Medicare rate hike less than feared
Most people will pay an extra $3.50 a month, rather than the expected $10.20.
This post comes from Catey Hill at partner site SmartMoney.
The government announced that the standard premium for Medicare Part B -- which covers medically necessary services such as doctors' visits and outpatient health care -- will be $99.90 in 2012, significantly less than many experts had predicted.
Experts feared that new Medicare premiums would erase a larger chunk of the recent 3.6% cost-of-living adjustment that Social Security recipients will get in 2012. But with Medicare premiums for most people rising only $3.50 per month, rather than the projected $10.20, the damage is less than expected, as the average senior will get a $39.50 net effective raise (since the average Social Security COLA uptick was $43 per month).
For most Medicare Part B recipients, premiums will rise by about 3.6%. Others will actually pay less next year: Consider that new enrollees in 2011 paid $115.40, and now will pay $15.50 less each month. Additionally, the 2012 Medicare Part B deductible will be $140, a decrease of $22 from 2011.
Medicare Part A premiums -- which cover inpatient stays in hospitals and nursing homes, as well as home health care -- also rose. Medicare Part A monthly premiums will be $451 for 2012, an increase of $1 from 2011. The Part A deductible paid by a beneficiary when admitted as a hospital inpatient will be $1,156 in 2012, an increase of $24 from this year's $1,132 deductible.
For more information on Medicare premiums in 2012, visit HealthCare.gov.
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