year, or if coverage will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

medicare-plans Two people walk inside a Medicare Services office on the last day for enrollment in the Medicare Part D program in New York City, May 15, 2006. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images