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Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

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Medicare Part B Premiums For 2020

FYI: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced Medicare Part B premiums for 2020, and the base premium increases nearly 7% from $135.50 a month to $144.60 a month. That $9.10 monthly increase compares to a modest $1.50 monthly increase last year. Meanwhile high earners are still getting used to income-related surcharges that kicked into higher gear in 2018, and those have been bumped up again too. The wealthiest senior couples will be paying nearly $12,000 a year in Medicare Part B premiums. Part B (the base and the surcharge) covers doctors’ and outpatient services.


  • While the article highlights downsides of inflation (higher medical costs, higher premiums), it omits an upside of inflation.

    For the first time in a decade, the amount of income you can receive before triggering IRMAA is going up. Since 2010 the limits have been $85K (single), $170K (married). In 2020 the limits (as noted in the article) will be $87K and $174K respectively.

    The ACA had frozen the figures from 2011 through 2019.
    Section 3402 of the Affordable Care Act temporarily set aside the annual inflation adjustment used to set the MAGI threshold and ranges for purposes of determining IRMAAs. From January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2019, the dollar amounts used for 2010 are the threshold and ranges used to determine if an IRMAA will apply. During this period, the threshold is $170,000 for beneficiaries who file their Federal income taxes as married filing jointly and $85,000 for beneficiaries who file their Federal income taxes with any other filing status.[3] After 2019, these thresholds will resume adjustment for inflation as required by section 1839(i)(5) of the Act.
  • And how much will the COLA be for SS??? Gummint takes my monthly Medicare straight out of my SS cheque. Doggy poopies.
  • msf
    edited November 2019
    "The average retiree will receive a bump of $24 to their average monthly Social Security benefits." Way more than the $9.10 increase in Medicare payments. So most people's checks will still go up by double digits.

    For the relatively few who might otherwise see their check go down, they're protected by the "hold harmless" provision of SS. It says that Medicare premium increases cannot shrink their SS checks.

    While the "gummint" may be collecting an extra $9.10 from you for your health care, it is ponying up roughly an additional $27.30 (3x). Your increased government subsidy is coming out of my pocket, i.e. out of general tax revenue. Not out of Medicare taxes.

    "Part B is financed through general revenues (72 percent), beneficiary premiums (26 percent), and interest and other sources (2 percent)."
  • Well, yes; healthcare costs continue to outrun "broad" inflation.
    One doesn't need more proof for a reason to maintain a nominally profitable portfolio; to either help offset current costs or for future cost expectations for those employed now.

    Some health costs, real world:
    Relative to the linked article, other posts here and personal knowledge.

    --- Part B cost increase = +6.72%
    --- Deductible increase = +7.03%
    --- Michigan supplemental Plan F, average cost increase 2019 and new pricing for 2020 = average of +9.5% for each year
    --- Humana RX insurance, middle of the pack plan, cost increase from 2013-2019
    = +48%

    Invest wisely.
  • The most aggravating part of this is to call the IRMAA an extra insurance "premium". I don't get any better health insurance by paying this higher premium. It's really a TAX on higher income.
    I'm in favor of a progressive income tax, but not a progressive Medicare premium. They should build this money-raising feature into the taxation system, not the health insurance system.
  • I am recently eligible for Medicare and have spent three days trying to compare costs of Supplemental plans. It would require a PhD not just an MD to figure out the best plan. It is unbelievable and the feds do little to enforce a uniform comparison.

    If Medicare for all ever does pass, it would be the kiss of death for Warren. When people realize how complex the system is just to get enrolled they will revolt
  • edited November 2019
    Could be a state by state thing @sma3, not a fed thing. My choices for supplemental plans in NY state are fairly easy to compare and quite reasonable in price, from $0 to not worth it. The plan I had last year and will repeat again in 2020 went from $35 to $39/month.
  • Are you talking about Medicare supplemental plans or Medicare Advantage plans? The government completely standardizes Medigap plans, except for minor perks like Silver Sneakers that insurers can throw in as sweeteners.

    Since the government standardizes these plans, all you need to do is pick the letter plan that best fits your needs. If the government weren't doing that, each private insurer would offer its own combinations of options, copays and deductibles, making head-to-head comparisons virtually impossible. Just like what private insurers do with the Medicare Advantage and Part D (drug) plans they sell.

    Also similar to what private insurers do with ACA plans. (States can establish standard plans for each medal level, but insurers are generally free to offer "nonstandard" plans as well.) Also similar to what private insurers to in the employer market, though employees don't see this because their employers have whittled the choices down to a few. Been there, done that.
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