Consolidated 2016 Medicare Part B Increase thread

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tadamsmar
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Re: How to Avoid the 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Post by tadamsmar » Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:42 am

mbres60 wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
tadamsmar wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:tadamsmar,

I sympathize with your situation and have a question and a suggestion.

Question: How soon Medicare penalties are imposed after the initial eligibility? In other words, can you delay Medicare by 1 year until you can sign for both Social Security and Medicare, without a Medicare penalty?

Suggestion: One does not have to sign for Medicare Part B if one is covered by an employer insurance. You may be able to find an easy part-time job with insurance that would tie you up for a year until you pass the current hurdle.

Victoria
Victoria,

Based on your suggestion, I am planning to do this:

1. Sign up for my employer's health insurance in the open enrollment period that ends around Nov 9.
2. Reverse my decision to get Medicare Part B starting on Nov 1, or dis-enroll. I have a email into SS to ask about the procedure, not sure if I can stop it before it starts or will have to reverse it after it starts.
3. Have my wife sign up for self only FEHB in the FEHB enrollment period. From the info I have from other forums, she can take me off and then put my back on later.

I have not taken any action yet, but I am going to implement it soon unless I find a snag in this plan.

I plan to retire in November of 2016.
tadamsmar,

Your plan looks good, but please double-check (triple-check?) that your wife can put you back on her plan later. I am quite certain it's possible during the following year enrollment. I am more concerned about your wife being able to add you to her plan during the current year. I think the latter would require a change in the family situation such as marriage, new child, and alike.

Good luck,
Victoria
Hmmmmm. What happens if your wife passes unexpectedly before you retire? I don't know her age but what happens if things at work change and she decides she can't take it anymore and retires before you do? (That is where there is an issue with her adding you to FEHBP only under certain circumstances). I would stay on her plan and not take the chance.

As an FYI - both my dh and myself are in a similar situation. My dh is a retired Fed. He started Part B last year but because he retired under CSRS his SS will be small. He is healthy so we are waiting to collect SS for him closer to 70. His then will go up because Part B is taken out of his pension annuity. I am about to turn 65 before the end of this year. No way around it for me. I will get the increase. Only way is for us to not take Part B at all. I know many Feds don't but I would hate to turn it down and wish I had it later when I get older and more sickly.
There are 2 separate issues here.

I think Victoria is right that I have a gap issue. I have been planning to retire in November 2016, but the normal FEHB open season would not put me back on till January 1, 2017. I had been thinking if there was a way to address that that I would find acceptable, like working out the rest of the year or working enough to stay qualified for employer health insurance, or (I think) there is a regulatory requirement that allows me to keep coverage for a while (I don't remember what it's called but it might be expensive and maybe even have been eliminated by the Affordable Health Care Act).

The other issue is can I get back on if my wife passes. That's probably not an issue. My wife is primary now and I would become a primary surviving spouse if she passes and I think I am still qualified for that even if she was getting self-only coverage, at least having family coverage was not listed as a qualification at the time she retired, the only qualification was that I get a partial FERS annuity. But one always fears a mistake when subject to FERS! However, I might have to become primary immediately and not wait till I could drop my employer insurance.

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tadamsmar
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Re: How to Avoid the 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Post by tadamsmar » Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:55 am

I am about to turn 65 before the end of this year. No way around it for me. I will get the increase. Only way is for us to not take Part B at all. I know many Feds don't but I would hate to turn it down and wish I had it later when I get older and more sickly.
As Victoria pointed out, It looks like you might be able delay starting Part B for a few months past turning 65 and still avoid the delay penalty. But I did not check out that option fully since I had already signed up for Part B, and I already got the bill, but my coverage does not start till November 1. I might be able to back out, I made an email enquiry about that that has not been answered. I might make a phone call or even go to an SS office but I only have 10 more days before it kicks in for sure and the bill is due on the 21th. I may just stay on for the 3 months that I am billed for and then drop it after January 1 when I am on my employers coverage. My employer open season ends on Nov 9, so I am having to scramble to make sure I feel comfortable with my strategy.

BTW, you can sign up for Medicare up to 3 months before you turn 65, I signed up about a month before. In my case, it becomes effective on the first day of my birthday month, probably works that way for everyone.

mbres60
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Re: How to Avoid the 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Post by mbres60 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:10 am

tadamsmar wrote:
mbres60 wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
tadamsmar wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:tadamsmar,

I sympathize with your situation and have a question and a suggestion.

