Medicare Part B Premiums Increasing in 2014 247%?

There is an email circulating that claims Medicare Part B premiums will increase 247% in 2014 to $247 from the present rate of $99.90. According to the AARP website and others, this is a myth that has been circulating since 2010.

A little background: Medicare is federal health insurance for those age 65 and older (and others with certain health conditions), and consists of 2 main parts A & B, in addition to C (gap coverage) and D (prescription coverage).

  • Medicare Part A considered hospital coverage, covers  such things as (with deductibles, co-insurance and limits) blood, home, health care, hospice care, hospital stay, and skilled nursing facility. Part A is paid for through payroll deductions from employees and contributions by employers during working years. Individuals who pay into Medicare Part A for a full 40 quarters requires no payments during retirement, however if they haven’t paid into for 40 quarters, it can be purchased by paying a premium that varies depending on how many quarters of Medicare taxes were paid. For example, in 2012 those with 30 – 39 quarters of Medicare-covered employment the premium is $248 or $451.00 for those who are not otherwise eligible and have less than 30 quarters of Medicare-covered employment.
  • Medicare Part B is to pay for medically necessary physician’s charges, outpatient hospital care, preventative care, and some other medical services not covered by Part A. Part B is offered to those who have Part A. The cost is paid for by tax revenues and by the Medicare Beneficiary and is generally deducted from Social Security checks. The premium the Beneficiary pays depends upon a persons income, for example it is $99.90 for individual tax filers making $85,000 or less on the low-end, and on the high-end for is $319.70 for those with incomes above $214,000.

The premiums mentioned above sometimes increase with inflation, but what that will be for 2014 no one knows at this point. Checking this rumor out with AARP and this appears to be a myth.