Premiums rise ...
... but increases are much less than expected
The majority of Medicare beneficiaries will see slight increases to their part B premiums next year, while about a quarter of those in the program will experience lower premiums, HHS said.
Services under part B include physician, hospital outpatient and certain home health services, as well as durable medical equipment. CMS Deputy Administrator Jonathan Blum, who also serves as director for the Center for Medicare at the CMS, told reporters last week that actuaries assumed the sustainable growth-rate payment formula for physicians would be fixed when they calculated part B premiums for next year. That means these premiums won’t change next year, regardless of what Congress decides on the SGR, a CMS official said.
For 2012, the standard part B premium will be $99.90, which is $3.50 higher than the $96.40 monthly premium that most beneficiaries have paid since 2008. That’s because of a law that freezes part B premiums