Newtown Square, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/09/2017 -- Medicare Part B premiums have increased in 2017. In some cases, the increase was relatively modest, but in other instances it was larger.
The reason for the increase is unusual because it arises as a result of no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security in 2016 and a smaller one for 2017. Legally, those on Medicare and receiving Social Security can not pay more in Part B premiums than they receive from a COLA. In 2016, roughly 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries did not get a premium increase.
The rise in the COLA, despite the fact that it is relatively insignificant, will see some recipients pay, on average, $4.10 more for Part B, depending on the increase in social security checks. Other beneficiaries are likely to pay more for 2017 to cover most of the predicted surge in Part B premiums.
What does that mean for Medicare beneficiaries for 2017? Here is what to expect for the rest of the year, depending on living circumstances:
If a recipient enrolls in Medicare Part B for the first time this year, they pay $134 per month, whether or not they are receiving payments from Social Security. ($1,608/yr)
If an individual enrolls this year, but does not get Social Security checks, or premiums deducted, the Medicare Part B payment is $134 per month. ($1,608/yr)
If the state where a low-income individual is living is paying the Part B premiums, there will be no premium increase, provided low-income eligibility requirements are still met.
If an individual's income is over $85,000 (single) or $170,000 (married, joint filing) Part B premiums range from $187.50 to $428.60 per month. ($2,250/yr to $5,143.20/yr)
Those who paid $104.90 per month in 2016 will pay around $109 per month in 2017.
Those who paid $121.80 per month in 2016 and Part B premiums were deducted, the price is now $4 to $5 more, depending on what was paid in social security.
Those with higher incomes paying more for Part B are also paying more for Part D (prescription drugs). The surcharge may be $13.30 per month to $76.20 per month plus premiums for Part D.
Those who pay Part A premiums (hospital stays) pay because they do not qualify for premium-free coverage. Premiums are $227 to $413 per month (depending on the number of Social Security work credits received).
For further information on the premiums to be paid by seniors for 2017 visit the AARP website.
There are other increases that seniors need to be aware of as they do their budgeting for the year. When in doubt about what needs to be paid, reach out and contact an experienced health insurance agent or broker. "Their [job] is helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare, premiums and other questions that seniors may have," explained Clelland Green, RHU, CEO benepath.com.