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Medicare Premium Increase Means Trouble for Seniors, States and Workers

EmergencyA large portion of Medicare recipients and individual States should ready themselves for what should not be all that shocking: Obamacare didn’t bend the cost curve down – at all. Medicare premiums for 2012 are set to rise to $113.80 per month, an almost 20% increase over the $94.60 2011 premiums,  which will hit fixed-income earners and cash-strapped States with an increasing burden.

Social Security recipients will be the first hit. As an Associated Press wire reported, the first COLA increase in years will likely be wiped out by increasing health care premiums.

“The government is projecting a slight cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits next year, the first increase since 2009. But for most beneficiaries, rising Medicare premiums threaten to wipe out any increase in payments, leaving them without a raise for a third straight year.”

Secondly, those low-income earners on Medicaid will not be hit with the increasing premium – it will instead be passed on to the state providing the Medicaid. This will cause a pass-thru cost to state income and sales tax payers. As almost all states are facing tremendous shortfalls due to entitlement mismanagement such as this, more and more costs will be passed on to taxpayers and more services will have to be cut to avoid default.

In 2010, Medicare premiums were the same as they were in 2009. All this before Obama’s health care reform was passed. Now that we’ve had more than a year of liberal health care planning and management, a 20% increase in premiums comes due and Donald McLeod from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services hinted that even the Obama administration wasn’t prepared for the increase. Mr. McLeod pointed out that the President’s budget projected Medicare premiums to be $108.20, not the $113.80 that CMS expects.


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Rich Mitchell

Rich Mitchell is the editor-in-chief of Conservative Daily News and the president of Bald Eagle Media, LLC. His posts may contain opinions that are his own and are not necessarily shared by Bald Eagle Media, CDN, staff or .. much of anyone else. Find him on twitter, facebook and

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  1. This article doesn’t really say it all. The reason the increase looks so large is that for the last two years 75% of people on Medicare didn’t not get a premium increase becuase there was no cost of living increase for Social Security. I believe there is something in Social Security policy that does not allow your social security payments to be less than the previous year if that is caused by Medicare premiums.

    New people into Social Security paid a higher premium of $110.50 per month. So this increase is really about a 3% increase not the 20% you mention here.

    People who write articles like this are part of the reason nothing can get accomplished in DC. You bend or leave out facts to benefit your point of view and get people going in the wrong direction.

    1. The facts in this article came straight from CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services), but let’s check yours.

      First, an almost 20% increase in one year after two years of no increases does not somehow magically add up to “only 3%”. 113.80 – 96.40 = $17.40. An increase of $17.40 on a base of $96.40 is a heck of a lot more than 3%. Somehow trying to hide that truth under the “new people” clause is ridiculous. The vast majority of seniors don’t fit into that group.

      If premiums had increased 3% per year in 2010, 2011, 2012, premiums today would be 105.33 not 113.80. The cost curve is not bending down.

      Second, yes Social Security’s “hold harmless” clause does prevent Medicare premiums from making social security payments decrease. That point is irrelevant. President Obama and the Democrat congress made assertions to our boomers and seniors that his health care reform would keep premiums down. A 20% increase is not keeping premiums down.

      Just because a terrible mechanic in Social Security law prevents premium increases in bad years does not mean that Medicare costs are being contained – they are just being hidden. Medicare premiums need to rise much faster than inflation, but aren’t allowed to. If those costs were being contained by Obamacare, they wouldn’t need such drastic increases. What you have actually pointed out is that Medicare costs are rising even faster, but premiums are being held below the needed amount by the hold harmless provision.

      More facts:
      2009 Medicare Part B Premium for those making less than 85k/yr single or 170k/yr joint: $96.40 (except new people)
      2010 Medicare Part B Premium for same: 96.40
      2011 Medicare Part B Premium for same: 96.40
      2012 Medicare Part B Premium for same: 113.80

    2. The $110.50 must be some sort of average for Medicare. When I received my statement, I am being charged $111.10 per month for Medicare. I did email the Medicare folks and they told me that I was wrong and it is $110.50. So I sent them a copy of the $111.10 information. No reply. That was about 8 months ago.
      With my carrier being Health-Net I did lose the no charge Dental and Vision starting in 2011. My insurance rep says with all the changes coming with Obama-Care, it’s only going to get worse for Medicare Folks.

