While Medicare Part B premiums have held steady for the last 3 years, they are expected to skyrocket in 2016 for about 30% of Medicare recipients.
Under a 1997 law, premium payments must cover 25% of the projected per capita costs for Part B; Part B covers outpatient services including Dr.'s visits, lab, X-rays and other tests,and outpatient surgery and treatments. The "hold harmless" provision protects those lower income individuals from large increases and represents about 70% of Medicare recipients. That means the remainder (30%) must bear the brunt of this additional increase in premiums, projected as high as 50% for some individuals.
In addition to the premium increase, Medicare is expected to increase the Part B deductible from $147 in 2015 to $223 in 2016, the biggest jump in history! It is expected to be reduced to a much smaller deductible in 2017 however. Many feel that Congress needs to pass some type of 'fix' to this law to prevent these dramatic swings in premiums and deductibles from year to year.
One thing is certain, the cost of healthcare continues to rise, with the ACA law having little impact on skyrocketing costs in care. As a result we are seeing huge increases in Medicare premiums and in rates for ACA plans. Read more: NYT.unlucky millions paying more for Medicare