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Millions of enrollees to pay more for part B

For millions of Americans turning 65 is usually met with a sigh of relief, as their health coverage costs become a bit more affordable with Medicare. However, according to a new story in USA Today, for millions of enrollees in 2016, Medicare may not be as affordable, as the cost of part B is expected to rise a whopping 52 percent.

Many individuals that were on Medicare in 2015 will notice no change in their part B premium. It will remain at the reasonable $104.90 a month. For about 30 percent of new enrollees, the Medicare part B premium may go up to as high as $159.30 a month. For married couples receiving Medicare part B, this increase makes their coverage a strapping $318.60 monthly.

The increase can be even worse for individuals and couples over the income cap. Medicare for those individuals can be anywhere from $223 to more than $500 a month. Even with a higher income, this expense may be too much for many retired families to handle.

These increases stem from a stagnant cost of living rate. Medicare part B premiums rise when Social Security recipients see a cost of living increase in their checks. Since there is no increase for those recipients their Medicare premiums do not change. However, someone needs to make up for the lost increase. And, in this case it comes as a cost to the remaining 30 percent not receiving Social Security.

Medicare benefits and Social Security are complex topics but are important for millions of Americans to understand. If you are looking for more information about your benefits, eligibility or the impending increase in Medicare part B premiums, consider speaking to a trusted elder law attorney.

Source: USA Today, "Medicare Part B premiums to rise 52% for 7 million enrollees," Robert Powell, Oct. 8, 2015

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