Take the AARP Smart Driver course and you could save on your auto insurance! Learn more.
by Patricia Barry, AARP Bulletin, November 5, 2010
Most people in Medicare will pay the same Part B premiums next year as they did this year. But others — including boomers who will be getting Medicare for the first time in 2011 — will pay higher monthly amounts. In addition, beneficiaries with high incomes will begin paying more for Part D prescription drug coverage in 2011.
The new premium amounts, announced yesterday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, reflect how a variety of circumstances now determines what people pay for Part B, which covers doctors' visits and other outpatient services — a far cry from the years before 2007 when everybody in Medicare paid the same premium.
There will be three "standard" Part B premium levels next year, a situation brought about by the freezing of Social Security cost-of-living adjustments in 2010 and 2011. Under existing law, when COLAs do not rise, standard Part B premiums must be frozen too — but only for people whose premiums are deducted from their Social Security checks. This means that in 2011 many people will pay the same premiums as they did in 2009 or 2010, but others will pay the new higher standard amount for 2011.
In addition, people with high incomes pay higher (non-standard) premiums for Part B coverage, under a law that went into effect in 2007. Starting in 2011, under a provision of the new health care law, people in the same income brackets will also pay a surcharge for Part D drug coverage on top of their drug plan's regular premiums.
The following are the premiums you can expect to pay in 2011, according to your circumstances:
Among other Medicare costs, the annual Part B deductible will rise by $7 to $162 in 2011. The Part A hospital deductible — paid for a stay in the hospital before coverage kicks in — will increase by $32 to $1,132 next year. This is the standard deductible for people enrolled in the traditional Medicare program. Those in Medicare Advantage health care plans usually have different hospital charges.
Patricia Barry is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Members can take a free confidential hearing test by phone.
Members get Staying Sharp for FREE – brain-boosting recipes, activities, games and more.
Members save 15% all day, every day at participating locations.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at