Talk about bad timing.
Although I have been retired since 2012 I have suspended my Medicare until Anne retires in January. Then we will both enroll in Medicare.
That means we both will get smacked with a Medicare Part B charge 50% higher than those currently in Medicare.
Part B covers normal doctor bills.
My Part B costs would be 56% higher because I am in a retired category they call “not held harmless.” Most other members of the Teacher Retirement System in Illinois are not held harmless because we don’t collect Social Security.
Anne is in that category also because she would be newly enrolled in Medicare.
It is a double whammy for us.
In total, our Medicare costs would go up over $100 a month, over $1200 a year.
Remember that the next time you want to write a comment to my blog about my 3% COLA increase.
The House is expected to pass the bill, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, as early as this week and the Senate next week.
The cost of Medicare Part B part of the proposed legislation — about $12 billion, according to a National Journal report — would be covered by a loan from the Treasury and paid back over time by a gradual increase in Medicare Part B premiums.
“The approach to financing … will allow premiums to increase more gradually, while spreading the cost over a longer period of time, and across a broader group of beneficiaries,” Neuman says. However, Votava calls it “a kick-the-can strategy, as it does not address the long-term financial stability of Medicare.”
Judith Stein, founder and executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, also offers a mixed review. “While we have concerns about the way in which the Part B cost-sharing resolution is paid for, we are glad people who rely on Medicare can breathe a bit easier – knowing their premiums and deductible will not skyrocket next year.”
Part B covers most medically necessary doctors’ services, preventive care, durable medical equipment, outpatient services, lab tests, X-rays, mental health care and some home health and ambulance services. Rate increases for the program are capped by law to the amount of the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).
That provision came into play on Oct. 15, when the government announced there would be no COLA in 2016. No COLA meant no increase in Part B premiums for the 70% of Medicare beneficiaries who are considered held harmless, but a big increase for the remaining 30%.
It might be worth a few seconds of your time to call your congressman and senator and tell them how you feel about your Medicare costs.