Seniors with traditional Medicare plans will see a slight increase in their 2021 monthly premiums, CMS said Friday.
Monthly premiums for Medicare Part B will rise 2.7% to $148.50 in 2021 from $144.60 in 2020. Those fees cover doctors' appointments, and outpatient hospital care as well as other services. Deductibles will see a similar 2.5% rise, from $198 to $203.
CMS said the uptick represented premiums and deductibles remaining steady, claiming recent legislation prevented a bigger increase. Medicare expenditures in 2021 are expected to rise, as seniors access care they delayed during COVID-19 and receive coronavirus vaccinations at no cost, after a vaccine is approved.
Medicare beneficiaries who make more than $88,000 per year would pay more in premiums.
The increases are smaller than last year, when premiums and deductibles for Part B plans rose by 7%.
Medicare Part A deductibles, which cover inpatient, skilled nursing facility and some home care services, will increase from $1,408 to $1,484 for 2021, or nearly 5.4%. Around 99% of Medicare beneficiaries don't pay Part A premiums since they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment.
Medicare Advantage premiums are slated to drop next year by 11% to an estimated $21 from $23.63 this year. CMS expects to see more seniors choose Medicare Advantage plans, projecting a 10% increase in enrollment in 2021. That would mean four in 10 seniors receive health coverage through Advantage plans.
Medicare open enrollment started on October 15 and runs through December 7.