Nov. 11, 2016 — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that 2017 premiums for the Medicare inpatient hospital (Part A) and physician and outpatient hospital services (Part B) programs will increase.
Because of the low Social Security COLA, (0.3 percent for 2017) a statutory “hold harmless” provision designed to protect seniors will largely prevent Part B premiums from increasing for about 70 percent of beneficiaries. Among this group, the average
2017 premium will be about $109.00, compared to $104.90 for the past four years.
For the remaining roughly 30 percent the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B will be $134.00 for 2017, a 10 percent increase from the 2016 premium of $121.80. The standard premium applies to people applying to Medicare for the first time, who are paying for it directly, or who are not yet receiving Social Security benefits. Individuals or couples with higher incomes will pay more on a sliding scale. The increase could have been higher if CMS had not decided to use reserves to help mitigate the increase.
Higher incomes to pay more
For higher income couples filing joint returns less than or equal to $170,000 the monthly premium will be $134/month. That premium escalates along a scale to $428.60 for couples with incomes over $428,000. You can see more in this chart:
Deductibles rise also
CMS also announced that the annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries will be $183 in 2017 (compared to $166 in 2016). Premiums and deductibles for Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans are already finalized and are unaffected by this announcement.
For more information
CMS Press Release on 2017 Medicare Increases
So You Are Turning 65: Your Medicare Guide 101