Medicare just announced the 2011 rates for monthly premiums for Part B coverage of doctor’s visits and outpatient treatment and Part D coverage of prescription drugs. The big news for next year: For the first time, higher-income beneficiaries (about 5% of all Medicare recipients) will pay a Part D surcharge. They’ll pay the regular Part D premium to their private insurance plan and will pay the income-related adjustment to Medicare.
Medicare Open Enrollment: Looking at Costs
That’s why we want to help you take control over your Medicare coverage. Look around for all the Medicare information out there, visit our Open Enrollment center, and watch a video about how the Medicare Plan Finder works. After you’ve narrowed your options, you can call the plans you’re interested in to get more details about their benefits and services, or check out their websites.
MEDICARE Part A, B, C, & D PREMIUMS, DEDUCTIBLES FOR 2011
Part A premiums are decreasing because spending in 2010 was lower than expected and the Affordable Care Act implemented policies that lower Part A spending due to payment efficiencies and efforts related to waste, fraud and abuse. Part B premiums are increasing because of growth in the use of services like outpatient hospital care, home health and physician-administered drugs. In addition, the premium accounts for a likely Congressional action to avert a precipitous decrease in physician payments, which the Administration supports, and has occurred every year since 2003. The Administration is committed to permanent reform of the physician payment formula. By law, the standard premium is set to cover one-fourth of the average cost of Part B services incurred by beneficiaries aged 65 and over, plus a contingency margin. The contingency margin is an amount appropriate to (i) cover incurred-but-unpaid claims costs, (ii) provide for possible variation between actual and projected costs, and (iii) amortize any surplus assets or unfunded liabilities. The remaining Part B costs are financed by Federal general revenues. (In 2011, $2.5 billion in Part B expenditures will be financed by the new fees on manufacturers and importers of brand-name prescription drugs under the Affordable Care Act. The revenue from these fees reduces the standard Part B premium by $0.90.)