Medicare ‘Part B’ premiums to rise next year for many

WASHINGTON (AP) — Many Medicare beneficiaries will pay higher monthly premiums next year for outpatient coverage, an expense that will eat away at an increase in their Social Security checks, the government announced late Friday afternoon.

The news about “Part B” premiums was buried in the fine print of a notice issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Although the standard Part B premium will stay the same next year — $134 a month — many beneficiaries will still have to pay more. That’s because their Social Security checks are going up 2 percent after several years of little or no cost-of-living raise.

Many of those affected are now paying $109 a month, so they’ll owe $25 more. The government didn’t release specific estimates of the number of people who’ll be paying the higher rates.

By law, increases in the Part B premium can’t exceed increases in Social Security benefits. But several years of low inflation have put a damper on Social Security cost-of-living adjustments. Medicare responded by keeping premiums stable for many beneficiaries. But now that Social Security checks are growing again, so will premiums.

Medicare’s announcement said the Part B deductible will stay the same next year, $183.

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