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CMS Publishes Medicare Premiums and Deductibles for 2018

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the Medicare fee-for-service premium, deductible, and coinsurance amounts for 2018. The Medicare Part A Skilled Nursing Facility coinsurance amount for days 21 through 100 of a benefit period will increase from $164.50 in 2017 to $167.50 in 2018. The Medicare Part A annual inpatient hospital deductible that beneficiaries pay when admitted to the hospital will be $1,340 per benefit period in 2018, an increase of $24 over 2017. The hospital coinsurance amount for days 61 through 90 of a benefit period will be $335 in 2018.

The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, and durable medical equipment, will remain at $134, the same as in 2017. However, Medicare “hold harmless” rules requiring that a Medicare enrollee not experience a Part B premium increase higher than the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) applied to Social Security benefits mean that there will be variation in the increase Medicare beneficiaries experience in 2018. In recent years, the Social Security COLA has been very small. This triggered the “hold harmless” provision, meaning a large number of Part B recipients were held harmless from paying an increase in their premium in 2016 and 2017 even as the standard premium rose. This year’s 2 percent COLA means that those paying less than $134 in 2017 will see an increase in 2018. Roughly one in four Part B enrollees will see their premium increase to $134, while another 28 percent will see increases but will still be paying less than $134.

Medicare Part B enrollees who are expected to continue paying the same $134 in 2018 as they did in 2017 include those beneficiaries who do not receive Social Security benefits, those who are directly billed for their Part B premium, and those who are dually eligible for Medicaid and have their premium paid by state Medicaid agencies.

The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries will be $183 in 2018, the same as in 2017. Note that cost sharing for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug plans varies from plan to plan, has been finalized previously, and is unaffected by this announcement.

Since 2007, beneficiaries with higher incomes have paid higher Medicare Part B monthly premiums. These income-related premiums affect roughly 5 percent of people with Medicare Part B. The total premiums for high income beneficiaries for 2018 are as follows:

  • $85,000 – $107,000 for an individual (double amounts for a couple filing joint tax return): $187.50
  • $107,000 – $133,500 for an individual (double amounts for a couple filing joint return): $267.90
  • $133,500 – $160,000 for an individual (double amounts for a couple filing joint return): $348.30
  • $160,000+ for an individual (double the amounts for a couple filing joint return): $428.60
  • $85,000+ for a married individual filing a separate tax return: $428.60

The CMS Fact Sheet on Medicare fee-for-service premiums and deductibles can be accessed here, while information on Medicare Advantage cost sharing can be found here. Information on 2018 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment amounts is available here.

Contact: Darius Kirstein, dkirstein@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8841