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As of October 2011, it’s been confirmed by the US Health and Human Services Department that the premiums for Medicare part B in 2012 will be lower than initially predicted.
Medicare Trustees projected a monthly premium amount of $106.60 for 2012 while the HHS confirmed a standard premium of $99.90, which is a $15.50 decrease from the 2011 standard premium of $115.40 paid by new enrollees and higher income Medicare beneficiaries as well as enrollees with low incomes protected by Medicaid.
The Changes to Medicare
Most people with Medicare have paid $96.40 for these monthly premiums since 2008, due to freezing premiums in years where beneficiaries do not receive cost-of-living increases in their Social Security checks. The new premium amount will lead to a monthly charge of $3.50. This increase in the premiums may offset almost all seniors and people with disabilities by receiving the additional income in part of the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.
The Affordable Care Act plays an important role in helping to keep Medicare strong and affordable, where people with Medicare part B in 2012 seek for higher quality benefits, better health care choices, and lower costs. The ACA also provides free preventive services and a 50 percent discount on covered prescription drugs when people with Medicare enter the prescription drug “donut hole.” In the end, people with Medicare will have more money in their pockets in 2012.