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Medicare Part B Premiums May Hold Steady for 2014

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Tags: Medicare, Medicare advantage plans, Medicare Part B

The Medicare Trust fund report hints that Medicare beneficiaries will not see a change in their Medicare Part B premium in 2014.  That’s good news for Medicare beneficiaries that have seen the cost of their Part B premiums increase in the past few years.

In 2013 the base Part B premiums increased $5 per month to $104.90.  Due to slower growth in Medicare costs, the preliminary estimate is that Part B premiums will stay at that level for 2014. People with incomes above $85,000 will continue to pay more per month for their Medicare Part B premium.

Medicare Part B premium rates are usually released in late October or November for the coming year.

The report said that Medicare is in better shape than anticipated and is expected to remain solvent an additional two years until 2026. Medicare spending per beneficiary grew just 1.7 from 2010 to 2012, more slowly than the rate of growth for the Consumer Price Index and the economy.

“The Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust fund is projected to be solvent for longer, which is good news for beneficiaries,” said Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are taking important steps to improve the delivery of care for seniors with Medicare. These reforms aim to reduce spending while improving the quality of care, and are an important down payment on solving Medicare’s long term financial issues.”

In 2012, Medicare covered 50.7 million people: 42.1 million people aged 65 and older, and 8.5 million people with disabilities. About 27 percent of these beneficiaries are enrolled in Part C private health plans – Medicare Advantage plans – that contract with Medicare to deliver Part A and Part B health services. Total expenditures in 2012 were $574.2 billion. Total income was $536.9 billion.

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