OKLAHOMA CITY – As health care costs continue to rise, Medicare beneficiaries can also expect to pay more next year.
Part B Premiums
Since the Social Security Administration is giving out a 0.3 percent cost of living increase in January, which equates to about a $4 monthly increase on average, the 2017 Part B monthly premium for about 70 percent of Medicare recipients will increase only about $4 to $5. Medicare cannot pass along premium increases greater than the dollar increase in their Social Security checks under the hold harmless rule.
Some will pay more
Unfortunately, that rule does not protect all Medicare recipients. New Medicare enrollees, including those who enroll in 2017, beneficiaries who are directly billed for their Part B premium, and current beneficiaries who have deferred claiming their Social Security will pay more.
If you fit into any of these categories, you Medicare Part B premium will be $134 per month in 2017.
The hold harmless rule also does not protect high-income Medicare beneficiaries who already pay higher Part B premiums because their annual incomes are above $85,000 for an individual or $170,000 for a couple. If you fit into this category, here is what you will pay based on your 2015 tax returns:
- Individuals with incomes of $85,000 to $107,000 or married couples filing joint tax returns with incomes of $170,000 to $214,000 will pay $187.50 per month.
- Individuals earning $107,000 to $160,000 (couples $214,000 to $320,000) will pay $267.90.
- Individuals with incomes of $160,000 to $214,000 (couples $320,000 to $428,000) will pay $348.30.
- Individuals with incomes over $214,000 or couples above $428,000 will pay $428.60.
Deductibles and Co-Pays
Other changes that will affect all Medicare beneficiaries include the Part B deductible, which will increase to $183 in 2017 from $166 in 2016. The Part A (hospital insurance) annual deductible will also go up to $1,316 in 2017 for hospital stays up to 60 days.
For more information, visit Medicare’s website or call 800-633-4227.