Question: How soon Medicare penalties are imposed after the initial eligibility? In other words, can you delay Medicare by 1 year until you can sign for both Social Security and Medicare, without a Medicare penalty?

Suggestion: One does not have to sign for Medicare Part B if one is covered by an employer insurance. You may be able to find an easy part-time job with insurance that would tie you up for a year until you pass the current hurdle.

Victoria
Victoria,

Based on your suggestion, I am planning to do this:

1. Sign up for my employer's health insurance in the open enrollment period that ends around Nov 9.
2. Reverse my decision to get Medicare Part B starting on Nov 1, or dis-enroll. I have a email into SS to ask about the procedure, not sure if I can stop it before it starts or will have to reverse it after it starts.
3. Have my wife sign up for self only FEHB in the FEHB enrollment period. From the info I have from other forums, she can take me off and then put my back on later.

I have not taken any action yet, but I am going to implement it soon unless I find a snag in this plan.

I plan to retire in November of 2016.
tadamsmar,

Your plan looks good, but please double-check (triple-check?) that your wife can put you back on her plan later. I am quite certain it's possible during the following year enrollment. I am more concerned about your wife being able to add you to her plan during the current year. I think the latter would require a change in the family situation such as marriage, new child, and alike.

Good luck,
Victoria
Hmmmmm. What happens if your wife passes unexpectedly before you retire? I don't know her age but what happens if things at work change and she decides she can't take it anymore and retires before you do? (That is where there is an issue with her adding you to FEHBP only under certain circumstances). I would stay on her plan and not take the chance.

As an FYI - both my dh and myself are in a similar situation. My dh is a retired Fed. He started Part B last year but because he retired under CSRS his SS will be small. He is healthy so we are waiting to collect SS for him closer to 70. His then will go up because Part B is taken out of his pension annuity. I am about to turn 65 before the end of this year. No way around it for me. I will get the increase. Only way is for us to not take Part B at all. I know many Feds don't but I would hate to turn it down and wish I had it later when I get older and more sickly.
There are 2 separate issues here.

I think Victoria is right that I have a gap issue. I have been planning to retire in November 2016, but the normal FEHB open season would not put me back on till January 1, 2017. I had been thinking if there was a way to address that that I would find acceptable, like working out the rest of the year or working enough to stay qualified for employer health insurance, or (I think) there is a regulatory requirement that allows me to keep coverage for a while (I don't remember what it's called but it might be expensive and maybe even have been eliminated by the Affordable Health Care Act).

[
quote]The other issue is can I get back on if my wife passes. That's probably not an issue. My wife is primary now and I would become a primary surviving spouse if she passes and I think I am still qualified for that even if she was getting self-only coverage, at least having family coverage was not listed as a qualification at the time she retired, the only qualification was that I get a partial FERS annuity. But one always fears a mistake when subject to FERS! However, I might have to become primary immediately and not wait till I could drop my employer insurance.
[/quote]

Re: your last part. Make sure things are not "probably" but you know for sure. Check it out before you do anything.

btenny
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Re: How to Avoid the 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Post by btenny » Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:29 pm

I have a variation on this theme. I am taking SS on my wife's account and having Medicare $104 deducted. I have been doing this since I turned 66, two years ago. I was planning to wait until 68-70 to take SS on my account and let my SS payments increase. But now this wrinkle has come up. From my reading I think I am in the hold harmless section so I will only pay $104 next year. Correct?

Are their any advantages to taking my SS now with this Medicare stuff?

Any issues I am not seeing?

Thanks in advance.

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tadamsmar
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Re: How to Avoid the 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Post by tadamsmar » Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:35 pm

btenny wrote:I have a variation on this theme. I am taking SS on my wife's account and having Medicare $104 deducted. I have been doing this since I turned 66, two years ago. I was planning to wait until 68-70 to take SS on my account and let my SS payments increase. But now this wrinkle has come up. From my reading I think I am in the hold harmless section so I will only pay $104 next year. Correct?

Are their any advantages to taking my SS now with this Medicare stuff?

Any issues I am not seeing?

Thanks in advance.
Some articles seem to indicate that you could start SS before the end of October and set it up to withdraw from your SS immediately and thereby avoid the Part B increase. But the time is very short for doing this if the articles are true. But you incur a 2/3% (relative to the FRA base amount) drop in your SS benefit for each month early you take it, if I have my facts straight. So it's a trade off. The articles say it's worth taking it now if your plant to take it soon, but I have not seen a detailed analysis of the trade off.

pshonore
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Re: How to Avoid the 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Post by pshonore » Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:52 pm

tadamsmar wrote:
btenny wrote:I have a variation on this theme. I am taking SS on my wife's account and having Medicare $104 deducted. I have been doing this since I turned 66, two years ago. I was planning to wait until 68-70 to take SS on my account and let my SS payments increase. But now this wrinkle has come up. From my reading I think I am in the hold harmless section so I will only pay $104 next year. Correct?