      1. Bob, I have the same issue. My Statement from Social Security states my Medicare cost is $111.40. I’m looking right at it. I too called the SS office. They say no, the cost is $110.50. I can only wonder what the cost will be for 2012.

  2. Well, what we know is that enrollees in Medicare have to pay certain premiums. For Part B benefits, most enrollees have paid the same amount ($96.40) that they have for the past several years. New enrollees in 2010 paid $110.50 for Part B and individuals enrolling in 2011 will pay $115.40.

    The increases the past several years have been in line with previous increases this past decade. In fact, if you want to have fun with numbers, the Part B premium went from $50 in 2001 to $78.20 in 2005, to $96.40 in 2009. So, during the first term of President G.W. Bush the increase was 56% and the second term it went up 23%. All things considered, an 18% increase isn’t bad and you would have to agree that Obamacare is looking better than Bushcare.

    BTW, where did you get the $113.80? I didn’t know CMS released the premiums for 2012. Good to know.

    1. Yes – but Bush gave us a $55.00 COLA increase, rite? We ain’t got one since – but congress did – by 3000+ dollars, no?

      1. Carol…Stop watching Fox news…Bush gave you nothing…Raises in Social Security are based on the CPI….

  3. I’m looking forward to the 2012 Medicare premium of 113.80 since I currently pay $115.40. That’s essentially a pay increase for me.

    1. Sorry Fred,
      No cut for you. The numbers from the Center for Medicare/Medicaid were the “standard” rates. Your rate is for those that do not have the SSA automatically wihtheld your part B premium (according to Medicare.gov). I am looking for your rate schedule for 2012, but have only found the “standard rate” table at this time. I would guess that your rate will be increasing as well as there was a COLA and they can raise your premiums up to the amount of that increase.

      1. The $115.40 was also for those new to Medicare even if you had your premiums withheld from your SS check. Also any increase will be based on if SS recipients get a COLA adjustment. Their is an interesting article att aarp.org regarding the $247 medicare premium hoax e-mail that is going around. This article explains how premium increases are handled that you may find interesting.

  4. Since my husband is one of the “new” people, and has started last month to pay his $115.40 monthly premiums from his disability check, is the premium for him due to go up in 2012?? And do you know anything about 2013 yet?
    Thanks for your reply.

  5. Not sure where you got your numbers, you may want to call the Medicare Office of the Actuary. They projected Medicare Part B Standard Premium for 2012 to be $108.20 (February 2011):

    2009 $96.40
    2010 $110.50
    2011 $115.40
    2012 $108.20
    2013 $112.10
    2014 $117.10

    Actually, only 27 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are paying the basic rate. The rest — 73 percent — are paying less under a “hold harmless” provision triggered by the lack of a cost-of-living increase in Social Security this year or last year. Most are still paying $96.40.

    Source: Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary

    1. You should probably actually read the whole article next time. The hold harmless clause only limits the government to the COLA increase. Since one is proposed, the article mentions that the increase will likely consume the whole of the increase. Since you missed it, let me RE-QUOTE the truth:

      “The government is projecting a slight cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits next year, the first increase since 2009. But for most beneficiaries, rising Medicare premiums threaten to wipe out any increase in payments, leaving them without a raise for a third straight year.”

  6. September 24, 2011

    I am will be 72 in May, 2012.

    Since we have not gotten a COLA increase, I lost money towards medical because I still had to pay the $96.40. I have Parts B and D.

    I only have the Original Medicare because I cannot afford the “extra-benefit” Medicare Premium program.

    I do not have prescription coverage, vision or dental coverage. I cannot even afford my blood pressure pills – most times I either cut them in half or not take them at all.

