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Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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@JoanneR393229 wrote:

I am not signed for part B yet but am having some frustrations as to how thay regard payment or premiums. Many Americans have not been as fortunate as others as far as work and income. However, I do not agree that they should get it all for free. I have a friend that in the past 20 years has worked very little and often times was paid under the table. Now she is retired and receiving sss plus all medicare and supplements are paid for. Am I to understand that those paying for part b are also paying for those that do not have a premium? When does it end? I think a nominal amount would be acceptable and offset increase.


Depending upon a senior's total income, there is help available, usually at the state level for premiums, deductibles and other health care cost.

 

Medicare Savings Programs and Extra Help - Help Paying Cost

 

Part B premiums don't have anything to do with prior work as long as a person is eligible for Medicare.  Part B is a self-sustaining Medicare program paid for by premiums and a General Fund contribution.  Part B was added by legislation after Part A Medicare and the premiums which seniors pay for Part B represents 25% of the cost of the Part B program and the other 75% comes from the General Fund ( hopefully, everybody uses it wisely to keep down the cost for all Americans).

 

Part A Medicare or Hospital Insurance is what those years of payroll contributions paid for to make it premium free upon turning 65.  However, it is possible for a person to get it under certain circumstances even if they have never worked - like when one spouse works outside the home at employment and the other stays home - when the employed spouse reaches 65, they are eligible for Part A , premium free if they worked long enough, but so is the other spouse who did not work outside the home - their benefit is biggy backed on to the other spouse.

 

It is also possible to buy into Medicare Part A if otherwise eligible - but the cost is about $430 per month or less if there are at least some work credits towards eligibility.

 

I try not to judge the situations of others knowing that living off of limited income in retirement is not a cake walk and not a condition which I would want to endure.

 

Sign up for Part B when you are required to because, if not, there is a lifelong penalty assessed on the premium.

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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Message 2 of 11

I am not signed for part B yet but am having some frustrations as to how thay regard payment or premiums. Many Americans have not been as fortunate as others as far as work and income. However, I do not agree that they should get it all for free. I have a friend that in the past 20 years has worked very little and often times was paid under the table. Now she is retired and receiving sss plus all medicare and supplements are paid for. Am I to understand that those paying for part b are also paying for those that do not have a premium? When does it end? I think a nominal amount would be acceptable and offset increase.

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Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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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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Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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@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

 

 

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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Message 5 of 11

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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Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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@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.

 

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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Message 7 of 11

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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Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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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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Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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Re: CMS Announces 2018 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductibles

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Message 10 of 11

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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