The majority of Medicare beneficiaries will not see an increase in their Part B premium because there will be no Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for 2011. They will continue to pay the same Part B premium, $96.40, which they paid in 2009 and 2010. A hold harmless provision in the Social Security Act disallows an increase in the Medicare Part B premium for qualifying Social Security recipients if their COLA is not large enough to cover the increase in the Part B premium.
Individuals who are new to Medicare in 2011 or who did not have Medicare premiums withheld from their Social Security or their Railroad Retirement checks in 2010 will pay $115.40. Individuals who pay the income-related Part B premium are not protected by the hold harmless clause. The amount of the premium they will pay depends on their modified adjusted gross income. See the article below to determine if this effects you!
Beginning in 2011, people who pay the income-related Part B premium will also pay an additional income-related Part D premium, known as a monthly adjustment amount. The monthly adjustment amount is not related to the premium of the plan in which such beneficiaries are enrolled.
The monthly adjustment amount will be paid directly to Medicare through withholding from Social Security checks. Beneficiaries who pay the Part D monthly adjustment amount will continue to pay their regular Part D premium to the drug plan in which they enroll. Read all about this and more at the Center for Medicare Advocacy website.
William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Disability and Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)