Are their any advantages to taking my SS now with this Medicare stuff?

Any issues I am not seeing?

Thanks in advance.
Some articles seem to indicate that you could start SS before the end of October and set it up to withdraw from your SS immediately and thereby avoid the Part B increase. But the time is very short for doing this if the articles are true. But you incur a 2/3% (relative to the FRA base amount) drop in your SS benefit for each month early you take it, if I have my facts straight. So it's a trade off. The articles say it's worth taking it now if your plant to take it soon, but I have not seen a detailed analysis of the trade off.
Now I'm confused. Isn't he currently having his Medicare premium deducted from his SS Spousal benefit? I would be very surprised if it makes a difference whether your SS benefit is primary, spousal or widower as long as the payment is being made to you, in regards to the hold harmless provision. Otherwise there are going to be quite a few surprised recipients of spousal and widow benefits when they get their annual estimate of next years benefit in December.

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tadamsmar
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Re: How to Avoid the 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Post by tadamsmar » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:14 am

pshonore wrote:
tadamsmar wrote:
btenny wrote:I have a variation on this theme. I am taking SS on my wife's account and having Medicare $104 deducted. I have been doing this since I turned 66, two years ago. I was planning to wait until 68-70 to take SS on my account and let my SS payments increase. But now this wrinkle has come up. From my reading I think I am in the hold harmless section so I will only pay $104 next year. Correct?

Are their any advantages to taking my SS now with this Medicare stuff?

Any issues I am not seeing?

Thanks in advance.
Some articles seem to indicate that you could start SS before the end of October and set it up to withdraw from your SS immediately and thereby avoid the Part B increase. But the time is very short for doing this if the articles are true. But you incur a 2/3% (relative to the FRA base amount) drop in your SS benefit for each month early you take it, if I have my facts straight. So it's a trade off. The articles say it's worth taking it now if your plant to take it soon, but I have not seen a detailed analysis of the trade off.
Now I'm confused. Isn't he currently having his Medicare premium deducted from his SS Spousal benefit? I would be very surprised if it makes a difference whether your SS benefit is primary, spousal or widower as long as the payment is being made to you, in regards to the hold harmless provision. Otherwise there are going to be quite a few surprised recipients of spousal and widow benefits when they get their annual estimate of next years benefit in December.
Looks like the Part B enrollee must be receiving SS benefits:
Beneficiaries with no history of Social Security benefit checks with deductions to cover the Medicare Part B premium. This includes new enrollees in either Social Security or Medicare Part B, and Part B enrollees who do not receive Social Security benefits. As noted above, in order to be held harmless in a given year, a Social Security beneficiary must have received Social Security benefit payments in both December of the previous year and January of the current year, and must have had Part B premiums deducted from both checks. (See “Part B Enrollees Who Do Not Receive Social Security Benefits.”)
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40082.pdf

Seems like it based on individuals, not couples. Is it open to interpretation?

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dodecahedron
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Re: How to Avoid the 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Post by dodecahedron » Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:07 pm

tadamsmar wrote:Seems like it based on individuals, not couples. Is it open to interpretation?
I am not sure what you mean here. Social Security does not send benefit checks (or make direct deposits) to couples. SSA sends money to individuals not couples. No matter whether the SS entitlement arises from one's own work record or a current or former spouse's work record, the check or direct deposit goes to each individual separate from their spouse's check or direct deposit.

Now, as far as the Medicare Part B increase is concerned, whether hold harmless protections apply does not depend on whether the SS benefits paid to an individual arise from entitlement on the individual's own work record, on his current living spouse's work record, on his divorced ex-spouse's record, or on his deceased spouse's work record. All four of those can constitute sources of any given individual's entitlement to Social Security benefits and if Medicare premiums are paid by deduction from any of those benefits, the individual may be protected from Medicare increases by hold harmless (assuming other conditions apply, e.g., that income is below IRMAA thresholds.)

