Medicare premium reduction


Q.  Is it true that those of us that joined Medicare Part B in 2010 or 2011 will see our premiums reduced from $110+ and $115+ to $99.60?  I had feared that we would be stuck with the higher premiums forever.

A. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, “In 2012, the ‘standard’ Medicare Part B premium will be $99.90. This is a $15.50 decrease over the standard 2011 premium of $115.40 paid by new enrollees and higher income Medicare beneficiaries and by Medicaid on behalf of low-income enrollees. The majority of people with Medicare have paid $96.40 per month for Part B since 2008, due to a law that freezes Part B premiums in years where beneficiaries do not receive cost-of-living (COLA) increases in their Social Security checks. In 2012, these people with Medicare will pay the standard Part B premium of $99.90, amounting to a monthly change of $3.50 for most people with Medicare. This increase will be offset for almost all seniors and people with disabilities by the additional income they will receive thanks to the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).”


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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