Senior News Line – Higher Medicare Part B Costs

medicare-part-bBy Matilda Charles

As it stands now, if Congress doesn’t act immediately, many of us will be faced with a big increase in our Medicare Part B cost in 2016. Even if Congress acts to stop the increase, consider this fair warning that it could happen in the future.

Here are some of the figures:

Most of us currently pay $104.90 for Medicare Part B, and it’s taken directly out of Social Security checks before we even see the money. The new costs for many of us are slated to jump up 52 percent, up to $159.30. The deductible is likely to jump from $147 to $223.

Seventy percent of us fall under the “hold harmless” rule, which means there will be no increase because there likely will be no Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) in 2016. Those people are covered. It’s the other 30 percent who will shoulder the increased costs of Medicare for everyone else. (It’s been calculated that if the costs were spread equally, everyone would pay $120.70 per month.)

Those who will pay extra:

* Anyone who signs up for Medicare for the first time in 2016,

* People who are direct billed for their premiums,

* Those enrolled in Medicare but not Social Security because they’re still working.

 

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