Although the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) has not released the 2016 Part B premium costs, there is news that the premiums will not be increasing by as much as previously projected. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which was signed into law by the President on Monday, November 2nd, included a provision to avoid a larger premium increase by changing the calculation method for annual premium adjustments.

For current Medicare beneficiaries who have Part B premiums of $104.90 per month deducted from Social Security retirement or disability benefits, the premium will remain the same in 2016. Under an existing hold-harmless provision, Part B premiums cannot be increased for these beneficiaries in years when a COLA is not applied to Social Security benefits.

All other Medicare beneficiaries will have an increase in 2016 to make up the financial gap. This includes current Medicare beneficiaries who either pay Part B directly and/or are subject to high-income surcharges and all new 2016 enrollees. Based on the Budget Act, it is now projected that the premiums will increase to approximately $123, plus any applicable high-income surcharge, rather than a 52% increase that was previously anticipated.

 

UPDATE: The CMS released the 2016 Medicare Parts A & B premiums and deductibles on November 10, 2015. For current Medicare beneficiaries who pay Part B directly and/or are subject to high income surcharges and all new 2016 enrollees, the Part B premium is increasing to $121.80 per month, plus any applicable income-related monthly adjustments.