Medicare Part B Premiums, Deductibles Unchanged for 2015

For the third year in a row, Medicare Part B monthly premiums and deductibles will remain unchanged at $104.90 and $147, respectively, according to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

For the third year in a row, Medicare Part B monthly premiums and deductibles will remain unchanged at $104.90 and $147, respectively, according to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

The actual cost of premiums compared with the 2015 projection made by the Congressional Budget Office in 2009 will be more than $125 lower over the course of the year, according to HHS. Per capita Medicare spending growth averaged just 0.8% annually over the past 4 years, which is much lower than the 3.1% per capita GDP annual increase over the same time period.

Ms Burwell attributed the unchanged monthly premium to slower healthcare cost growth within Medicare since the Affordable Care Act was passed. CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner added that stabilizing Part B premiums is one way the administration is providing a more sustainable and affordable health delivery system by containing costs.

The income-related Part B monthly premium rates, which affect less than 5% of beneficiaries, will also remain the same. People who file an individual tax return with income less than or equal to $85,000 or a joint tax return with income less than or equal to $170,000 pay no income-related amount, while beneficiaries with individual tax returns with income greater than $214,000 or joint returns greater than $428,000 will pay an additional $230 in income-related monthly premiums.

CMS also announced that the monthly bill for beneficiaries who pay Medicare Part A monthly premiums will drop $19 to $407 in 2015. The deductible Part A beneficiaries pay upon being admitted to the hospital will increase just $44 to $1260 next year.

“The administration has taken important steps to improve the quality of care while keeping the cost of Medicare premiums and deductibles the same,” Ms Tavenner said in a statement. “This means even greater financial and health security for our seniors next year as their premiums will remain unchanged.”