The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) have announced updates for 2018. There will be an increase in the 2018 deductible for Medicare Part A, and an increase in the Medicare Part B premium for some.
Changes to Medicare Part A
The annual deductible for Medicare Part A is increasing a minor $24 in 2018, from $1,316 to $1,340.
Changes to Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B Deductible
There will be no changes to the Medicare Part B deductible in 2018. It will remain an annual deductible of $183.
Medicare Part B Premium
The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $134 for 2018, the same amount as in 2017.
Historically, about 70 percent of Medicare enrollees fall into the “held harmless” category. Under this provision, individuals already on Medicare were only subject to a percentage increase on their Medicare Part B payments that was in line with the percentage increase in their cost-of-living adjustment on their Social Security income. In 2017, this percentage was so low that the “held harmless” group only saw an approximate $4 increase in their Part B premiums. After years of very small increases, the cost-of-living adjustment on Social Security income will increase by 2 percent in 2018. Therefore, many who were “held harmless” against Part B premiums increases in prior years will have a premium increase in 2018.
Part B enrollees who were “held harmless” in 2016 and 2017 will see an increase in the monthly Part B premium from $109 in 2017. Approximately 42 percent of all Part B enrollees are subject to the “hold harmless” provision in 2018 but will pay the full monthly premium of $134, because the increase in their Social Security benefit will be greater than or equal to an increase in their Part B premiums up to the full 2018 amount. About 28 perfect of all Part B enrollees are subject to the “hold harmless” provision in 2018 and will pay less than the full monthly premium of $134, because the increase in their Social Security benefit will not be large enough to cover the full Part B premium increase.
For the remaining 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries not in the “held harmless” population, the standard monthly premium for Part B in 2018 will remain $134, with no change from 2017. The individuals in the “non-held harmless” population are:
- Not currently receiving Social Security benefits
- Enrolling in Medicare for the first time in 2018
- Directly receiving their Part B premium bill
- Dual eligible for Medicare and Medicaid
- Higher-income, thus paying higher premiums
For higher-income beneficiaries, the Part B premium will look a bit different.
What This Means For Current Policy Holders
- The Part A Medicare deductible in 2018 will increase from $1,316 to $1,340.
- Your Social Security benefits and costs will increase by approximately 2 percent for 2018.
- For 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who are not in the “held harmless” population, Medicare Part B premiums will remain $134.
- For 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in the “held harmless” population, Medicare Part B premiums will increase from $109 to $134.
- The Part B annual deductible for all Medicare beneficiaries will remain $183 for 2018.
- Higher earners may have to pay more for their Medicare Part B.
If you’re concerned about your coverage for the upcoming year and would like to review your Medicare coverage options, please call one of our Medicare supplement specialists directly at (866) 895-3258.