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Silver Conversationalist

Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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Message 1 of 9

Merry Christmas to you and your family, too, GaiL1 and thanks again for the clarification. I have not been on this forum for several years, but I am thankful that it is still here and in operation.

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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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Message 2 of 9

BeeCee554 wrote:

Thanks for your reply. I'm still not sure I understand it completely. So, I guess the Hold Harmless Clause means that my premium can continue to increase, but I will only have to contribute whatever amount my raise is and still continue to keep my SS check at the same amount as it has been without a decrease. 

 

BTW, It appears that AARP took their Bulletin wording directly from the Medicare and You 2018, page 26. No wonder people are so confused! On the SS website forums, there are literally HUNDREDS of comments from people that do not understand why they have not gotten a raise for the second time in a row.


Or if it works out that the (whenever) COLA is higher that the standard Part B calculations in any given year, then your SS benefit can increase.  Hopefully, that might happen someday.  Sounds like you have a pretty good grasp on the SS Hold Harmless provision now.

 

I looked the Medicare and You 2018 version of page 26 and this is what it says:

The standard Part B premium amount for 2018 is $134 or higher depending on income. However, some people who get Social Security benefits will pay less than this amount ($130 on average). Social Security will tell you the exact amount you’ll pay for Part B in 2018. You’ll pay the standard premium amount (or higher) if: (then it describes those who are NOT covered by the SS Hold Harmless Clause)

 

Medicare.gov. (Online). 2018 Medicare and You

 

AARP just got it wrong and confused lots of beneficiaries.  Which is a real shame because people will inevitably blame it on government - whomever is the current administration will be blamed and this is not the case at all because this provision has been around a very long time - the part that is new is the increasing cost of Part B and something has to be done about that, and pretty soon.  

 

Has AARP even issued a corrective statement?  Seems they should.

 

Merry Christmas to you and yours, BeeCee554

 

 

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Silver Conversationalist

Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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Message 3 of 9

Thanks for your reply. I'm still not sure I understand it completely. So, I guess the Hold Harmless Clause means that my premium can continue to increase, but I will only have to contribute whatever amount my raise is and still continue to keep my SS check at the same amount as it has been without a decrease. 

 

BTW, It appears that AARP took their Bulletin wording directly from the Medicare and You 2018, page 26. No wonder people are so confused! On the SS website forums, there are literally HUNDREDS of comments from people that do not understand why they have not gotten a raise for the second time in a row.

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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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Message 4 of 9

BeeCee554 wrote:

Thanks for your explanation, GaiL1. I guess this means that if you are already paying $134.00 for Medicare now, you will get that small raise in your SS check. My husband did get a raise. I didn't because I was paying $108.00 last year and my small raise was applied to my Medicare premium, raising it up to $125.00 and my SS check will stay the same this year, just as it did last year. I guess next year, any raise I get will still be applied to Medicare until it reaches a $134.00 premium.

 

AARP needs to figure this out. I believe they are mis-informed. I just read this info in the Dec. AARP Bulletin:

If you are on Medicare but not getting Social Security benfits, your monthly premium for Part B--which covers doctor visits and outpatient services--likely will hold steady at $134.

If you are on Medicare and collecting Social Security (which pays your Part B premiums), you'll likely pay $109 a month for 2018 because of a law that prevents Medicare premiums from cutting into Social Security benefits.

 

I am already collecting SS, but my premiums rose last year, this year and most likely next year, too. So, AARP needs to explain this to us.


Sounds like you have most of the understanding well in hand by your description of you and your husband.

 

However just one additional comment on your statement here:

I guess next year, any raise I get will still be applied to Medicare until it reaches a $134.00 premium.

 

EVERY year a new Medicare Part B premium is figured.  IF the new computation indicates a new amount, usually upward, the people who HAVE to pay this new amount are those who are NOT covered by the Social Security Hold Harmless clause:

  • people who are new to Medicare and are NOT receiving a Social Security benefit
  • people who have higher incomes and are assessed an IRMMA ( Income Related Monthly Medicare Adjustment) - above $85,000 in income for a single
  • people who are on Medicare but do not receive a Social Security benefit

 

For everybody else, if there is a COLA, the Hold Harmless provision is used in the calculation of their new premiums.

