Here’s good news on the Medicare front. Monthly premiums for Medicare Part B won’t go up in 2014, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The baseline premium is $104.90 for most people and that remains the same. But what you pay is generally tied to your income, so that people with higher incomes pay more, and those premiums also will remain the same.
Here’s the schedule of what you will pay monthly for Part B
- $85,000 and $107,000 -$146.90
- $107,000 to $160,000 – $209.80
- $160,000 to $214,000 – $272.70
- Above $214,000 – $335.70
This is the third year that the premium hasn’t gone up and CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner says,“We continue to work hard to keep Medicare beneficiaries’ costs low by rewarding providers for producing better value for their patients and fighting fraud and abuse.”
Prescription Drug Savings
In addition, the Obama administration is touting the savings generated by provisions in the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, that help Medicare reduce drug costs. If your prescription medication costs more than Medicare will pay, you reach what they call the “coverage gap,” or “donut hole.” The Affordable Care act allocates money to help offset the burden on your wallet. It gives you a 50 percent discount at the pharmacy counter for both brand-name and generic drugs when you go over the threshold.
The maximum out-of-pocket expense was $4,750 in 2013 and will be $4,550 in 2014. That’s still an awful lot of money. Yet, we’re told that so far in 2013, Medicare recipients saved an average of $834 each. That comes to a total of $2.3 billion for 2.8 million people. These savings are expected to continue until the “donut hole” is closed in 2020 and this is all courtesy of the Affordable Care Act.
Medicare Recipients Don’t Need to Sign up for Obamacare
There’s also a reminder from CMS: “People with Medicare don’t need to sign up for the new Health Insurance Marketplace, as they are already covered by Medicare. The Marketplace won’t affect Medicare choices, and no matter how an individual gets Medicare, whether through original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan, they still have the same benefits and security they have now.”
Open Enrollment-Making Medicare Decisions