Affluent seniors hit by Medicare’s surcharge – sharp rise in Part B premiums

The federal health insurance program in place for people over 65 and the disabled – Medicare covers care of the outpatient and visits to the doctor. Last January there were surcharges added to Part B of this program.

The reason for this increase in surcharge has been defined as a way of increasing the percentage of cost care which is paid by the richer Medicare receivers. As per tradition the government would pay 75% and the individual 25%. But for high income people it now ranges from 35%, 50%, 65% or even 80% of the cost of the program. The extra funds help Medicare augment doctor reimbursements, other providers and fund growing bills.

There is an opinion that for those who have paid over and above their share to the Medicare fund, this surcharge is not fair. There is a possibility that if the rich elder clients pull out, then this higher premium could backfire on Medicare. As of now, there is not much protest about the surcharges as they affect only about 4% of Medicare’s clientele.

The premiums are income dependent and those in the income bracket of $205,000 and above followed by those who earn between $82,001 and $100,000 who will have to deal with a moderate rise and for married couples who file joint tax returns and have an income of about $410,000, the premium is maximum. So the rates go from 16% to 48% higher than in 2007 and this is income dependent. But the not so well-of Medicare clients will see only a 3% rise in premium.

It proved to be jolt to people because they never expected to pay post retirement considering they have paid quite a lot during their working years too.

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