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Health Care

This Years Changes to Medicare

Every year those of us on Medicare and Social Security wait to find out what changes the federal government will make for the following year.  Here is a run down of what you can expect for 2017.  This discussion applies only to those individuals who have Original Medicare. It does not apply to those with Medicare Advantage plans.

First, Social Security recipients can expect a 0.3 percent COLA (cost of living adjustment) for 2017.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that whenever there is a COLA, Medicare premiums also go up. 

Medicare Part A: many of us do not pay a premium for Medicare Part A which covers hospital care.  If you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes through employment for a least 10 years, you will not pay a premium for Part A. If you do not qualify for premium-free Part A coverage, your monthly premium for 2017 will be $413.00.

Part A currently has a deductible for each benefit period of $1,288.00. In 2017, the deductible will increase to $1,316.00.  Some Medicare Supplement plans cover the Part A. deductible. Some do not.  Check your policy to see exactly what your Medicare Supplement insurance covers.

Medicare Part B:  There are three different groups of people receiving Medicare Part B benefits, and two of those groups will see a premium increase.

a.  Low income recipients, whose Part B premiums are paid by a state medical assistance program, will see no change. 

b.  The standard 2016 premium for Part B benefits is $121.80. This is the monthly premium Medicare charges those individuals with an annual income of $85,000.00 or less and those couples with an annual income of $170,00 or less. However, if you have your premium deducted from your social security benefits, you pay even less, about $109.00 on average. In 2017, the monthly premium for this group will increase to $134.00.  However, most people receiving social security benefits will pay less, especially those who have their premium deducted from their Social Security benefits. Medicare will announce the exact figure for the Part B premium early in 20l17.  It is expected to be lower than $134.00 because the premium increase is higher than the cost of living increase in Social Security benefits.

c.  For Medicare beneficiaries with higher incomes the premium is higher.  How much you pay depends on your annual income. 

The chart below will give you a general idea of the anticipated 2017 Part B. premiums.

If your yearly income in 2015 (for what you pay in 2017) was

You pay each month (in 2017)

File individual tax return

File joint tax return

File married & separate tax return

$85,000 or less

$170,000 or less

$85,000 or less

$134

above $85,000 up to $107,000

above $170,000 up to $214,000

Not applicable

$187.50

above $107,000 up to $160,000

above $214,000 up to $320,000

Not applicable

$267.90

above $160,000 up to $214,000

above $320,000 up to $428,000

above $85,000 and up to $129,000

$348.30

above $214,000

above $428,000

above $129,000

$428.60

 

There is also a deductible for Medicare Part B.  The 2016 Part B. deductible is $166.00 per year.  In 2017, the deductible will increase to $183.00 annually.

The premiums for Medicare, Parts C and D vary by plan.  Higher income recipients can expect to pay more for Part D than those with more modest incomes.

For those with Medicare Advantage plans, your plan contract governs the monthly premium (if any) you pay, as well as any co-pays and deductibles.  Your plan will notify you of any changes anticipated for 2017.

 

This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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