May 26, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Families USA Executive Director Explains How To Understand Medicare Premiums:

At the end of May, the Medicare Trustees reported that Medicare costs are expected to grow more slowly than was previously expected.

One of the positive effects of this trend is that Medicare premiums are also expected to increase more slowly.

What does that mean for you and your family?

Here’s a look at the different types of Medicare premiums.

What do people mean by “Medicare premiums”?

When people talk about Medicare premiums, they’re often thinking of the Part B premium (Part B primarily covers doctor visits and other outpatient services).

For most beneficiaries, this premium is automatically deducted from their Social Security benefit each month.

In 2013, most people with Medicare pay a Part B premium of $104.90 a month.

What other Medicare premiums exist besides Part B?

Most people with Medicare do not pay a premium for Medicare Part A (which covers hospital and other inpatient care) because they or their spouse paid enough in Medicare taxes during their working years to qualify for premium-free Part A.

If you have a Part D prescription drug plan, you do pay premiums. In 2013, the national average for a Part D monthly premium is $40.18, but Part D premiums vary widely from plan to plan and region to region.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, your plan usually charges an additional premium.

Finally, you may have a private Medicare supplemental policy, either from a former employer or private company. The premiums for these policies vary significantly.

How are Medicare premiums determined?

By law, the Part B premium must cover 25 percent of Medicare’s Part B costs. When Medicare costs grow more slowly, so do premiums.

Part D premiums are similarly tied to the costs of prescription drugs. Medicare Advantage premiums are determined by a more complicated process, but they also reflect trends in costs. Because Part D and Medicare Advantage plans are run by private companies, premiums can vary a lot.

But even so, when health care costs rise more slowly, premiums usually do too.

Does everyone pay the same premium?

If your income is more than $85,000 (for just you, or $170,000 for you and your spouse), you pay an additional Part B premium.

How much more depends on your income: People with the highest incomes pay the most. Also, since 2011, the same high-income beneficiaries have paid higher Part D premiums.

Part A premiums and Medicare Advantage premiums are not affected by these rules.

If I have a limited income, can I get help paying my premiums?

For people with limited incomes and resources, the Part D Extra Help program covers all or most of their Part D premium, as well as other pharmacy costs.

You can find out if you qualify and apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp or by calling 1.800.MEDICARE (1.800.633.4227).

Each state also has Medicare Savings Programs that cover Part B premiums for people with limited incomes. In some cases, these programs also cover other Medicare costs.

To learn more, call 1.800.MEDICARE and ask for a referral to your local state health insurance assistance program (SHIP), or go to this website www.familiesusa.org/resources/program-locator and click on your state.

What will happen to Medicare premiums in the future?

Medicare premiums depend greatly on what happens to health care costs, specifically Medicare costs, in the future.

No one knows for sure if the recent slowdown in Medicare costs will continue. The early indications from the Medicare Trustees’ report are that the trend should continue for now, and that the 2014 Part B premium will be unchanged from 2013.

For anyone with Medicare living on a fixed income – and that’s most people – this is encouraging news.

Families USA is the national organization for health care consumers, which has advocated for universal, affordable, and quality health care since 1982.

in News
Related Posts

John Adams Middle School Student Selected to Perform at Carnegie Hall

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

JAMS Student Grayson Fitzgerald named junior finalist for the 2022 middle school honors performance series at Carnegie Hall By Staff...

SMC Student Film “The War Within” Accepted into 2022 American Pavilion at Cannes

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Three Santa Monica College Films Will Screen at In-Person Festival, including 2021 Best Student Film Winner “Broken Layers” and 2020’s...

Santa Monica City Council Looks to Shorten Meetings

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Council to consider changes at Tuesday meeting By Dolores Quintana Santa Monica lawmakers are considering taking steps to shorten City...

Landmark Theater Official Closes on Pico

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Pico Boulevard location closes Sunday By Sam Catanzaro The Landmark Theater on Pico Boulevard in Westwood has officially closed.  The...

Road Closures Expected During Demolition Of Parking Structure Three: Santa Monica Beat – May 23rd, 2022

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Free Donuts At Randy’s Donuts For National Doughnut Day* Road Closures Expected...

Los Angeles Metro Sees 15.9 Percent Increase in Median Rent

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Median rent of $2,258, according to recent report By Dolores Quintana The ongoing pandemic has exacerbated the issues of housing...

New Renderings for Frank Gehry Hotel Development in Santa Monica

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Project would include hotel, apartments, retail and a museum By Dolores Quintana Slowly but surely, plans for a  Frank Gehry-designed...

Shared Mobility Plummets in Santa Monica

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Recent report also shows that nearly half of riders make over $100,000 By Sam Catanzaro Shared mobility use in Santa...

Christopher Dishlip Selected as Santa Monica’s New Assistant Director of Public Works

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Public Works Director Rick Valte announced the selection of Christopher Dishlip as Santa Monica’s new Assistant Director of Public Works....

Letter to Editor: Response to Himmelrich’s “We Walk the Talk” Column

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

By Beau Marks As a Santa Monica resident, I am dismayed by Sue Himmelrich’s response (“We Walk the Talk,” Santa...

Motional And UberEats Launch Autonomous Deliveries In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

There Are Plans For Expansion Into The Rest Of Los Angeles Motional, a global driverless technology leader, and Uber Technologies...

Winston Pies Opening Third Location In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

The restaurant used to be known as ButterCrust Pies Winston Pies is staying in Santa Monica when opening their third...

Only 10 Vaquita Porpoises Survive, But The Species May Not Be Doomed

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

Hope remains for the porpoise species not only survive but thrive with human help. By Stuart Wolpert The vaquita porpoise,...

The American Cinematheque Brings “Bleak Week” To Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre And The Los Feliz Three Theatre

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

33 Films From 18 Countries In One Week. By Dolores Quintana Sometimes when things are tough and you’re feeling down,...

Man Who Murdered His Family Members Pleads Guilty To Five Other Killings

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Escobar injured an additional seven other people as well.  By Dolores Quintana A man, Ramon Escobar, has pleaded guilty to...