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tadamsmar
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Re: How to Avoid the 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Post by tadamsmar » Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:10 am

btenny wrote:I am taking SS on my wife's account and having Medicare $104 deducted.
So you are taking the spousal benefit?

dowse
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Re: How to Avoid the 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Post by dowse » Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:45 am

My wife is about to be caught up in this trap. She is 67 and currently receiving SS. I am 63, still working part time, and planning to retire April 1, 2016. She is not on Medicare Part B since she is covered under my employers plan. The plan has been to enroll her in Medicare Part B using the Special Enrollment provision in April. I would utilize COBRA to stay on the employers plan until I turn 65, then go on Medicare. I thought about scrambling to get her signed up for Medicare B now, but then I compared the cost of Medicare B plus supplement premiums fro the next 5 months to the cost of keeping her on my plan. That difference is enough to cover the Medicare premium increase for 15 months. That is more than enough to carry us through the end of 2016, when the Medicare premiums would be re-leveled IF there is an SS COLA next year. Hope this makes sense. Have I missed anything?

brak
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Re: How to Avoid the 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Post by brak » Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:20 am

I am a bit confused about this. I am 67, married, wife is 55. I am on Medicare Part B, I am not taking SS, and my yearly income (from investments) plus wife's income is about $120,000. Am I going to be subject to he big bump in Part B premiums? Thanks.

pshonore
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Re: How to Avoid the 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Post by pshonore » Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:45 am

dowse wrote:My wife is about to be caught up in this trap. She is 67 and currently receiving SS. I am 63, still working part time, and planning to retire April 1, 2016. She is not on Medicare Part B since she is covered under my employers plan. The plan has been to enroll her in Medicare Part B using the Special Enrollment provision in April. I would utilize COBRA to stay on the employers plan until I turn 65, then go on Medicare. I thought about scrambling to get her signed up for Medicare B now, but then I compared the cost of Medicare B plus supplement premiums fro the next 5 months to the cost of keeping her on my plan. That difference is enough to cover the Medicare premium increase for 15 months. That is more than enough to carry us through the end of 2016, when the Medicare premiums would be re-leveled IF there is an SS COLA next year. Hope this makes sense. Have I missed anything?
Remember its not only if there's a COLA, its how big the COLA is. As an example, If the COLA is 0.5%, that would increase the average benefit by $8 a month which may not make much of a dent in the premium increase. Good point though about the added Medigap cost if you sign up for B portion just to avoid the increase.
Last edited by pshonore on Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

pshonore
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Re: How to Avoid the 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Post by pshonore » Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:47 am

brak wrote:I am a bit confused about this. I am 67, married, wife is 55. I am on Medicare Part B, I am not taking SS, and my yearly income (from investments) plus wife's income is about $120,000. Am I going to be subject to he big bump in Part B premiums? Thanks.
I would think you are subject to it since the hold harmless provision does not apply when you're not collecting SS.

TravelforFun
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When Social Security Benefits and Medicare Premiums Collide

Post by TravelforFun » Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:58 am

If you're a Medicare beneficiary and have not filed for Social Security, your Medicare Part B premium could go up 52% next year.

http://news.morningstar.com/articlenet/ ... 1&SR=Yahoo

Leesbro63
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Re: When Social Security Benefits and Medicare Premiums Collide

Post by Leesbro63 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:49 am

My observation has been that when quirks like this appear, they tend to get remedied. Similar to the "Doc Fix" that kept getting patched and patched then finally fixed. If they had let it go, payments would have dropped to levels where too many docs would have dropped out of the system. Anyway, my actionable point is that if I were in this situation, I would not get too upset until the masses see the actual bills and this fully hits the radar.

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Re: When Social Security Benefits and Medicare Premiums Collide

Post by BostonBoy » Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:49 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:My observation has been that when quirks like this appear, they tend to get remedied. Similar to the "Doc Fix" that kept getting patched and patched then finally fixed. If they had let it go, payments would have dropped to levels where too many docs would have dropped out of the system. Anyway, my actionable point is that if I were in this situation, I would not get too upset until the masses see the actual bills and this fully hits the radar.
Senate Bill S.2148
Introduced in Senate (10/07/2015)

Protecting Medicare Beneficiaries Act of 2015

This bill amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to: (1) prevent 2016 increases to Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles for enrollees, and (2) authorize federal funding to offset the corresponding reduction in aggregate monthly premiums.

Under current law, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services must annually determine the monthly actuarial rate upon which Part B premiums and deductibles are based. The bill temporarily freezes that rate at the 2015 level for enrollees, effectively preventing increases to premiums and deductibles for those enrollees in 2016. (Current law already protects Part B enrollees whose benefits are deducted from their Social Security benefits from premium increases that would result in a smaller Social Security check.)

