HHS Announces Increases for Medicare Premiums
HHS on Oct. 19 announced the 2002 rates for Medicare premiums, deductibles and coinsurance. The deductible for Medicare Part A, which covers hospital inpatient, skilled nursing, hospice and some home health care, will increase 2.5% from $792 to $812. Part A deductibles apply only to seniors in a fee-for-service Medicare plan. Other Part A increases include:
- For hospital stays between 61 and 90 days, the Part A deductible will increase from $198 per day to $203 per day. In addition, the deductible will increase from $396 per day to $406 per day for hospital stays beyond 90 days. While the Part A deductible is a Medicare beneficiary's only cost for hospital stays up to 60 days, beneficiaries must pay the additional deductible amount for stays exceeding 60 days.
- The deductible for skilled nursing facility stays longer than 20 days (days 21 through 100) will increase from $99 to $101.50.
- Premiums for Part A, paid by seniors with less than 30 quarters of Medicare-covered employment, will increase by $19 to $319. Part A premiums for seniors with 30 to 39 quarters of Medicare-covered employment will increase $10 to $175. Beneficiaries with 40 or more quarters of Medicare-covered employment do not pay premiums.
Premiums for Part B, which pays for physician services, ambulatory care and other services, will increase by 8% to $54 per month. HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson said, "Seniors and disabled Americans in fee-for-service Medicare pay higher out-of-pocket expenses than many private health plans. We need to bring Medicare into the 21st century and give all seniors and disabled Americans more and better insurance options, such as those available to federal employees. [President Bush's] principles for strengthening and modernizing Medicare will move us closer to that goal" (HHS release, 10/19).
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