Medicare Part B premiums to rise in 2018

Although the CMS said premiums and deductibles for Medicare Part B beneficiaries will remain flat in 2018, many Medicare beneficiaries will pay higher monthly premiums next year for outpatient coverage, according to an agency announcement late Friday.

In 2018, seniors with incomes below or at $85,000 will pay a $134 monthly premium and face a deductible of $183, the same amounts as in 2017. But many beneficiaries will see their monthly premiums rise from $109 to $134, thanks to a 2% bump to their Social Security checks.

Medicare Part B covers doctors' appointments and outpatient hospital care, among other services. Since 2007, seniors with incomes above $85,000, or less than 5% of the total Medicare Part B population, have been charged higher premiums.

Monthly premiums for Medicare Part A, which includes inpatient hospital care and services at skilled-nursing facilities, will increase by $9 in 2018 to $422. But about 99% of Medicare beneficiaries do not have a Part A premium because they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment, the CMS said.

The Part A deductible that beneficiaries pay when admitted to the hospital will be $1,340 next year, an increase of $24. The deductible covers beneficiaries' share of costs for the first 60 days they are in the hospital.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Shelby Livingston

Shelby Livingston is an insurance reporter. Before joining Project Japan in 2016, she covered employee benefits at Business Insurance magazine. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor’s in English from Clemson University.



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