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AARP Statement on 2012 Medicare Part B Premium Increase

AARP released a statement following today’s announcement by HHS on 2012 Medicare Part B premiums

October 27, 2011

AARP Media Relations, 202-434-2560

AARP Statement on 2012 Medicare Part B Premium Increase

WASHINGTON—AARP Legislative Policy Director David Certner released a statement following today’s announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on 2012 Medicare Part B premiums. The standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $99.90 in 2012, a $3.50 increase over the $96.40 that most beneficiaries pay today. New beneficiaries not held harmless in 2011 and 2010 paid $115.40 and $110.50 respectively. Certner’s statement follows:

“AARP is pleased that the vast majority of people in Medicare will see a lower than projected $3.50 increase in their Part B premiums. Millions of America’s seniors are struggling with higher expenses – particularly higher health care costs, lower incomes, depleted savings and reduced home equity or homes lost to foreclosure, and this small increase is welcome news.

“But seniors still face the very real threat of cuts to Medicare or Social Security as part of the ‘supercommittee’ deficit reduction recommendations. Among other proposals, the supercommittee is considering changing the way that Social Security benefits adjust to inflation, based on changes in the ‘chained’ CPI instead of the current formula, which would result in a smaller COLA for current beneficiaries.

“Basing COLA on chained CPI would reduce the benefits current older Americans rely on, and would far outweigh today’s good news on the premium increases.

“In addition, the supercommittee is considering higher co-payments for current seniors on Medicare services such as home health and clinical labs – again, these changes would far outweigh today’s good news.

“That’s why AARP has been leading the fight, telling its members and all older Americans to deliver a strong and clear message to their senators and representatives: No cuts to Medicare or Social Security benefits. Voters deserve a national conversation about health and retirement security, not backroom deals that cut the benefits they’ve earned.”

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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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