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.
- 2 PPACA Medicare Changes for 2011 (theinsurancebarn.wordpress.com)