AARP Statement on 2012 Medicare Part B Premium Increase

WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–Octobr 27, 2011.  AARP Legislative Policy Director David Certner released a statement following today’s announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on 2012 Medicare Part B premiums. The standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $99.90 in 2012, a $3.50 increase over the $96.40 that most beneficiaries pay today. New beneficiaries not held harmless in 2011 and 2010 paid $115.40 and $110.50 respectively. Certner’s statement follows:

“AARP is pleased that the vast majority of people in Medicare will see a lower than projected $3.50 increase in their Part B premiums. Millions of America’s seniors are struggling with higher expenses – particularly higher health care costs, lower incomes, depleted savings and reduced home equity or homes lost to foreclosure, and this small increase is welcome news.

“But seniors still face the very real threat of cuts to Medicare or Social Security as part of the ‘supercommittee’ deficit reduction recommendations. Among other proposals, the supercommittee is considering changing the way that Social Security benefits adjust to inflation, based on changes in the ‘chained’ CPI instead of the current formula, which would result in a smaller COLA for current beneficiaries.

“Basing COLA on chained CPI would reduce the benefits current older Americans rely on, and would far outweigh today’s good news on the premium increases.

“In addition, the supercommittee is considering higher co-payments for current seniors on Medicare services such as home health and clinical labs – again, these changes would far outweigh today’s good news.

“That’s why AARP has been leading the fight, telling its members and all older Americans to deliver a strong and clear message to their senators and representatives: No cuts to Medicare or Social Security benefits. Voters deserve a national conversation about health and retirement security, not backroom deals that cut the benefits they’ve earned.”

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