Part B premium rates are based on the projected cost to the federal government and Congress, an unpredictable factor. Historically, premiums go up each year. For example, Medicare Part B cost recipients $5.30 in 1970. By 1973, it was up to $6.30, though it was reduced to $5.80 in July and $6.10 in August that year. The premiums continued to increase and reached $31.90 per month in 1989. That rate came from the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988, a change that was intended to expand the program to cover some prescription medications and reduce out-of-pocket costs. It was repealed in 1989.
Medicare Part B Monthly Premium 2016
Actually, these numbers are valid for most persons on Medicare. You will have to pay a higher premium if you filed an individual tax return last year and reported income over $85,000 or $170,000 for a joint return. Depending on the amount of your taxable income, you may have to pay between $170.50 up to the maximum Part B premium of $389.80 per person. Fortunately, income-related adjustments affect less than 5 percent of Medicare beneficiaries. If you have to pay a higher Part B premium because of your income, you should be notified by Social Security.
Medicare Premium Savings Program
The Medicare Premium Savings Program is available under Medicaid, and administered by the Erie County Department of Social Services. The Savings Program helps low-income Medicare beneficiaries pay for some of their Medicare out-of-pocket expenses. Included in the program:
Medicare Plans for Different Needs
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives. Our goal is to simplify the health care experience, help you meet your health and wellness needs and carry on trusted relationships with care providers. We offer a wide range of Medicare Advantage, Medicare prescription drug and Medicare Special Needs Plans that might be a good fit for you.
2016 Medicare Part B Premium Spike
As problematic as the uneven application of the premium increase is, the evidence suggests that perhaps Congress was trying to solve the wrong problem with the Hold Harmless provision. In recent years there has been a substantial shift in the way medical care is provided. An emphasis on early screenings and prevention has moved patients from Part A-covered emergency rooms to their doctors’ offices. New drugs and the rising industry of outpatient clinics have moved patients from hospital beds to home recovery. And when the time comes, a preference for home health care or hospice care has replaced expensive end of life inpatient treatment. These are all demonstrated shifts from premium-free Part A services, to Part B covered care. Though health care costs are undoubtedly rising for many reasons, including the graying of the boomer generation, much of the increase in Part B costs may be attributable to positive gains in the health care industry since 1988 and earlier. Rather than encouraging continued use of expensive and less efficient hospital services, Congress should incentivize, not punish, increased reliance on these Part B covered services.