Medicare premium increases, Part B premiums in 2014

9 Mar
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There is information floating around the Internet saying that by 2014 the Medicare Part B premium will be around $247 per month and at the same time blaming this on the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

First, there is nothing in the annual Medicare Trustees report to support this. Take a look for yourself on page 234 of the report where you will find a table projecting premiums and deductibles to 2019.

Keep in mind one thing. These projections include an assumption that the reduction in physician payments will go into effect. They won’t go into effect, but even without those reductions projections do not reach $247 per month.

Also, there are several different premiums for the same Part B coverage.

Current beneficiaries are protected by a hold harmless provision so if there is no Social Security cost of living adjustment there is no increase in Part B premiums.

Then there is the premium applicable to new beneficiaries. That premium is higher than current beneficiaries because it is raised each year regardless of a Social Security COLA.

Finally there are the premiums for higher income beneficiaries who pay as much as 80% of the cost of Part B whereas the standard is 25% and who are also not protected by the hold harmless provision.

There is no question Medicare premiums are going up and up as are Medicare taxes. But to blame that on Obamacare is misdirected. Premiums are going up primarily because of the underlying use of health care services by a growing Medicare population and by the cost of each of those services.

If you are not yet near Medicare age, keep this in mind. In today’s dollars you and a spouse combined will spend between $700 and $900 per month for Medicare Part B and D premiums and for a Medigap policy. You can escalate those costs by 6 to 8 percent a year.

16 Responses to “Medicare premium increases, Part B premiums in 2014”

  1. Anonymous September 22, 2011 at 9:44 AM #

    Makes me want to vote for Oama . . . yeah right!!

  2. Bella September 21, 2011 at 10:17 AM #

    My husband and I already pay over $500 a month for Medicare and our gap insurance, and we did not even sign up for the prescription drug plan. We pay for our own prescription drugs.

    • JayKacena October 12, 2011 at 2:25 PM #

      You might want to check out the penalty for delaying your enrollment into part D in case there is any chance you may need/want it in the future.

  3. Charles and Ladonna Colbert September 17, 2011 at 9:45 PM #

    How can I get a print-out of a year by year increase which will be apportioned to medicare recipients

    • rdquinn September 18, 2011 at 2:03 AM #

      You can link to the Trustees report which you can find in these articles. You can also find the history on the website.


      Richard D Quinn Editor

  4. Anonymous September 17, 2011 at 9:42 PM #

    How can I get a printout of the actual figures on a year by year growth

  5. Anonymous September 8, 2011 at 12:34 PM #

    For starters the price we pay for drugs is excessive. If we compare the price we pay to what Canadians pay for the same prescription with the same strength and from the same pharmaceutical company we are paying 8 times more.
    Cut the price of drugs and reduce the useless superfelous tests and premiums do not have to escalate.,

    • rdquinn September 8, 2011 at 2:18 PM #

      Drug prices in the US may be excessive, but in large part that is becasue we subsidize the rest of the world where they cap the price of drugs. If we did that as well, the money to research new drugs would decline.

      In addition, drugs expenses are not part of Medicare Part B and thus do not affect that premium.

      Reduce superfellus test, yes indeed.

    • Franlowcountry October 28, 2011 at 10:10 AM #

      Then you will also have to control the excessive lawsuits and those lawyers will lobby against that every time!!

      • rdquinn October 28, 2011 at 12:15 PM #

        you are right about that

      • jigger December 3, 2011 at 1:35 PM #

        Yes… tort reform is needed NOW!

  6. The Insurance Barn August 14, 2011 at 2:48 PM #

    You are partially right and partially wrong. The PPACA does not necessarily increase the cost of Medicare B. Congress did not have to address that issue. Medicare is already managed by HHS. Medicare law already allows them to adjust premiums for Medicare B as they see fit. According to page 131 of the CMS Publication, “Medicare and You,” the premium for Medicare B will be determined by a person’s taxable income from 2 years before. While most people will only pay $ 115.40 each month for Medicare B, the premium can be as high as $ 369.10 per person per month. For a couple, that is already over the $ 700 per month that you alluded to.

    • rdquinn August 14, 2011 at 5:47 PM #

      Not sure I understand your comment as I did not say PPACA addressed Medicare premiums I referred to a erroneous e-mail. Most people never reach the top two tiers of the income based premium, even without that the Medicare premiums plus Medigap premiums get many people in the $700 range.

  7. rdquinn July 4, 2011 at 9:38 AM #

    My opinion is that costs will go up not down as a result mainly because Congress will eventually kill all the cost cutting measures.

  8. phil July 4, 2011 at 8:15 AM #

    agreed, people tend to read a number in an email and run with it… don’t you think that the PPACA will escalate costs though with medicare being cut by $500 million? They’ll have to do something to offset that, although I think reimbursements to Medicare Advantage plan sponsors will take a good bit of the cuts



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