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Medicare Part B Premiums Could Be Capped for 2021

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Each year, premiums for Part B Medicare typically increase. The current year plays a part in how much the following year’s increase will be. 2020 has been an especially tricky one with the pandemic. More people utilized services related to coronavirus treatment; however, spending was down in other areas as seniors avoided preventative care as much as possible. Now, the expected increase for 2021 will be a little lower thanks to a short-term bill passed by both the House and Senate that caps next year’s premium increase to 25% of the intended amount.

To learn how Medicare is changing for 2021, speak with an experienced Pennsylvania elder law attorney.

Are Part B Premiums Increasing for 2021?

Currently, the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B is $144.60. The projected increase for 2021 would’ve been $153.30, an increase of $8.70. It may not seem like much, but it’s a significant jump for a senior citizen on a fixed income. The short-term spending bill will cap the increase for next year at 25% of whatever it would’ve been.

Every year, seniors await information on their cost of living adjustment (COLA), which is often eaten up by Medicare Part B increases. There has been no official announcement on what COLA will be for 2021, but this premium cap could help some seniors breathe a sigh of relief.

In a situation where a Social Security recipient’s COLA doesn’t cover the full premium increase for next year, the Medicare Part B premium increase will only go up by the amount of their COLA. This is because the premiums are deducted from Social Security checks, and they cannot decline from one year to the next.

Some Medicare enrollees are not receiving benefits under Social Security yet. Eligibility for Medicare begins at age 65. That is earlier than full retirement age, so some people do not collect Social Security benefits for a few more years. Since they don’t have benefits, their premiums are not automatically deducted. These people aren’t protected by the provision that prevents their Part B premiums from reducing their Social Security benefits. The cap on premium increases will undoubtedly help these Medicare recipients.

What About Part B Deductibles?

For 2020, the Part B deductible is $198. There is no amount announced for next year, but you can get an idea of the potential increase by looking at prior years. In 2019, it was $185, and in 2017, it was $183.

Some Medicare recipients have supplemental coverage that will pay for their deductibles under Part B. Examples include employer-sponsored plans, Medicaid, and Medigap plans C and F. However, Medigap plans C and F will no longer be sold to anyone who is newly eligible in 2020. Those who were eligible for Medicare before 2020 can still purchase them.
Contact a Pennsylvania Elder Law Attorney

If you have questions about Medicare benefits or other vital topics affecting senior citizens, let our experienced Pennsylvania Certified Elder Law Attorneys help. Contact Anderson Elder Law today by emailing info@andersonelderlaw.com or calling us at 610-566-4700 to schedule an initial consultation.

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