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dm200
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Do I understand the Medicare Part B Premium "Increase"?

Post by dm200 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:59 pm

Just want to confirm that my recent understanding of the 2016 scheduled Part B Medicare premium increase (and the rationale) are correct, since part of this is very puzzling.

1. IF Social Security Retirement benefits had gone up for 2016 (at least by a certain amount), all Medicare Part B enrollees would have had a modest increase in the monthly premium (from about $105 to about $120 or so)

2. HOWEVER, since Social Security Retirement benefits are not going up (because the CPI did not go up) only some Medicare part B recipients will see an increase.

3. Because so many Medicare Part B enrollees will NOT see an increase (because they have no Social Security retirement increase), those that can have an increase will face NOT a modest increase, BUT a large increase to make up for the increase that could not be assessed.

Do I understand correctly?

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TheGreyingDuke
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Medicare increase fixed?

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:22 pm

For those of us facing a 52% increase in Medicare premiums, the House today eliminated the problem. One house down, one to go.

From today's NYTimes:
The prospective agreement would also prevent expected increases in out-of-pocket costs for millions of Medicare Part B beneficiaries. The increases would have been caused by the rare absence of a cost-of-living increase in Social Security for some beneficiaries because of unusually low inflation
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells

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TheGreyingDuke
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Medicare increase

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:47 pm

Looks like this will be fixed legislatively, House today "fixed" it.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=176476&newpost=2668731
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells

Mick
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Re: Do I understand the Medicare Part B Premium "Increase"?

Post by Mick » Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:31 am

There is a proposed bill to fix it. Hasn't been approved yet.

Leesbro63
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Re: When Social Security Benefits and Medicare Premiums Collide

Post by Leesbro63 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:13 am

I wish I could time markets as well as I called this one! :happy

pshonore
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Re: When Social Security Benefits and Medicare Premiums Collide

Post by pshonore » Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:57 am

BostonBoy wrote:
Leesbro63 wrote:My observation has been that when quirks like this appear, they tend to get remedied. Similar to the "Doc Fix" that kept getting patched and patched then finally fixed. If they had let it go, payments would have dropped to levels where too many docs would have dropped out of the system. Anyway, my actionable point is that if I were in this situation, I would not get too upset until the masses see the actual bills and this fully hits the radar.
Senate Bill S.2148
Introduced in Senate (10/07/2015)

Protecting Medicare Beneficiaries Act of 2015

This bill amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to: (1) prevent 2016 increases to Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles for enrollees, and (2) authorize federal funding to offset the corresponding reduction in aggregate monthly premiums.

Under current law, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services must annually determine the monthly actuarial rate upon which Part B premiums and deductibles are based. The bill temporarily freezes that rate at the 2015 level for enrollees, effectively preventing increases to premiums and deductibles for those enrollees in 2016. (Current law already protects Part B enrollees whose benefits are deducted from their Social Security benefits from premium increases that would result in a smaller Social Security check.)
Since the Medicare Part B deductible change applies to everyone, I don't see why they would or should postpone it.

The Wizard
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Re: When Social Security Benefits and Medicare Premiums Collide

Post by The Wizard » Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:39 am

That Senate bill is pending legislation, which tends to be a no-no here...
Attempted new signature...

etarini
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Re: When Social Security Benefits and Medicare Premiums Collide

Post by etarini » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:23 am

Leesbro63 wrote:I wish I could time markets as well as I called this one!
Since it is pending legislation, we don't yet know how well you called this one,
but I wouldn't get too excited yet. For those who want to follow this outside Bogleheads, you might
want to pay attention to the "Details" and "Prognosis" sections in the links below:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr3696

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s2148

Eric

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tadamsmar
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Re: When Social Security Benefits and Medicare Premiums Collide

Post by tadamsmar » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:54 am

Press reports indicate that a fix for the Medicare Part B increase is in the big budget bill that is due to be voted on on Wednesday.

etarini
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Re: When Social Security Benefits and Medicare Premiums Collide

Post by etarini » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:32 am

Thanks for the update, tadamsmar!

Here's the link to the House discussion draft text:

http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/201 ... BUDGET.pdf

I'm also curious about the IRMAA amounts.

Eric

Bill M
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Re: Medicare increase fixed?

Post by Bill M » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:47 am

It looks like it also did away with "file&suspend" and with "restricted application".
We'll have to wait and see what really happens.

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Re: Medicare increase fixed?

