[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: How much will my Medicare cost in 2017? | 12-15-2016
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
64°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
April 25
1891 - President Benjamin Harrison stops at Saugus Depot, dines at Tolfree's Saugus Eating House [story]


CateKortzebornNot long ago, I had dinner with a group of friends from college. One of the big topics of conversation was Medicare, for which we’ll all be eligible in the next several years. (Farewell, callow youth!) And one of the biggest questions about Medicare was, “How much is it going to cost me?”

Like private health insurance, Medicare has premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. These costs can – and often do – change from year to year. What you actually pay depends on your work history, income, and inflation.

Only about 1 percent of people with Medicare pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A, which covers inpatient hospitalization, skilled nursing care, and some home health services. That’s because they paid Medicare paycheck deductions for 40 quarters or longer during their working lives.

Most people do, however, pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which covers doctor fees, outpatient treatment, durable medical equipment, and other items. Part B premiums are rising for next year, but for most people, the increase won’t be very much.

The law protects most seniors from Part B premium hikes if the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in their Social Security benefit doesn’t go up in a given year. Since the Social Security COLA for 2017 will be 0.3 percent, about 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will pay an average Part B premium of $109 per month in 2017. That’s up from $104.90 for the past four years.

The remaining 30 percent of Medicare’s 58 million beneficiaries will pay the standard Part B premium of $134 for 2017, a 10 percent increase over the 2016 premium of $121.80.

This smaller group is not protected under the statutory “hold harmless” provision linked to the Social Security COLA. It includes people who don’t receive Social Security benefits; enroll in Part B for the first time in 2017; are directly billed for their Part B premium; are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid and have their premiums paid by a state agency; and pay higher premiums based on their higher incomes.

This year, as in the past, the government has worked to lessen projected premium increases for these beneficiaries, while maintaining a prudent level of reserves to protect against unexpected costs. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will work with Congress as it explores budget-neutral solutions to challenges created by the “hold harmless” provision.

Part B also has an annual deductible, which will rise to $183 in 2017 (compared with $166 in 2016). After your deductible is met, you typically pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for most doctor services (including most doctor services while you’re a hospital inpatient), outpatient therapy, and durable medical equipment.

The Part A deductible, which you pay when admitted to the hospital, will be $1,316 per benefit period in 2017, up from $1,288 in 2016. This deductible covers your share of costs for the first 60 days of Medicare-covered inpatient hospital care in a benefit period.

People with Medicare pay coinsurance of $329 per day for the 61st through 90th day of hospitalization ($322 in 2016) in a benefit period, and $658 per day for lifetime reserve days ($644 in in 2016).

For beneficiaries in skilled nursing facilities, the coinsurance for days 21 through 100 in a benefit period will be $164.50 in 2017 (versus $161 in 2016).

Since 2007, higher-income people with Medicare have paid higher Part B premiums. These income-indexed rates affect about five percent of people with Medicare. So, for example, a person with Medicare who files an individual tax return showing an income between $85,000 and $107,000 will pay a Part B premium of $187.50 per month next year.

Some people choose to get their benefits through privately-operated Medicare Advantage health plans, or purchase a Medicare Part D plan to help cover their prescription drug costs. Many of these plans carry their own monthly premiums.

For more information about 2017 premiums and deductibles, go to www.medicare.gov, or call Medicare any time of day or night, at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. Patrick Comey says:

    Excellent summary. Thank you!

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Related Content
RECENT COMMENTARY
Friday, Apr 21, 2017
It is a hallmark of a civilized society to manage its waste appropriately. However, it is the hallmark of a morally civilized society to do so without exploiting its most marginalized members and making them bear the burden of detrimental health effects when they are the least likely to be able to defend themselves.
Thursday, Apr 20, 2017
Curtis Howe Springer was a self-professed medical doctor and Methodist minister, but he did not hold a license to be either. He was a radio evangelist in Pennsylvania in the 1930s, and he used that platform to convince his faithful followers to move to Zzyzx so they could begin a utopian way of living with an abundance of miracle cures.
Friday, Apr 14, 2017
Managing chronic diseases can be difficult, to say the least. You often face multiple visits to one or more doctors; you must take multiple drugs at different times on different days; you have to make extra trips for tests. It can all be a bit overwhelming.
Friday, Apr 7, 2017
One would think Trump has done at least one or two things right; after all, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
Wednesday, Apr 5, 2017
If politicians attend dinners where they are honored by business concerns that also contribute to their campaign funds, and then the politicians come out in support of that business, well, how does it make our politicians look? The landfill promised our community of Val Verde it would be closed by now, but instead it wants to double in size, becoming one of the nation’s largest.
Monday, Apr 3, 2017
Our City takes caring for the environment seriously with not just words, but with action. I invite the entire community to join me in attending the Earth Arbor Day Festival, where going green is fun and easy!

