Are Medicare Part B Premiums Going Up in 2017?

In recent years, there have been many projections of skyrocketing Medicare Part Bmoney rates going up premiums, most of which have proven to be inaccurate. Part B premiums are, however, changing for 2017, so how will it affect you?

First of all, Medicare is required by law to charge Part B premiums high enough to cover 25% of its projected Part B expenses. So, when health care costs rise, so do Part B premiums.

However, there is a “hold harmless” provision that project Medicare beneficiaries from higher Part B premiums if there is no corresponding Social Security cost-of-living increase (COLA). For 2016, there was no cost-of-living increase (COLA) to Social Security. The “hold harmless”  provision only applies to approximately 70% of people on Medicare. Several groups don’t get the benefit of that provision, and thus, subject to the higher Medicare Part B premiums. Those groups are:

  • New Medicare beneficiaries (i.e. turning 65 or going on Medicare Part B for the first time in 2016).
  • Individuals or households who have incomes that are higher than $85,000 per year (or $170,000 for couples).
  • People who have chosen to pay Medicare Part B premiums directly rather than have them deducted from a Social Security check (either by choice or because they are not receiving Social Security).

If you are in the 30% that didn’t benefit from “hold harmless” in 2016 or are new to Medicare in 2017, you will pay the new Medicare Part B premium of $134/month. For 2017, the standard Part B premium is the $134/month figure.

However, if you are in that 70% that benefited from the “hold harmless” provision in 2016, you paid $104.90/month in 2016. In 2017, your Medicare Part B premium will increase to $109/month.

Keep in mind that Medicare Part B premiums do change based on income (IRMAA). The chart that shows these premium income levels and corresponding changes, for both Part B and Part D, is listed below:

are medicare part b premiums going up in 2017

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