Next year will mark the third year in a row that Part B premiums will cost $104.90 a month for most beneficiaries, and the annual deductible will stay at $147. Part B covers doctors visits, outpatient hospital services, durable medical equipment and other items.
And deductible will remain the same as the last two years.
(click image to jump to cms.gov website for official announcement)
The program charges certain higher-income beneficiaries, which represent less than 5% of the Medicare population, more than the standard Part B premium; these income-adjusted rates will also remain flat for 2015.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also announced that for the small number of beneficiaries who pay Medicare Part A monthly premiums, their monthly bill will drop $19 in 2015 to $407. Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, and some home health care services.
Over the past four years, per capita Medicare spending growth has averaged just 0.8% annually, versus a 3.1% annual increase in per capita gross domestic product over the same period, according to Health & Human Services. In a statement, Burwell attributed this slowed growth, and the stabilization of Part B premiums, to cost savings realized under the Affordable Care Act.
Experts have cited other factors behind the slowdown in Medicare spending rates, including an influx of younger, relatively healthy boomers into the system.
Medicare open enrollment runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. During this time, beneficiaries can choose a new Part D drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan, or switch from Medicare Advantage to original Medicare and vice versa. Click here to view your options, sign up for Medicare or make changes to your plan.
This is great news because as any Senior on a fixed income can tell you, every penny counts.
Hat tip Marketwatch
Good news -- I can't reign in my cynicism -- wonder if this was not the time of mid-terms how this would have played out?
The whole medical devise issues really irks me. This is an area that needs serious attention.
Good news? Maybe. But when you consider medicine going way up and no increase (or not much..1%) in social security, it's not so great.