Medicare 2012 Part B Premiums Will Be Lower Than Expected
The Obama administration cheered the news regarding the cost of Part B premiums in part because it could give a political boost to President Barack Obama's popularity among older voters.
The New York Times: Rise In Medicare Premium Is Lower Than Predicted
Administration officials rejoiced at the modest increase, which could pay political dividends to President Obama as he tries to win the votes of older Americans in his bid for re-election (Pear, 10/27).
The Associated Press/Los Angeles Times: Medicare Monthly Premiums For 2012 To Be Lower Than Expected
The new Part B premium for outpatient care will be $99.90 a month for 2012, about $7 less than projected as recently as May. The bottom line: Most seniors will pay an additional $3.50 a month next year, instead of $10.20, as forecast earlier (10/27).
The Washington Post: Medicare Part B Premium Increase To Be Less Than Expected
The announcement was the third piece of good news about Medicare premiums this year. The White House said in August that premiums would drop 4 percent in Medicare Advantage, the privately run alternative to the traditional program. Premiums for Medicare's prescription drug program, Part D, also will drop slightly in 2012 (Kliff, 10/27).
Kaiser Health News: Seniors Get A Break On Medicare Part B Premiums
For most beneficiaries, premiums will be $99.90 a month in 2012, a $3.50 increase over the $96.40 paid this year by a majority of elderly and disabled beneficiaries. Part B pays for physician visits, hospital outpatient costs and certain other services. Earlier this year, Medicare trustees had predicted that Part B premiums would increase to $106.60 next year (Carey, 10/27).
The Wall Street Journal: Medicare Premiums Rise Less Than Expected
Medicare trustees predicted earlier this year they would boost premiums by up to $10 a month for most beneficiaries. A law prevents most Medicare premiums from rising if Social Security payouts stay flat, which has been the case since 2009. The premiums paid by those not in a high-income category have been frozen for three years because of the law. But the Social Security Administration said last week that recipients will see a 3.6 percent cost-of-living increase in their checks next year. That allowed Medicare's costs to be spread across more recipients, not just those with higher incomes (Radnofsky, 10/27).
Reuters: Medicare 2012 Premium Hike Smaller Than Feared
Most elderly Americans covered by the government's Medicare insurance program will see a smaller-than-expected rise in their monthly premiums next year, health officials said on Thursday. Standard premiums for Medicare Part B, which covers doctor visits, outpatient services and some home health care, will be $99.90. For most Part B beneficiaries, that means paying just $3.50 a month more, compared to the $10.20 that was expected (Selyukh, 10/27).
Bloomberg: Premiums For Medicare Part B To Rise 3.6% In 2012, U.S. Says
About 45 million retired and disabled people will pay lower-than-projected Medicare premiums for doctor visits and other outpatient services next year, the U.S. said. Monthly premiums for Medicare's Part B program will be $99.90 in 2012, a 3.6 percent increase from the current standard payment of $96.40, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said today. That is lower than the $106.60 projected earlier this year by Medicare trustees (Eisenberg, 10/27).
San Francisco Chronicle: Medicare Premiums Will Rise Less Than Expected; Go Down For Some
Medicare Part B premiums will go up only $3.50 a month next year for most seniors and will actually go down for high-income people and those who were new to Medicare in 2010 or 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced today. The standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $99.90 in 2012, a $15.50 decrease from this year's standard premium of $115.40. However, very few people were paying that standard premium this year. About 75 percent of Medicare beneficiaries paid only $96.40 a month this year, so their premiums will increase by only $3.50. This group had been protected from premium increases by the so-called hold-harmless provision (Pender, 10/27).