As the new year approaches, seniors across the country are preparing for possible changes to their Medicare benefits in 2017. Virtually every new year comes with new rules for benefits, particularly in regards to the cost of premiums and deductibles, and 2017 will be no different. To be sure that you’re ready for the changes to Medicare that will take place in the coming year, it’s important that you learn as much about the new rules as possible.

Learn about the Medicare changes 2017 you should prepare for as a recipient and find out how advice from an attorney is important in protecting yourself.

Expect Changes in Premiums and Deductibles

There is a rule for Medicare known as the “hold harmless” that many beneficiaries are unaware of. However, the hold harmless rule is one of the most important factors in how premiums and deductibles are calculated from year to year.

Increases to Medicare Part B premiums are usually paid for by increases in Social Security, and under hold harmless rules, Social Security payments are not allowed to decline. In 2016, Social Security benefits stayed flat, which under hold harmless rules prevented premiums from rising for close to 70% of Medicare recipients. However, thanks to a 0.3% cost of living increase (COL) in 2017, both premiums and deductibles are expected to rise for Medicare beneficiaries.

Fortunately, because the COL this year is relatively small, it would not fully pay for premium increases, which means they’ll be smaller than they might have been otherwise. Additionally, although initial projections were that premiums and deductibles would increase by 20 percent, reserve amounts have allowed the increases to reach only 10 percent—a much more manageable number.


The Differences Between Part A and Part B

Now that you know a little about the basics of Medicare changes 2017, it’s time to learn about the increases you can expect for Medicare Part A and Part B. First, we’ll discuss Medicare Part B.

If you’re a Medicare Part B recipient who is not held harmless in 2017, you can expect modest premium increases that are rising from $121.80 to $134. However, if you were not held harmless in 2016 but earn that designation in 2017, your premiums will increase by 4%, with the total costs depending on what your average Social Security payments are.

Recipients that make over $85,000 (single filers) $170,000 (couples) can expect a fairly large premium increase of between $53.50 and $294.60, depending on your income level.

Medicare Part A is also to expect to see rising costs in 2017, particularly in terms of medical services. For example, an inpatient hospital deductible is increasing from $1,288 to $1,316 and daily coinsurance for the 61st to 90th days is rising from $322 to $329.


Ask a Lawyer About Medicare Changes 2017

If you’re having trouble understanding all the Medicare changes 2017 that you’ll have to deal with, it’s a good idea to consult in a knowledgeable attorney from the Stano Law Firm. We are focused on the issues that affect seniors, and we offer both legal service and seminars to help you make your way through your golden years more easily. Get more information about working with the Stano Law Firm and how you can deal with the changes to Medicare.