Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Sylvia Burwell announced today that next year’s standard Medicare Part B monthly premium and deductible will remain the same as the last two years. Medicare Part B covers physicians’ services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and other items. For the approximately 49 million Americans enrolled in Medicare Part B, premiums and deductibles will remain unchanged in 2015 at $104.90 and $147 respectively. This leaves more of seniors’ cost of living adjustment from Social Security in their pockets.
According to the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, as compared to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections for 2015 made in 2009, premiums will be more than $125 lower over the course of a year.
“Thanks to slower health care cost growth within Medicare since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, next year’s Medicare Part B monthly premium will remain unchanged for the second consecutive year,” said Secretary Burwell. “The Affordable Care Act is working to improve affordability and access to quality care for seniors and people with disabilities.”
“The stabilization of Part B premiums is another example of how we are containing health care costs to provide a more sustainable and affordable health delivery system. The Administration has taken important steps to improve the quality of care while keeping the cost of Medicare premiums and deductibles the same,” said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “This means even greater financial and health security for our seniors next year as their premiums will remain unchanged.”
Over the past four years, per capita Medicare spending growth has averaged 0.8 percent annually, much lower than the 3.1 percent annual increase in per capita GDP over the same period.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also announced today that for the small number of beneficiaries who pay Medicare Part A monthly premiums, their monthly bill will drop $19 in 2015 to $407. Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, and some home health care services. Although about 99 percent of Medicare beneficiaries do not pay a Part A premium since they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment, enrollees age 65 and over and certain persons with disabilities who have fewer than 30 quarters of coverage pay a monthly premium in order to receive coverage under Part A. Beneficiaries who have between 30 and 39 quarters of coverage may buy into Part A at a reduced monthly premium rate which is $224 for 2015, a decrease of $10 from 2014.
The Medicare Part A deductible that beneficiaries pay when admitted to the hospital will be $1,260 in 2015, a modest increase of $44 from this year’s $1,216 deductible. The Part A deductible covers beneficiaries’ share of costs for the first 60 days of Medicare-covered inpatient hospital care in a benefit period. Beneficiaries must pay an additional $315 per day for days 61 through 90 in 2015, and $630 per day for hospital stays beyond the 90th day.
For beneficiaries in skilled nursing facilities, the daily co-insurance for days 21 through 100 in a benefit period will be $157.50 in 2015, compared to $152.00 in 2014.
Since 2007, beneficiaries with higher incomes have paid higher Part B monthly premiums. These income-related monthly premium rates, which affect less than 5 percent of people with Medicare, will also remain the same as they were in 2014. They are shown in the following table: