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CMS releases Medicare Parts A, B premiums,deductibles

Annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries will be $183 in 2017, compared to $166 in 2016.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries will be $183 in 2017, compared to $166 in 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Thursday.

For 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries, the average 2017 Part B premium will be about $109, compared to $104.90 for the past four years.

The Part B premium rates will be low for most seniors due to a hold harmless provision of the law that prevents premiums from increasing beyond the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment. Social Security COLA for 2017 is 0.3 percent.

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For the remaining 30 percent of beneficiaries, the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B will be $134 for 2017, a 10 percent increase from the 2016 premium of $121.80. They pay to cover most of the increase in Medicare costs for all beneficiaries, CMS said.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell used her statutory authority to mitigate even higher premium increases for the 30 percent, the announcement said. The Health and Human Services department and Congress will work towards budget-neutral solutions.

Medicare Part B beneficiaries not subject to the hold harmless provision include those who do not receive Social Security benefits, those who enroll in Part B for the first time in 2017, those who are directly billed for their Part B premium, those who are dually eligible for Medicaid and have their premium paid by state Medicaid agencies, and those who pay an income-related premium.

Since 2007, beneficiaries with higher incomes - about 5 percent of people with Medicare - have paid higher Part B monthly premiums.

[Also: Seniors told to shop around as Medicare premiums rise on drug prices]

Premiums and deductibles for Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans are already finalized and are unaffected by the rates for  2017 Medicare inpatient hospital Part A premiums and for physician and outpatient hospital services Part B programs announced Thursday.

[Also: Medicare Advantage's role in transition to value, potential as MACRA APM will be themes at AHIP conference]

There is no Medicare Part A premium for 99 percent of beneficiaries.

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, and some home health care services.

[Also: CMS cuts home health Medicare payments by $130 million in final 2017 rule]

The Medicare Part A inpatient deductible that beneficiaries pay when admitted to the hospital will be $1,316 per benefit period in 2017, an increase of $28 from $1,288 in 2016.

The Part A deductible covers beneficiaries' share of costs for the first 60 days.

Beneficiaries must pay a coinsurance amount of $329 per day for the 61st through 90th day of hospitalization, compared to $322 in 2016, and $658 per day for lifetime reserve days, compared to $644 in in 2016.

For beneficiaries in skilled nursing facilities, the daily coinsurance for days 21 through 100 of extended care services in a benefit period will be $164.50 in 2017, compared to $161 in 2016.

Enrollees age 65 and over who have fewer than 40 quarters of coverage and certain persons with disabilities pay a monthly premium to receive coverage under Medicare Part A.

Individuals who had at least 30 quarters of coverage or were married to someone with at least 30 quarters of coverage may buy into Part A at a reduced monthly premium rate, which will be $227 in 2017, a $1 increase from 2016.

Uninsured aged and certain individuals with disabilities who have exhausted other entitlement and who have less than 30 quarters of coverage will pay the full premium, which will be $413 a month, a $2 increase from 2016.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse