Income-Relating Medicare Part B and Part D Premiums Under Current Law and Recent Proposals: What are the Implications for Beneficiaries?

Kaiser Family Foundation reports:

“Proposals to raise premiums for higher-income Medicare beneficiaries are currently being discussed along with other options to reduce federal spending on Medicare.  Last year, as part of a more comprehensive effort to reduce the federal debt, the Obama Administration and House Republicans separately proposed to increase the share of Medicare beneficiaries subject to the income-related premiums, and to raise Medicare premiums for these higher-income beneficiaries.

This brief describes current law with respect to the income-related Medicare premiums, including the recent changes adopted under the 2010 health reform law for both Medicare Part B (physician and outpatient services) and Part D (the prescription drug benefit), as well as how the new proposals would increase the number and share of beneficiaries who would pay the higher premium, and the amounts that they would pay.

The brief is a product of the Foundation’s Project on Medicare’s Future, which focuses on producing timely analysis of leading reforms affecting people on Medicare.

Brief (.pdf)”