Government

Playing games with Medicare premiums and deductibles

The following is from an October 2014 press release by the Secretary of HHS. 

Remember it when you see what happens to your Medicare premium and deductibles in 2016 and 2017.  Of course, crediting Obamacare with holding down Medicare costs was pure political dribble. 

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The fact is premiums and deductibles should have been increased modestly in 2013 and 2014 and 2015 so that nobody faced the whopping increases coming for many in 2016 and for all in 2017. 

Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Sylvia Burwell announced today that next year’s standard Medicare Part B monthly premium and deductible will remain the same as the last two years. Medicare Part B covers physicians’ services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and other items. 

For the approximately 49 million Americans enrolled in Medicare Part B, premiums and deductibles will remain unchanged in 2015 at $104.90 and $147 respectively. This leaves more of seniors’ cost of living adjustment from Social Security in their pockets.

According to the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, as compared to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections for 2015 made in 2009, premiums will be more than $125 lower over the course of a year.

“Thanks to slower health care cost growth within Medicare since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, next year’s Medicare Part B monthly premium will remain unchanged for the second consecutive year,” said Secretary Burwell. “The Affordable Care Act is working to improve affordability and access to quality care for seniors and people with disabilities.”  October 9, 2014

“The stabilization of Part B premiums is another example of how we are containing health care costs to provide a more sustainable and affordable health delivery system. The Administration has taken important steps to improve the quality of care while keeping the cost of Medicare premiums and deductibles the same,” said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “This means even greater financial and health security for our seniors next year as their premiums will remain unchanged.”

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