The National Association of Agencies on Aging (N4A) is beginning advocacy efforts to stop a substantial increase to Medicare Part B premiums. According to the recent Medicare Trustees report, Medicare Part B premiums are expected to increase by 52 percent for nearly one-third of all Medicare beneficiaries in 2016.
Also, the Part B deductible is expected to increase by $76 to $223. These increases are directly tied to the prediction that there will not be a Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2016, which will likely be announced on October 15.
Because of a complicated formula that ties premium increases to COLAs, Medicare beneficiaries who are new to the program, who are not collecting Social Security, who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid and who already pay higher, income-related premiums will shoulder the full cost of this increase unless a legislative fix is forthcoming. n4a and 70 other national advocacy groups recently sent a letter to House and Senate leadership and to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Senate Finance Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, encouraging them to work with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to pass a legislative fix to give HHS flexibility to mitigate these increases.