Medicare Part B
Medicare changes almost every year. Medicare changes for 2017 are significant. The Medicare Part B monthly premium is the change that hits people first. For Medicare beneficiaries who were on Medicare before 2016, the increase will be from $104.90 to $109 per month. For those who began Medicare Part B in 2016, the premium will move from $121.80 to $134. There are some minor variations on these numbers out there. Eventually Medicare will catch everyone up to the same amount. I am getting a lot of calls as clients see the higher premium. For those with annual individual incomes above $85,000 and joint incomes above $170,000, the increases are much larger.
Part B Premium Increase
The reason for the increase is the rising cost of Medicare. Fewer persons are working in relationship to the number of new beneficiaries going on Medicare. The baby boomer population turns 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day in our country. The cost of health care also consistently grows at a rate well above inflation. The CPI (Consumer Price Index) is currently about 2%. It is safe to say that Medicare Part B premiums will continue to rise in coming years.
Protection Again Medicare Changes
Medicare Part B premium is just one of the costs that are going up. Other deductibles, co-insurance, and co-pays are increasing as well. More and more of the burden of health care is being placed upon consumers, so it makes it even more critical that you select the plan that best fits your needs and budget each and every year. It may make sense to take on some deductibles, co-pays, and/or co-insurance so that the monthly premium is not so burdensome, especially if your monthly income is limited. Medical emergencies do not occur regularly, but premiums do. You must pay them every month. One of the most common calls I get is ‘how do I reduce my monthly health care expenses?’