KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

One-Quarter Of Medicare Beneficiaries Will See Premium Hikes Next Year

While some in Medicare will not see premiums rise, Medicaid recipients, wealthy retirees and new enrollees will all have to pay more, U.S. News and World Report reports. "Under current law, Part B premiums cannot rise faster than Social Security annual cost-of-living increases. And the Congressional Budget Office predicts there will be no cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients in 2010 and 2011. But the law doesn't protect all Medicare recipients from elevated health insurance costs." About 25 percent of beneficiaries will be affected. In the case of Medicaid recipients, the state will continue to pick up the tab for Part B premiums for medical insurance coverage. Wealthier beneficiaries may not be exempt from premium hikes, and new enrollees may have to pay at least a few dollars more each month, beginning next year (Brandon, 8/24).

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