 

Lets say for example, for 2019, a new Medicare Part B premium is calculated out to be  $145 per month and the COLA is even more substantial than 2% - let's say 5% - is you figure this based on your gross SS benefit, you might be paying MORE than $134 - you will be paying whatever amount up to $145 which the hold harmless provision calculates your net SS benefit is but not any lower than what you received in 2017.

 

Because of the rise in Part B cost, premiums are gonna keep going up until Congress figures out a way or ways to hold down Medicare Part B cost.  It is not as easy as one might think - there are pros and cons on all measures that have been put forth to begin this process.

 

i didn't see that AARP article.  From what I have read on this board, it was the actual print version of the Bulletin where this was incorrectly stated.  They must have corrected it in the online version.  Yes, what the stated was wrong.

 

Personally, I find most advocacy groups lacking in their knowledge of how government works in nuts and bolts - they seem to spend their time hyping up the masses into whatever the organization advocates.  I am not a member - I try to answer questions in real nuts and bolts - trying to make government actions somehow understandable.

 

This SS Hold Harmless clause was actually put into the law to help protect beneficiaries.

 

Actually we should be somewhat grateful that we are only asked (right now) to pay in premiums representing about 25% of the total cost of the program - when Part B began, the premiums were assessed at 50% of the cost of the program.

 

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Silver Conversationalist

Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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Message 5 of 9

Thanks for your explanation, GaiL1. I guess this means that if you are already paying $134.00 for Medicare now, you will get that small raise in your SS check. My husband did get a raise. I didn't because I was paying $108.00 last year and my small raise was applied to my Medicare premium, raising it up to $125.00 and my SS check will stay the same this year, just as it did last year. I guess next year, any raise I get will still be applied to Medicare until it reaches a $134.00 premium.

 

AARP needs to figure this out. I believe they are mis-informed. I just read this info in the Dec. AARP Bulletin:

If you are on Medicare but not getting Social Security benfits, your monthly premium for Part B--which covers doctor visits and outpatient services--likely will hold steady at $134.

If you are on Medicare and collecting Social Security (which pays your Part B premiums), you'll likely pay $109 a month for 2018 because of a law that prevents Medicare premiums from cutting into Social Security benefits.

 

I am already collecting SS, but my premiums rose last year, this year and most likely next year, too. So, AARP needs to explain this to us.

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Bronze Conversationalist

Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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Message 6 of 9

Also, if you're a higher-income retiree, the Medicare Part B income bracket you fall in may be impacted in 2018 as well due to changes with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. 

 

2018 IRMAA Part B Changes

 

 

Melissa Kay
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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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Message 7 of 9
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Recognized Social Butterfly

Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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Message 8 of 9

No change in 2018 Medicare Part B annual deductible of $183 for beneficiaries, slight 1.8 % increase in out-of-pocket part A costs, most part D prescription drug plan premiums have decreased for 2018, 2% COLA increase for SS, what’s going on?

 

Could it be seniors are gaining from President Obama’s initiatives to strengthen Medicare by
... implementing care coordination/doctors get more support
... free preventive services/earlier detection of an illness
... saving Medicare dollars/reducing fraud
... more affordable prescriptions/elimination of the “donut hole”.

 

The above facts prove to me that Obama made a positive impact with his Medicare reforms thats why we are starting to see some stablization and even decreases in our healthcare costs for seniors. 

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Valued Social Butterfly

CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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Message 9 of 9

Part B Premiums for 2018 - $134.00 per month.

 

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Announce Parts A and B Premiums and Deductibles

 

The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $134 for 2018, the same amount as in 2017. Some beneficiaries who were held harmless against Part B premium increases in prior years will have a Part B premium increase in 2018, but the premium increase will be offset by the increase in their Social Security benefits next year.

 

We have to do something to control Part B medical cost or premiums will continue to rise and take any COLA increase.

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