Medicare cost


Q: I am a retired civil service worker. Could someone tell me why I pay more for Medicare than people who draw Social Security? This is plain discrimination. I think it’s time for a class-action lawsuit.

A: Those who receive a Social Security benefit are covered by the “hold harmless” provision of the Social Security Act. The law protects more than 70 percent of Social Security beneficiaries from paying a higher Part B premium, in order to avoid reducing their net Social Security benefit. Those not protected include higher income beneficiaries subject to an income-adjusted Part B premium and beneficiaries newly entitled to Part B in 2011. Because you aren’t receiving a Social Security benefit, the hold harmless provision doesn’t apply to you. While you or anyone else could file a class-action suit, I wouldn’t bet the farm on it being successful.


About Author

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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