    Will folks like me, with only the Original Medicare have to pay the increase in 2012 and following years, or is the increase for the Medicare “Plus” Senior Citizens?

    I anticipate your response. Thank you very much.

    Margaret E. MacFarlane
    Freehold, NJ 07728

    1. I do admit confusion with all this medicare material. I too an on Social Secutity Disability after a ctastrophic illness when I was 53 resulting in 4 strokes and extended hospitalization. I decided that it was to my advantage to invewstigate the many medicare advantage Rx supplement plans available for no additional cost over what is already taken from my check for original medicare. Why dont you check into one of these”

      Examples are cigna medicationadvantage RX plus. AARP advantage or humana p[lans

      They arent perfect but they do help

  7. I started getting benefits in January 2010 and am paying 110.50, Will I be paying more in 2012? Hope not, can’t afford it.

    1. Quit your bitchin. If you can’t afford a few dollars extra, then change the way you spend money. I just turned 65 and got on Medicare. Although I didn’t use the insurance, it was $700 month with $5,000 deductible. Some people just don’t want to appreciate it when they have it so good.

  8. Medicare recipients need to be prepared for the reduction in services their will receive and the additional premiums and costs they will incur. Medicaid recipients will not incur any additional costs, that will be passed on the the various states to be funded from their budgets(which means that taxpayers in the respective states will bear the cost of that program-it doesn’t seem fair does it for working folks to pay more and welfare folks to continue getting handouts.

  9. I am paying 115.40 per month. My insurance benefits are the same as those who pay 96.40. I am expecting to pay 113.80 next year so that we are all paying the same for the same benefits.

    This is totally wrong to have one group pay a higher premium than another group when the benefits are exactly the same for all benefits. I am looking forward to having everyone pay the same premium for the same benefits next year.

  10. When is Social Security going to start re-evaluating “disabled persons” that are not really disabled. There are
    thousands of them. Just think about it. If you go on SS in your 30’s or 40’s & have a family, you not only receive more each month bu you are on SS for 30 to 40 years longer.

    1. Very good point Mary. I saw a 22 yr old lady on TV telling the reporter when asked what she did for a living state: “I am on SSI disability for ‘severe asthma’ “, while there was a pack of those mini cigars sticking up out of her purse. Even if they were her boyfriend’s, which I highly doubt, it must be rough breathing in all that 2nd hand cigar smoke with such “severe asthma.” I saw a report by the I.G. that said as many as 55% of all SSI disability cases involve some type of fraud. The case mentioned above backs up that statement.

  11. How many of you voted for this change, Not me. The ones that was hit the worst is the elderly, vets, and military. The politicians ALL are excempt. plus receive FREE health care. Cant afford a vacation, ask oboma how, he has spent 12 million dollars on vacations in three years, raised the debt another 3 TRILLION dollars.Just wait untill the idiots vote him in again

    1. “The politicians ALL are excempt. plus receive FREE health care.”

      We need “single” term limits, to stop the corruption at tax-payer expense. One term will eliminate the unproductive nature of a system in which all politicians work harder to get themselves re-elected than they do in solving the nations problems.

      And by the way, I love your exempt statement. It’s exactly right, they get everything free, including booze on Air Force flights. They don’t pay to register their “issued” gov’t vehicles, they don’t pay for gas, they don’t pay for plane fare, they don’t pay for dinner, they don’t pay for squat. All of their opulence is paid for by the rest of us.

      1. why is it people forget that bush did not pay for allot of both those wars, and that it came to be durning this curreent admin. im not either, both of theses partys are corrupt to the hilt. when you all step back and really see whats going on you will be astonished and what you see.. go ahead, beleive everything you see or hear on tv with out really digging up the facts. they all know that most americans wont do that, and just beleive what there told. its a shame we have turned to this..
        well guess what its coming hard and fast..i see the writing on the wall..

  12. We bought a house, in South Texas and hired some locals to do some remodeling. I couldn’t believe how many wanted to be paid in cash because they were on disability! One was a hod carrier because of a bad back! Right!

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