October 28, 2015

Statement by Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker on House Passage of Bipartisan Budget that Addresses Spike in Part B Costs for 2016

New York, NY—We commend the U.S. House of Representatives for taking action today to pass a budget that shields older adults, people with disabilities, and state Medicaid programs from drastic increases in the Medicare Part B premium and deductible in 2016.

This budget deal represents a bipartisan effort to find sensible solutions to significant problems, and to mitigate the impact of a potential spike in premiums for approximately 30 percent of people with Medicare and a large increase in the Part B deductible for all people with Medicare.

With no Social Security cost of living adjustment in 2016, many beneficiaries and their families could not bear the additional burden that a nearly 50% increase in monthly premiums and a dramatic increase in their Part B deductible would mean. The typical beneficiary has an income of $24,150 and already spends 17 percent of their income on out-of-pocket health care costs, more than other insured populations. By spreading the cost of the increased premium over time and reducing the projected deductible to $167 per year, down from $223, the House has taken necessary steps to blunt the impact of a potentially shocking, unprecedented hit to the health care costs of Medicare households.

We now look to the Senate to act swiftly and pass this legislation.

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.

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