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1891 - President Benjamin Harrison stops at Saugus Depot, dines at Tolfree's Saugus Eating House [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, we look back at the 2017 Cowboy Festival. Plus, the first Measure E bonds have been sold. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, April 24, 2017
As part of National Volunteer Week, which runs from April 23 to 29, 2017, the city of Santa Clarita thanks the thousands of volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to the community.
City of Santa Clarita Thanks Volunteers during National Volunteer Week
Join HandsOn Santa Clarita for a night of poker, prizes, a silent auction and great food all while supporting this organization on Friday, May 5 at The Paseo Club.
May 5: Cinco de Mayo Charity Poker Tournament for HandsOn Santa Clarita
Last month (March 2017), Welcome to My Life won an NYICFF (New York Children's Film Festival) Audience Award for children (between 12 and 17 years old).
CalArts Animator Wins NYICFF Audience Award
Laura Zucker announced her plans to leave her position as Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission on July 31, 2017.
LA County Arts Commission Exec. Director to Leave Position
The first bonds from Measure E, the Santa Clarita Community College District $230 million general obligation bonds approved by voters in June 2016, were sold on April 12, yielding $50 million to assist in funding a new parking structure at the college’s Valencia campus and two new buildings at its Canyon Country campus.
First Measure E Bonds Sold, Yield $50 Million
Upcoming arts and culture events in the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Arts Upcoming Events
Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Missing Persons Detail are working together with South Pasadena Police Department in seeking the public’s assistance to locate a missing critical child, Andressian, Aramazd Jr.
LASD, SCV Search and Rescue Looking for Missing Boy
As part of National Bike Month, the city of Santa Clarita will host a week of bicycle-focused events and activities leading up to and after the world-class cycling race, Amgen Tour of California, presented by AEG.
City Hosting Free Bike Week Events Leading to Amgen Tour
Agenda for the City Council Committee Development Committee Meeting on April 25 at 4:00 p.m. in the City Hall, Mural Room.
April 25: City Council Development Committee Meeting
The Rotary Club of Santa Clarita and The Newhall Rotary Foundation graciously donated $2,700 to assist with the cost of re-flooring the Val Verde Samuel Dixon Family Health Center.
Rotary Club, Newhall Rotary Foundation Join Efforts to Remodel Val Verde Health Center
Sam Hilliard delivered a game-tying double in the ninth inning, but for the second straight day, the Lake Elsinore Storm won in walk-off fashion, 7-6, in 10 innings on Sunday afternoon at The Diamond.
Jethawks Force Extra Innings, Fall in the 10th
Valencia Crime Information and Public Safety Report for the Week of April 10-16, 2017
Crime Blotter: Grand Theft, Burglary in Valencia
Saugus Crime Information and Public Safety Report for the Week of April 10-16, 2017
Crime Blotter: Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Grand Theft Auto in Saugus
Castaic/ Val Verde Crime Information and Public Safety Report for the Week of April 10-16, 2017
Crime Blotter: Domestic Dispute, Grand Theft Auto in Castaic, Val Verde
1962 - SCV residents vote to connect to State Water Project, creating CLWA [story]
1986 - COC board votes to allow Argentine cliff swallows to nest forever on sides of buildings [story]
1974 - Gov. Ronald Reagan speaks at dedication of COC's first permanent building, the William G. Bonelli Instructional Resource Center [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a social media post by a Valencia High School student sparked alarm. Plus, we round-up some great events happening in Santa Clarita this weekend. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, April 21, 2017
The Santa Clarita Public Library has recently named Matthew Hortt as City Librarian. Matthew Hortt will be working with the city of Santa Clarita overseeing programming and operations for the Santa Clarita Public Library’s three branches in Canyon Country, Newhall and Valencia.
Santa Clarita Public Library Welcomes New City Librarian
In an off-market transaction, Colliers International has negotiated the $69.5 million sale of Gateway Village Shopping Center in Santa Clarita.
Valencia L.A. Fitness Shopping Center Sells for $69.5 Mil.
The Master's University is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. John Stead to the position of Senior Vice President and Provost.
Local Christian University Names USC Alumnus as New Provost
Jilin Bai, MD, PhD, a general practitioner affiliated with the Pacific Alliance Medical Center, has been named a 2017 Top Doctor in Santa Clarita, California.
Santa Clarita Physician Named a 2017 Top Doctor
Toll Brothers, American’s Luxury Home Builder, announces the sales center opening of Toll Brothers at Plum Canyon in Santa Clarita this Saturday, April 22.
Builder Selling New Homes in Plum Canyon
Annual event returns to celebrate children, families and reading.
April 29: Dia De Los Ninos, Libros at CC Library
Dedicated to fighting breast cancer through early detection and timely treatments, the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center (a service of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital) is offering a special cash price of $225 for digital 3D mammograms during the entire month of May.
Special Cash Price in May for 3D Mammograms
The Los Angeles Dodgers today unveiled a Jackie Robinson Statue at Dodger Stadium - the first statue in Stadium history - as part of Jackie Robinson Day celebrations on the 70th anniversary of Robinson breaking Major League Baseball's color barrier on April 15, 1947.
Dodgers Unveil Jackie Robinson Statue
Three pitchers combine to help Lancaster end series on high note.
Jethawks Shut Out Quakes in Joint Effort
Additional deputies will be on campus at the Valencia High School campus Friday morning after an alleged threat quickly spread on social media.
Deputies Look Into Valencia Student’s Online Post; No Charges
His parents remembered their son’s warm heart, caring nature and love of music, ahead of Friday evening’s memorial service for 19-year-old Kyle Carranza, of Saugus.
Family Shares Memories of Saugus Teen Before Memorial Service
Deputies set up a containment near Hart High School Thursday afternoon in an attempt to locate a bicycle theft suspect.
Bicycle Theft Suspect Leads Deputies Through Newhall
Women’s safety and self defense workshop with Bonnie Formia of Krav Maga self-defense.
April 22: Women’s Safety, Self-Defense Workshop
Since February 2, 2017, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station Traffic Unit has conducted ten DUI Saturation Patrols between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.
Santa Clarita DUI Saturation Patrols Net 18 Arrests
It is a hallmark of a civilized society to manage its waste appropriately. However, it is the hallmark of a morally civilized society to do so without exploiting its most marginalized members and making them bear the burden of detrimental health effects when they are the least likely to be able to defend themselves.
Environmental Racism | Commentary by Laurel M. Taylor
1994 - Valencia Mercedes co-owner Eddie Murray sets MLB record for switch-hit home runs in games (11 times) [story]