Pre­mi­ums rise ...

... but in­creases are much less than ex­pected

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK IN HEALTHCARE - Jes­sica Zig­mond

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

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