On September 30, 70 leading organizations representing people with Medicare, health insurers, workers, federal employees, and more sent a letter to key Congressional committees urging swift action to shield older adults, people with disabilities, and state Medicaid programs from anticipated increases in Medicare Part B premiums and the Part B deductible in 2016.
Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, said, “Congress must act quickly to halt expected increases in Part B costs for 30 percent of people with Medicare. Without a fix, Part B premiums will increase to $159 per month for select beneficiaries, and the Part B deductible will rise to $223 for all people with Medicare.”
Older adults and people with disabilities affected by the projected premium increase include new Medicare enrollees, individuals not collecting Social Security benefits, beneficiaries already paying higher premiums, and people with both Medicare and Medicaid (state Medicaid programs will bear this cost). The anticipated hike in the Part B deductible will impact all beneficiaries, most significantly affecting those who lack adequate supplemental coverage.
Baker continued, “Older adults and people with disabilities cannot shoulder these unprecedented increases, especially those living on low and fixed incomes. Half of all people with Medicare are living on annual incomes of $24,150 or less. We urge members of Congress to heed this call to action from leading voices across the healthcare sector.”
To read the letter, visit http://medicarerights.org/pdf/093015-joint-ltr-partb-premiums.pdf. To sign a related petition, visit http://action.medicarerights.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=16147.
This article was adapted from information provided by the Medicare Rights Center.