Medicare First

Physician's Money Digest, February29 2004, Volume 11, Issue 4

Hidden away in the Medicarereform bill that was recently signedinto law is a provision that tiesMedicare's Part B premium to the beneficiary'sincome. The current premiumof $67 a month is pegged at 25%of the actual cost of providing Part Bcoverage, which helps pay for physicians'services and outpatient hospitalcare. Under the new law, Medicarebeneficiaries who have an annualincome of more than $80,000($160,000 for couples) will pay up to80% of the cost of Part B coverage. Atthe current rates, taking 80% of thecost of Part B coverage out of SocialSecurity checks would amount to adeduction of almost $215 a month.With the cost of health care on theincrease, expect the deduction in 2007figures to be a lot higher than that.