Medicare Premiums To Increase In 2010

10.20.09 | FL News Team

Millions of Americans are expected to see their basic Medicare premiums shoot up by 15-percent next year. Federal officials announced Monday that Medicare Part B premiums for qualified individuals will climb to 110 dollars and 50 cents a month. It will be the first time monthly premiums have risen above the 200-dollar mark. Around 27-percent of all Medicare beneficiaries -- just under 12-million people -- will be affected by the increase. That includes new Medicare beneficiaries and those who have their premiums paid by the government through Medicaid. Federal law protects the other 73-percent from premium hikes that exceed the yearly increase in their Social Security benefits. Last week, officials announced there would be no Social Security increase in 2010. High-income Medicare beneficiaries will also see their premiums go up next year.

The U.S. House has approved a measure to block the scheduled spike in Medicare premiums. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is urging the Senate to follow suit and approve the bill. She told lawmakers, quote, "The last thing seniors need right now is a substantial increase in their Medicare premiums, and many seniors will see such an increase if no action is taken." Sebelius also said raising Medicare premiums would place a heavy financial burden on states and the federal government.