Healthcare Business News

HHS announces changes to Medicare premiums, deductibles

By Jessica Zigmond
Posted: November 16, 2012 - 3:45 pm ET

Medicare Part B premiums will rise in 2013 while Part A premiums will fall, HHS announced Friday.

Published in the Federal Register, the notice said the standard premium for Medicare Part B (PDF)—which covers physician, outpatient hospital and certain home health services, as well as durable medical equipment—will be $104.90, a 5% increase over the 2012 premium of $99.90. The deductible for Part B services next year will be $147, up from $140.

Meanwhile, premiums for Part A (PDF) will drop by $10 to $441 for 2013. Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospitals, skilled-nursing facilities and some home healthcare.

Part A deductibles that beneficiaries pay when they're admitted to a hospital will rise next year to $1,184, an increase of $28 from the 2012 deductible level of $1,156.

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In a blog post on Friday, acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner noted that the CMS had projected earlier this year that Medicare Part B premiums would rise by more than $9 a month. The agency's announcement Friday showed premiums will rise by $5 per month next year for a total monthly premium amount of $104.90.

The Medicare Rights Center, an advocacy group, issued a statement that said Friday's announcement should remind lawmakers during deficit-reduction negotiations that seniors and persons with disabilities already pay a lot for healthcare.

“The average person with Medicare spends $4,500 for healthcare per year. In the last 5 years of life, beneficiaries spend an average of $38,688 per year, and for 25% of beneficiaries, out-of-pocket costs average $101,791 during this period,” Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, said in a statement. “This harsh financial reality makes clear that any proposal to find savings in the Medicare program should not force people with Medicare to pay more for less health security.

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