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Making Medicare make sense

Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions


December 6, 2016

From Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Q: Are Medicare Part B premiums increasing in 2017?

A: Yes, but for most beneficiaries, not by very much. If your Part B premium is withheld from Social Security benefits, by law it can only increase by the same amount as the benefits increase in 2017. That’s typically going to be about $4 per month. Since 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are in this situation, they will only go up to about $109 per month compared to $104.90 for the past four years for those on Medicare before 2016. Many 2016 newly eligible beneficiaries will see an average $4-$5 premium increase from their 2016 premium of $121.80, and pay about $125-$127 per month for those who joined this group in 2016. The exact amount will depend on the size of your Social Security benefit increase.

Q: What about people who don’t qualify for the lower premium increases based on their Medicare Part B premiums not deducted from their Social Security check and for other reasons? How much will they pay?

A: Some beneficiaries will not qualify for the rule that limits the size of the Part B premium increase. These include: people who do not yet collect Social Security benefits; people who will become new beneficiaries in 2017; people who have their Part B premiums paid through a different process, such as Federal retirees; and people who pay an additional premium already, because of their income. People on both Medicare and Medicaid, whose premiums are paid by their states, are also ineligible for limits on premium increases. All beneficiaries in those categories will see an increase in their Part B premiums to $134.00 per month (higher for those with income-related surcharges). These groups together account for about 30 percent of Medicare’s 58 million beneficiaries.

Q: Are Medicare Parts A and B deductibles going up, too? Will some people be exempt from those increases?

A: The Part A deductible for an inpatient hospital admission is going up from $1,288 in 2016 to $1,316 in 2017. Co-insurance for stays beyond 60 days, and for stays in a skilled nursing facility following an inpatient admission will also modestly increase, by just over 2 percent in 2017.

The Part B deductible is increasing from $166 in 2016 to $183 in 2017. These increases will apply to all beneficiaries; so all beneficiaries will still be subject to the new deductible and co-pay amounts in 2017.

For more information about 2017 premiums and deductibles, you can go to http://www.medicare.gov, or call Medicare any time of day or night, at 1-800- MEDICARE — 1-800-633-4227.


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