We have been waiting anxiously for final numbers for the new Medicare rates and some of you will be affected and some will not. If you are currently taking your Social Security benefits you will still have the Medicare Part B $104.90 taken out of your Social Security monthly check. -NO Change. If you are not taking your Social Security monthly benefits and are being billed monthly or quarterly for the Medicare Part B benefits you will have an increase to $121.80 per month. – Change If you are on a Medigap Plan A, B, D, G, K, M, N, or High Deductible F, thus responsible for your once a year Medicare Deductible, you will see an increase in the deductible from $147 to $166. – Change If you are on a Medicare Medigap F, your Plan F pays the Medicare deductible so, -No Change other than Premium.
Medicare cannot raise the $104.90 Medicare Part B payment due to“Hold Harmless Rule” if you are having the Part B premium taken out of your monthly Social Security check unless there is a CPI raise with Social Security. Since Social Security already announced that there will be no CPI raise for 2016, this means Medicare cannot raise these recipients Part B premium. Where is Medicare going to get the increased fees? From people who are being billed monthly or quarterly for Part B. This is a much smaller group of folks who will see the $18 increase per month. This group is bearing the brunt of the increase because they are not protected by the same rules as people taking Social Security payments. So your monthly billing will go from $104.90 to $121.80 and quarterly billing will go from $314.70 to $365.40. If there is a Social Security CPI increase next year in 2017, the extra $18 a month will then be spread equally to all Medicare recipients and the monthly and quarterly billing folks will be adjusted down for those paying Part B in this method. Remember, this increase is temporary for just this year 2016, unless we have a second year in 2017 where there is no Social Security CPI increase.
(Previous published in the December 2015 Edition of the American Retirement Advisor Newsletter)