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Window to Washington

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By Jessica Zigmond and Rich Daly

Raising Medicare premiums a double-edged sword

By Jessica Zigmond
2 pm, Feb. 8

An analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation examines the implications of proposals to raise Medicare beneficiary contributions by increasing premiums.

The 11-page report begins by laying out the income-related premiums for both Medicare part B and part D under current law. It then continues by considering proposed changes to those premiums—and what those changes would mean for beneficiaries.

“Requiring higher-income beneficiaries to pay more might seem to be a reasonable approach to addressing fiscal concerns about Medicare,” the report concludes. “Yet given the relatively low incomes of most people on Medicare, significant savings from such proposals are only possible by going relatively far down the income scale to reach a sizeable share of beneficiaries—at which point the affordability of these additional costs could be called into question.”

See the full report (PDF).

Follow Jessica Zigmond on Twitter @MHJZigmond.

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