Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Jeff Bingman (D-N.M.) and Robert Casey (D-Pa.) have introduced legislation intended to protect beneficiaries who are scheduled to pay more in Medicare premiums next year.
Bill would broaden Medicare 'hold-harmless' rule
As the senators explained in an announcement about the bill, according to the CMS, the majority of Medicare beneficiaries will pay the same $96.40 premium they have paid since 2008 in 2011. But 27% of beneficiaries, or about 12 million seniors and individuals with disabilities, will pay at least $225 more in premiums than the majority of beneficiaries. For most, the premiums won’t increase because of a “hold-harmless” measure in the law that protects them in years when there is no increase in Social Security benefits.
“However, the new Medicare enrollees, low-income Medicaid beneficiaries and seniors who do not receive Social Security are not protected by this hold harmless provision,” according to news release from the senators.
The new Medicare Premium Fairness Act would extend the current hold-harmless provision to all Medicare enrollees, keeping the monthly Part B premium to $96.40. The House passed a similar bill by a vote of 406 to 18 in September 2009.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.