Post by Leesbro63 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:57 am

Bill M wrote:It looks like it also did away with "file&suspend" and with "restricted application".
We'll have to wait and see what really happens.
While being careful to not to get into discussion of the details of merely pending legislation, I'd like to know where you found the details. Google just brings up headline articles that lack the fine details. There are other ideas that affect many Bogleheads that have been kicked around and could be part of the details of the deal. And if this one is part of the deal, I'd like to see the details to see what else is there. Where is this?

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ResearchMed
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Re: Medicare increase fixed?

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:03 am

Leesbro63 wrote:
Bill M wrote:It looks like it also did away with "file&suspend" and with "restricted application".
We'll have to wait and see what really happens.
While being careful to not to get into discussion of the details of merely pending legislation, I'd like to know where you found the details. Google just brings up headline articles that lack the fine details. There are other ideas that affect many Bogleheads that have been kicked around and could be part of the details of the deal. And if this one is part of the deal, I'd like to see the details to see what else is there. Where is this?
Check page 76 of the Discussion Draft.

I'm not commenting on the content or its meaning, just its existence...

RM

Adding link:
etarini wrote:Thanks for the update, tadamsmar!

Here's the link to the House discussion draft text:

http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/201 ... BUDGET.pdf

I'm also curious about the IRMAA amounts.

Eric
Last edited by ResearchMed on Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

Leesbro63
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Re: Medicare increase fixed?

Post by Leesbro63 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:05 am

Thank you. I did that. I see what you are talking about. There are other things that have been kicked around that might apply to many Bogleheads, but I did not see them as part of this. I'll elaborate if and when a final law is passed and we can discuss. Thank you.

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Re: When Social Security Benefits and Medicare Premiums Collide

Post by BostonBoy » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:47 pm

tadamsmar wrote:Press reports indicate that a fix for the Medicare Part B increase is in the big budget bill that is due to be voted on on Wednesday.
FYI....

Title VI – Health Care
SEC. 601. Maintaining 2016 Medicare Part B Premium and Deductible Levels Consistent With Actuarially Fair Rates.
In 2015, the monthly Part B premium rate is $104.90. Without Congressional action, the estimated monthly Part B premium in 2016 for beneficiaries not held harmless would be $159.30. This policy would maintain the hold harmless provision in current law and prevent a dramatic premium increase on beneficiaries not held harmless. This policy accomplishes this by setting a new 2016 basic Part B premium for the beneficiaries not held harmless at $120, which is the amount the Part B premium would otherwise be for all beneficiaries in 2016 if the hold harmless provision in current law did not apply. To effectuate this policy, in 2016, there would be a loan of general revenue from the Federal Treasury to the Supplemental Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund. To repay the loan, starting in 2016, beneficiaries not subject to the hold harmless would pay an additional $3 in their monthly Part B premium until the loan is repaid. Medicare beneficiaries who currently pay higher income-related premiums would pay higher than $3, the amount of which would increase for beneficiaries in each higher-income bracket in proportion to income-related premiums under current law. If there is no cost of living adjustment increase for 2017, this provision would apply again

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Re: Medicare increase fixed?

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:18 pm

This thread is off-topic and locked (proposed legislation). As a reminder, see: Forum Policy
UNACCEPTABLE TOPICS

Politics and Religion

In order to avoid the inevitable frictions that arise from these topics, political or religious posts and comments are prohibited. The only exceptions to this rule are:
  • Common religious expressions such as sending your prayers to an ailing member.
  • Usage of factual and non-derogatory political labels when necessary to the discussion at hand.
  • Discussions about enacted laws or regulations that affect the individual investor. Note that discussions of proposed legislation are prohibited.
  • Proposed regulations that are directly related to investing may be discussed if and when they are published for public comments.
As stated in Re: Proposed 529 Plan Changes Dropped, here's why we don't allow proposed legislation:
...Very rarely do legislative proposals make it into enacted law and never do they emerge from the legislative process as originally proposed. But some people do get worked up over the proposals - leading to extra work for the moderators - and in the worst case even make negative financial decisions based on them.
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Re: Do I understand the Medicare Part B Premium "Increase"?

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:26 pm

^^^ The referenced thread is locked. See this post for an explanation: Re: Medicare increase fixed?

Let's help dm200 understand the "increase".
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Re: Do I understand the Medicare Part B Premium "Increase"?

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:54 pm

dm200 wrote:Just want to confirm that my recent understanding of the 2016 scheduled Part B Medicare premium increase (and the rationale) are correct, since part of this is very puzzling.

