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.
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
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. “
“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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