Alert
Close

Last chance – give now. Before 2014 ends, help struggling seniors. Donate

HIGHLIGHTS

Close

AARP VETERAN MEMBERSHIP

Military and Veterans Discount

CONTESTS AND SWEEPS

AARP REALPAD

Introducing RealPad by AARP

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP Books

Medicare for Dummies book cover

Get the answers you need, from Patricia Barry, AARP's Ask Ms. Medicare

Most Popular

Viewed

share your Thoughts

Reader stories help us fine-tune our education efforts and strengthen our calls for action on issues that matter most to you. We read and learn from every story and may use yours (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire other readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

You've Earned a Say

The Future of Medicare: 15 Proposals You Should Know About

Pros and cons of options on the table in Washington

8. Raise Medicare Premiums for Everyone

Most Medicare beneficiaries pay a monthly premium for doctor visits (Part B) and prescription drug coverage (Part D). The premiums people pay for parts B and D cover about 25 percent of what Medicare spends on these services. Individuals with annual incomes of more than $85,000 and couples with annual income above $170,000 pay higher premiums, which cover more than 25 percent of Medicare spending. Some proposals would increase premiums for everyone in Medicare to cover a larger portion of the program’s costs. Under one proposal, the standard Medicare premiums would go up from 25 to 35 percent of program costs. If that proposal were to go into effect in 2012, the current $99.90 monthly premium for Medicare Part B paid by the typical beneficiary would cost 40 percent more, or an additional $40 per month. Part D premiums, which vary widely by plan and region, would increase similarly.

PRO: Increasing the basic premiums for Medicare Part B and Part D makes sense. It would help Medicare’s finances and can be done while protecting lower-income seniors. Parts B and D are voluntary “add-ons” to the Medicare coverage seniors receive for hospital services (also known as Part A), which Americans pay for through the payroll tax. A retired couple with, say, $120,000 of annual income from investments is certainly better able to pay a higher proportion of B and D costs than their $50,000-a-year working-age neighbor can pay in taxes, so it would make sense to raise premiums for many older people with incomes below the level where Medicare currently charges higher premiums. (Stuart Butler, Heritage Foundation)

CON: Some upper income Medicare beneficiaries can afford — and already pay — more than the normal premium. But for too many seniors, even current premiums are burdensome. Across-the-board premium increases would hit elderly and disabled single persons with incomes barely above $15,000 and couples with incomes above $23,000 who can ill afford higher charges. Raising premiums across-the-board is a terrible idea. (Henry J. Aaron, Brookings Institution)

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

AARP membership discount Man trying on eyeglasses at optometrists smiling

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at LensCrafters.

Grandson (8-9) whispering to grandfather, close-up

Members can save 20% on hearing aids with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

member benefits adt companion

Members save on new installation of a ADT Companion Service® personal emergency response system.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points