1. IF Social Security Retirement benefits had gone up for 2016 (at least by a certain amount), all Medicare Part B enrollees would have had a modest increase in the monthly premium (from about $105 to about $120 or so)

2. HOWEVER, since Social Security Retirement benefits are not going up (because the CPI did not go up) only some Medicare part B recipients will see an increase.

3. Because so many Medicare Part B enrollees will NOT see an increase (because they have no Social Security retirement increase), those that can have an increase will face NOT a modest increase, BUT a large increase to make up for the increase that could not be assessed.

Do I understand correctly?
Yes, that sounds correct to me (given how the law stands right now).
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Re: Do I understand the Medicare Part B Premium "Increase"?

Post by Independent » Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:45 pm

Unless the budget deal unwinds, this has been "fixed"
The tentative budget agreement forged by congressional leaders and the Obama administration will ward off a historic spike in Medicare premiums for the coming year, but it will nevertheless require nearly one in three older Americans to pay 17 percent more in monthly premiums for doctors’ visits and other outpatient care.

Under the agreement, Medicare’s Part B premiums for this group of roughly 15 million people will increase from the current rate of $104.90 per month to $120 per month next year, plus a $3 surcharge. After holding level since 2013, the monthly premiums for these people would have soared to nearly $160 without the legislative adjustment.
I happen to be one of the 15 million.

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Re: Do I understand the Medicare Part B Premium "Increase"?

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:08 pm

The OP's question has been answered. This thread has run its course and is locked (proposed legislation). See: Unacceptable Topics
Politics and Religion

In order to avoid the inevitable frictions that arise from these topics, political or religious posts and comments are prohibited.
The only exceptions to this rule are:
  • Common religious expressions such as sending your prayers to an ailing member.
  • Usage of factual and non-derogatory political labels when necessary to the discussion at hand.
  • Discussions about enacted laws or regulations that affect the individual investor. Note that discussions of proposed legislation are prohibited.
  • Proposed regulations that are directly related to investing may be discussed if and when they are published for public comments.
In addition to disagreements (more work for the moderators), there is another reason. As stated elsewhere:
Very rarely do legislative proposals make it into enacted law and never do they emerge from the legislative process as originally proposed. But some people do get worked up over the proposals - leading to extra work for the moderators - and in the worst case even make negative financial decisions based on them.
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Re: How to Avoid the 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Post by tadamsmar » Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:10 pm

(The taboo topic of Congressional action to stop the increase still makes it somewhat speculative, BTW.)
Beware, you might want to check on this on another website where it is not taboo, before put to much effort into trying to avoid this speculative Part B increase.

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Re: How to Avoid the 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Post by Ged » Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:37 pm

tadamsmar wrote:
(The taboo topic of Congressional action to stop the increase still makes it somewhat speculative, BTW.)
Beware, you might want to check on this on another website where it is not taboo, before put to much effort into trying to avoid this speculative Part B increase.
Like this one:

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/10/2 ... e-Increase

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Re: How to Avoid the 2016 Medicare Part B Increase

Post by Leif » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:37 pm

Responding to pressure from seniors’ and labor groups as the 2016 campaign season heats up, congressional leaders and the White House have blocked a huge, 50 percent increase in the Medicare Part B premium for nearly one third of the 50 million elderly Americans who depend on the program for health services.

The bipartisan solution will block all but a tiny fraction of the premium increase. It is contained in the two-year budget and debt ceiling bill negotiated by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the White House and that awaits ratification by the two chambers – likely by the end of this week.
Seniors Exhale as Congress Blocks Huge Medicare Increase

It appears what has happened is the increase will be handled via a loan from the Treasury.
In order to repay that loan, the 15 million people who are not subject to the “hold harmless” protection will be required to pay an additional $3 a month in premiums – a token amount -- until the loan is repaid years from now, according to a House budget document describing the deal. Medicare beneficiaries who currently pay higher income-related premiums would pay more than $3, based on their income levels.

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Re: Consolidated 2016 Medicare Part B Increase thread

Post by Alex Frakt » Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:43 am

Several threads on this topic have been merged here and the thread unlocked.

Since nothing has been decided at this point, it's all technically off-topic. But it's obviously of great interest and it's going to save a lot of moderator effort if we keep one thread open. Still, all the rules except speculating on legislative action apply here: any partisan political posts, personal attacks or other violations will result in a warning and the removal of the post.

