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Medicare News

Senior Citizens to See Modest $5 Monthly Increase in Medicare Part B for 2013

The Part B deductible will also increase by $7; reactions positive but note increasing cost of healthcare for seniors

Nov. 16, 2012 – Senior citizens will see their monthly premium for Medicare Part B increase by $5.00 to $104.90 in 2013, which is $4.00 below earlier estimates by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, according to Marilyn Travenner, acting CMS Administrator, who announced the new rates on the CMS Blog.

“By law, the premium must cover a percent of Medicare’s expenses; premium increases are in line with projected cost increases. Medicare Part B premiums have gone up slowly over the past five years – an average of less than 2 percent a year, or $8.50 total,” she added.

The other most notable change in Medicare costs for 2013 is an increase in the deductible for Part B to $147 from $140 this year. Travenner notes this is $15 below the deductible in 2011.

 

Related Archive Stories

 
 

Social Security Says 1.7 Percent COLA for 2013, Modest Bump More Than Expected

Average retired senior will get $21 per month more; retired couple $34 - Oct. 16, 2012

Medicare Announces Premiums for 2012, Part B Increase Just $3.50 Monthly for Most

Most senior citizens will see an increase in Social Security of about $43 in 2012, producing a gain after Part B cost of 39.50 per month

Oct. 27, 2011


 
 

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Earlier the Social Security Administration had announced a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2013 of 1.7 percent or about $21 per month for the average senior receiving monthly benefits. The average monthly benefit for seniors will be $1,261.

Travenner said other changes in 2013 include:

   ● Medicare Part A Premium: Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care. Only about 1 percent of people with Medicare pay a premium for Part A services - you need to have paid Medicare payroll taxes for 40 quarters of employment or be married to someone who did. For those few affected, the 2013 Part A premium is decreasing to $441, down from $451 in 2012.

   ● Medicare Part A Deductible: This deductible is the cost to people with Medicare for up to 60 days of Medicare-covered inpatient services in the hospitals for each benefit period (a benefit period starts the day a patient is admitted and ends when the patient has been out of the hospital for 60 days in a row.) This will increase to $1,184 in 2013, up from $1156 this year (an increase of 2.4%).

   ● Medicare Part B Deductible: The deductible will increase to $147 in 2013, from $140. This is still $15 below the deductible in 2011, she said.

   ● Income-related Adjustments: People with Medicare who report 2011 income above $85,000 a year ($170,000 filing jointly) are legally responsible to cover a larger portion of the cost of their coverage. These premium adjustments range from $42.00 to $230.80 a month for Medicare Part B.

Medicare Rights Center Reaction

 “Even though payment reforms enacted over the past few years, including those in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), have kept these costs lower than expected, today’s announcement offers a stark reminder to policymakers embroiled in deficit reduction negotiations: older adults and people with disabilities with Medicare already pay a high amount for their health care,” said Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center.

“Half of all people with Medicare live on annual incomes of $22,000 or less, and the average person with Medicare spends 15% of their household expenses toward health care costs, opposed to 5% among non-Medicare households.

“The average person with Medicare spends $4,500 for health care per year. In the last 5 years of life, beneficiaries spend an average of $38,688 per year, and for 25% of beneficiaries, out-of-pocket costs average $101,791 during this period. This harsh financial reality makes clear that any proposal to find savings in the Medicare program should not force people with Medicare to pay more for less health security.

“Instead of shifting costs to beneficiaries, Medicare Rights Center supports cost savings solutions that address the problem of rising health care costs in the system overall. “

AARP Statement

“While AARP is pleased that the vast majority of people in Medicare will see a lower than projected increase in their Part B premiums, health care costs continue to outpace general inflation, which was 1.7 percent this year. As a result, the Medicare Part B premium, which increased 5 percent, will eat up nearly 25 percent of the monthly Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA),” said AARP Legislative Policy Director David Certner.

“AARP has opposed deficit reduction proposals that would reduce Social Security benefits by adopting the Chained Consumer Price Index (CCPI). The COLA is already based on an index that under-reports rapidly increasing health care costs and today’s announcement of a $5 premium increase is further proof that these costs are being disproportionately felt by seniors.

“With millions of America’s seniors struggling with higher expenses – particularly higher health care costs – we need to do more to lower costs across the health care system and avoid further cost-shifting to seniors.”

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