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HHS announces: No change in 2015 Original Medicare Part B premiums, a slight decrease in Medicare Part A premiums, and no changes in Part B IRMAA payments.

Category: General Medicare
Published: Oct, 09 2014 08:10:00

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that the standard premium for Medicare Part B (coverage for specific doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, DME, and preventive services) would remain at $104.90 the same as in 2013 and 2014.  (In October, 2012, there was a $5.00 increase in Part B premiums bringing the monthly 2013 Medicare Part B premiums up to $104.90).  According to CMS, at this time, there are almost 49 million people enrolled in Medicare Part B.

Medicare Part B Deductible:
The 2015 Medicare Part B deductible will also stay at the 2013 and 2014 levels of $147. 

The CMS / HHS press release also noted several other changes in 2015, including:

Medicare Part A Premium:
Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care. Only about 1 percent of people with Medicare pay a premium for Part A services.  (Most Medicare beneficiaries receive Medicare Part A automatically if they have paid Medicare payroll taxes for 40 quarters of employment or are married to someone who did pay 40 quarters of payroll taxes).

For those people who pay a Medicare Part A premium, there is good news: The 2015 Part A premium is decreasing $19 to $407 (as a comparison, the Medicare Part A premium in 2013 was $441 and $451 in 2012).

CMS further noted: "[E]nrollees age 65 and over and certain persons with disabilities who have fewer than 30 quarters of coverage pay a monthly premium in order to receive coverage under Part A.  Beneficiaries who have between 30 and 39 quarters of coverage may buy into Part A at a reduced monthly premium rate which is $224 for 2015, a decrease of $10 from 2014." 

Medicare Part A Deductible:
The Medicare Part A deductible is the cost to people with Medicare for up to 60 days of Medicare-covered inpatient services in the hospitals for each benefit period (a benefit period starts the day a patient is admitted and ends when the patient has been out of the hospital for 60 days in a row.)  The 2015 Part A deductible will increase by $44 to $1,260. CMS further added: " Beneficiaries must pay an additional $315 per day for days 61 through 90 in 2015, and $630 per day for hospital stays beyond the 90th day.  For beneficiaries in skilled nursing facilities, the daily co-insurance for days 21 through 100 in a benefit period will be $157.50 in 2015, compared to $152.00 in 2014."

Medicare Part B Income-related Adjustments Amounts (IRMAA):
People with Medicare who report 2014 income above $85,000 a year ($170,000 for people filing jointly) are responsible to cover a larger portion of the cost of their Medicare Part B coverage. However the IRMAA Medicare Part B rates have not changed since 2014.

These monthly Medicare Part B premium adjustments range from an additional $42.00 to an additional $230.80 (per month).

If Your Yearly Income Is Your Monthly
Medicare Part B
Part B
File Individual Tax Return File Joint Tax Return
$85,000 or below $170,000 or below $104.90* $0.00 
$85,001 - $107,000 $170,000 - $214,000 $146.90* $42.00 
$107,001 - $160,000 $214,000 - $320,000 $209.80* $104.90 
$160,001 - $214,000 $320,000 - $428,000 $272.70*  $167.80
above $214,000 above $428,000 $335.70* $230.80 

Monthly Medicare Part B premiums for Medicare beneficiaries who are married and lived with their spouse at any time during the taxable year, but file separate tax returns, are:

Beneficiaries who are married and lived with their spouse at any time during the year, but file a separate tax return from their spouse: Medicare Part B IRMAA Medicare Part B premium amount
Less than or equal to $85,000 $0.00 $104.90
Greater than $85,000 and less than or equal to $129,000 $167.80 $272.70
Greater than $129,000 $230.80 $335.70

According to CMS, IRMAA affects less than 5% of Medicare beneficiaries or around 2,450,000 people.

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