The furor over rising Medicare Part B costs

EDIT, November 10, 2015: President Obama signed a budget bill on November 2 that includes a loan from the Treasury’s general fund to the Medicare Trust Fund. The result is that premiums will increase by a little more than 16 percent – instead of 52 percent – for the seven million Medicare Part B beneficiaries who are facing rate hikes in 2016. On November 10, CMS announced that the 2016 Part B premium will be $121.80/month for the 30 percent of enrollees who are not “held harmless” by the lack of a Social Security cost of living adjustment. As expected, there will also be a $3/month surcharge to pay back the Treasury loan.

The higher premiums and $3 surcharge are expected to apply to all enrollees starting in 2017, assuming there’s a cost-of-living adjustment to Social Security checks (higher income enrollees will pay a higher surcharge, starting in 2016). The deductible for all Part…


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