Increased Medicare Part B Premiums Could Impact Social Security Benefits

Medicare provides health care coverage for most Americans over the age of 65, as well as most social security disability beneficiaries, according to a Congressional Research Service Report for Congress.  Social security disability benefits are generally eligible for Medicare Part A after a two-year waiting period, with some exceptions.  Participants in Medicare Part A may also choose to enroll in Parts B, C and D.  Therefore, any changes in premiums and deductibles can have significant impacts on social security disability recipients.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced that Medicare Part A Hospital deductibles will increase from $1,132 in 2011 to $1,156 in 2012.  This increase was lower than expected, however, and below the rate of inflation.

HHS also announced that Medicare Part B monthly premiums, which cover doctors’ visits and outpatient procedures, will increase by $3.50, to $99.90, in 2012. The increase is also lower than expected, as the increase was projected to bump premiums up to $106.60.

Medicare Part B premiums have not increased for social security recipients since 2009 due to the fact that there were no cost of living increases in 2010 and 2011.  As we recently reported, the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) was increased by 3.6 percent for 2012, which means that Medicare Part B premiums could also be increased.  Offsetting the fact that Medicare Part B premiums increased is the fact that Part B deductibles actually decreased by $22 – from $162 in 2011 to $140 for 2012.

Contact the Chicago, Illinois social security law firm of Ankin Law Offices, LLC at (800) 442-6546 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about the impact of Medicare on social security disability benefits.