October 29, 2011 — In what was a surprise to most prognosticators, Medicare Part B premiums will increase far less than predicted in 2012, and in fact will actually decline for many of those covered.
In 2012, the “standard” Medicare Part B premium will be $99.90. This is a $15.50 decrease over the standard 2011 premium of $115.40 paid by new enrollees and higher income Medicare beneficiaries and by Medicaid on behalf of low-income enrollees. The majority of people with Medicare have paid $96.40 per month for Part B since 2008, so those people will have an increase of $3.50 per month.
Earlier this year, HHS announced that average Medicare Advantage premiums would decrease by four percent and premiums paid for Medicare’s prescription drug plans would remain virtually unchanged. The U.S. Health & Services Commission also pointed out other positives for 2012 on its website: “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, people with Medicare also receive free
preventive services and a 50 percent discount on covered prescription drugs when they enter the prescription drug “donut hole.” This year, 1.8 million people with Medicare have received cheaper prescription drugs, while nearly 20.5 million Medicare beneficiaries have received a free Annual Wellness Visit or other free preventive services like cancer screenings.” Part B deductibles will decrease by $22.
Medicare Part B covers physicians’ services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and other items. See the NY Times article, “Rise in Premium Lower Than Predicted“.
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