The recent report by the Medicare trustees is currently being evaluated by HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, who is expected to make a final decision October 2015 to impact Medicare beneficiaries in 2016.
The trustees recommend increasing Part B premiums charged to seniors monthly some 52% starting in January 2016. This would mean going from $104.90 to $159.30.
The report states that this would impact 30% of all Medicare beneficiaries and would be again tied to their income, targeting those with incomes over $85,000.
The other, more impactful recommendation is a change to the Part B deductible to $223 instead of the current $147. This would impact ALL Medicare beneficiaries and is sure to cause outrage by the senior lobbyists on K street. There will be much pushback to such an increase.
CSG Actuarial is analyzing the impact on carriers and on seniors with Plan F and Plan G. The initial analysis is that the Plan F rates will, after accommodating for the higher built-in cost in the premiums of Plan F which will absorb the new Part B deductible, need to increase 4% due to more claims. Plan G, however, would see less claims and actually justify a rate reduction. How carriers would choose to implement the change is still up in the air.
We will continue to monitor this recommendation’s impact on seniors and whether or not it will be adopted.