Social Security Benefits Increase and Medicare Part B Premiums Increase for Most People:
This week, the Social Security Administration announced a 3.6% increase in 2012 Social Security benefits – which is great news for about 60 million people across the country (you can click here to read the Social Security Administration press release
). This 2012 cost-of-living adjustment (or COLA) was the first since 2008 and also means that, for most Medicare beneficiaries, monthly premiums for Medicare Part B (doctor visits and outpatient care) will also increase. Medicare Part B premiums have remained unchanged for most people since 2009 at $96.40 and will now increase by $3.50 per month to $99.90 in 2012.
Medicare Part A Premiums Also Increase:
Only 1 percent of the almost 50 million Medicare beneficiaries pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A (hospital and inpatient care) and for this small group, the monthly Medicare Part A premiums will only increase by $1. (You can click here to read the Health and Human Services press release
New Medicare Beneficiaries May See a Reduced Medicare Part B Premium:
Some People who have become eligible for Medicare during the past two years and already pay a higher Medicare Part B premium will actually see a reduction in their 2012 Medicare Part B premium. These people who are new to Medicare have been paying a monthly Medicare Part B premium of $115.40 and they will have their premiums reduced by $15.50 a month to $99.90.
Changes in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B Deductibles:
The 2012 Medicare Part B annual deductible will also be reduced by $22 dollars to $140. However, the 2012 Medicare Part A annual deductible will increase by $24 to $1,156. The deductibles are the amount you pay before your Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B coverage begins. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, your plan may reduce the deductibles even lower.
Higher Incomes and Higher Premiums:
Medicare beneficiaries with a "modified adjusted gross income" of more than $85,000 (or $170,000 if married and filing a joint tax return) will pay higher Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D premiums in 2012 or Income Related Adjustment Amounts (or IRMAA). You can click here to read the CMS Factsheet and review the 2012 IRMAA