2017 Medicare Premium Changes
(from Medicare Trustee's Report)
CMS released their Medicare update report which is about 250 pages.
Part B Premium:
Seniors will not be happy when they see that the cost of Medicare Part B is likely to go up from $121.80 to as much as $149 a month for those aging into Medicare on or after January 1, 2017. Those who were on Medicare Part B prior to Jan 1, 2016 are still paying $104.90
As in the past, those individuals making more than $85,000 (couples $170,000) will pay higher amounts for Medicare part B
Low income persons would not be directly affected however the state would likely carry the burden of the 'Medicare Part B' cost increase.
Part B Deductible:
Also, Medicare Part B Deductible is moving from $166 annual deductible to $204 annual deductible in 2017.
There is a 'Hold Harmless Provision' in Medicare that says those who are currently on Social Security benefits will not see their cost increase more than the 2017 COA (cost of living). Estimate for 2017 is .2% for Part B premiums for those already on Medicare. It's possible with such a small COA, the government may decide not to change the Part B premium for those already on Medicare Part B.
So for those who are still working and have not turned on their Social Security benefits yet, these increases will really hit them hard once they retire.
It's possible that congress may decide to hold off on Medicare Part B premium increases. We will see.
Part D Premiums:
It's expected that the average Part D premiums will rise to $34/mo, this is a $1.50/mo increase over 2016.
Part D Deductible:
The prescription drug plan deductible for 2017 is up to $400 (was $360 in 2016). Not all part D plans require you to have a deductible.
Part D Coverage gap:
In 2017 the initial coverage limit is $3700, and the catastrophic limit is $4950. Discounts on name brand drugs while in the donut hole are 60%. After you are out of the donut hole (after you spent $4950) you then pay 5% for prescriptions or $3.30 for generic or $8.25 for all others, whichever is greater.
Remember, it's important to review drug plans each and every year as each and every drug plan will change. Make sure the plan formulary is still a good fit for the client.