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Re: Consolidated 2016 Medicare Part B Increase thread

Post by Leif » Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:12 pm

According to Bloomberg the bill was amended today. The change to File and Suspend will not be retroactive for those that have already started.
An original version of the budget deal ended file and suspend in six months for everyone using the strategy. That would have abruptly cut off checks to thousands of retirees, or many more. Today the deal was amended so it affects only retirees who file for benefits in the future, and the change wouldn't go into effect for six months. That means older workers who want to use the strategy could still do so until early next year.
Are You About to Lose $50,000 in Future Social Security Benefits?

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Re: Consolidated 2016 Medicare Part B Increase thread

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:21 pm

To clarify things, a bill is the first step in the process of becoming law. For more information, see: The Legislative Process
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Re: Consolidated 2016 Medicare Part B Increase thread

Post by Alex Frakt » Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:23 pm

LadyGeek wrote:To clarify things, a bill is the first step in the process of becoming law. For more information, see: The Legislative Process
I prefer the School House Rock version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nKyihoV9z8

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Re: Consolidated 2016 Medicare Part B Increase thread

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:44 pm

Leif wrote:According to Bloomberg the bill was amended today. The change to File and Suspend will not be retroactive for those that have already started.
An original version of the budget deal ended file and suspend in six months for everyone using the strategy. That would have abruptly cut off checks to thousands of retirees, or many more. Today the deal was amended so it affects only retirees who file for benefits in the future, and the change wouldn't go into effect for six months. That means older workers who want to use the strategy could still do so until early next year.
Are You About to Lose $50,000 in Future Social Security Benefits?
Would you, or anybody else, happen to have a link to the amended version?

I've been working off of this version. On this page, I also found this document, which was added today. But, unless I'm misreading it, it still looks like it would cut off spousal benefits to people whose spouses have currently suspended their benefits.

I suppose this is (one reason) why we don't normally allow discussion of proposed legislation here. :)

Edit: tfb has the answer in another thread.
viewtopic.php?p=2670916#p2670916

It turns out the second document I linked to is in fact the relevant document. I had missed the relevant wording on the very last page of the document.
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Re: Consolidated 2016 Medicare Part B Increase thread

Post by sel007 » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:18 am

Is this the latest news on this possible increase in Medicare Part B premiums?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fed ... -premiums/

It basically says Medicare’s Part B premiums for this group of roughly 15 million people would increase from the current rate of $104.90 per month to $120 per month next year, plus a $3 surcharge.

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Re: Consolidated 2016 Medicare Part B Increase thread

Post by The Wizard » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:56 am

sel007 wrote:Is this the latest news on this possible increase in Medicare Part B premiums?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fed ... -premiums/

It basically says Medicare’s Part B premiums for this group of roughly 15 million people would increase from the current rate of $104.90 per month to $120 per month next year, plus a $3 surcharge.
It's only fragmentary news, since it says nothing about folks presently paying a higher monthly amount than $104.90, due to higher income...
Attempted new signature...

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Re: Consolidated 2016 Medicare Part B Increase thread

Post by Leif » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:09 pm

ObliviousInvestor wrote: Would you, or anybody else, happen to have a link to the amended version?
I found it (I think). It is called a Discussion Draft. That seems very changeable, but I'm not familiar with Congress.

http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/201 ... BUDGET.pdf

Linked from here:

Congress Planning to Close Social Security Loopholes
Last edited by Leif on Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Consolidated 2016 Medicare Part B Increase thread

Post by ObliviousInvestor » Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:12 pm

Leif wrote:
ObliviousInvestor wrote: Would you, or anybody else, happen to have a link to the amended version?
Sorry, I don't. Just found the Bloomberg link which I figured should be reliable. I've heard it will be voted on Friday. If that is true we will know soon.
Thanks for checking! The Finance Buff ("tfb") found the relevant wording though. See the "edit" I added to my previous post.
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Re: Consolidated 2016 Medicare Part B Increase thread

Post by tadamsmar » Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:02 am

The bill addressing the increase and making other changes to SS became law yesterday:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-con ... /1314/text

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Re: Consolidated 2016 Medicare Part B Increase thread

Post by tadamsmar » Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:25 am

This is a good article on the increase, very detailed, see the table at the bottom that lays out next year's increase down to the penny:

http://www.fedsmith.com/2015/11/01/who- ... -premiums/

The impact in future years is a bit vague, surcharges (only $3,or more?) continue until the shortfall is made up, an estimated 5 years. Even the hold harmless crowd will see a $3 surcharge tacked on when they get COLAs, but I guess their benefit will never decrease in nominal dollars.

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