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Plan B Premiums Could Increase by 52 percent for Millions in 2016

By pcarterJul 31, 2015

According to an article in Kaiser Health News,  Medicare trustees are projecting that 30 percent of seniors will see a 52-percent increase in Part B premiums in January 2016, taking their monthly Part B premiums from $104.90 to $159.30.   The unusually high increase is due to two factors:  the increase in the costs of running the Part B program, and a quirk in the Medicare law.     By law, in a year when seniors see no cost of living increase in their Social Security benefit - as 2016 is expected to be - they may not suffer a Part B premium increase, unless they're new to Medicare (2.8 million people in 2016) or they earn more than $85,000 (3.1 million people) or they don't deduct their Part B premiums directly from Social Security (1.6 million people).    The 7.5 million Part B enrollees who meet one of these three conditions will see premiums leap by 52 percent.    Everyone else will see  premiums remain flat at $104.90.     But 2016 Part B deductibles are also projected to increase by 52 percent from $147/year to $223/year, and that would affect everyone.

If over the next several months Social Security decides on a cost of living adjustment that's greater than zero, these Part B rate increases can be spread over everyone rather than borne by the unlucky 30 percent.

 

 

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