LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Medicare premium information not correct

Mar 5, 2012


“Medicare insurance premiums per person will increase from the present monthly fee of $96.40; rising to $104.20 in 2012, $120.20 in 2013 and $247 in 2014. These are provisions incorporated in the Obamacare legislation purposely delay so as not to ‘confuse’ the 2012 re-election campaigns.”

In the last few years, the standard monthly premiums for Medicare Part B have been set as follows: 2009: $96.40; 2010: $110.50; 2011: $115.40; 2012: $99.90.

Many beneficiaries paid less than the listed amounts in 2010 and 2012 because of the “hold-harmless” provision of Medicare which states that, if the dollar increase in your Medicare Part B premium is bigger than the dollar increase in your Social Security check, you don’t need to pay the difference.

As for the future Medicare Part B premium rates, the information cited by Mr. DeHare is incorrect on two counts: No provision of the health care legislation passed during the Obama administration sets Medicare premium rates, nor is a whopping jump of over 100 percent to a $247 monthly premium in 2014 a realistic figure.

According to the most recent report (ms.gov/ReportsTrustFunds/downloads/tr2011.pdf), issued in May 2011, those projected premiums (list on page 218) are: 2013: $110.50; 2014: $115.80; 2015: $120.80; 2016: $126; 2017: $132.70; 2018: $140.30; 2019: $148.40; 2020: $158.60.

Sources at: snopes.com/politics/medical/medicare.asp.

— By Ken Larson, Grand Haven



Thank you, Ken, for setting the record straight by highlighting a well-circulated fallacy, and using the facts to counter and clarify this misinformation. Folks seem to be so ready and willing to believe the most outrageous stuff - especially about President Obama. A little research almost always shows that most of this inflammatory and derogatory misinformation is just designed to activate our hot buttons, not inform. We all need to do as Ken does - if it sounds really bad, check the facts. We will be relieved to find that most of the time it's not all that bad, after all.


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