For the third straight year Medicare Part B premiums are expected to remain the sames as they were in 2013 and 2014.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is reporting that “thanks to slower health care cost growth within Medicare since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, next year’s Medicare Part B monthly premium will remain unchanged for the second consecutive year”.
This comes as a double edge sword as this slower health cost growth means that Medicare beneficiaries will spend the same amount for Part B premiums, but that health care providers may not see the same amount of reimbursement for treating Medicare patients.
The way Medicare works is that the health care providers are reimbursed for providing services for patients covered by Medicare. In order for the costs to “slow” down that means either less people were treated or that Medicare paid out less from its “Trust Fund” to reimburse these providers.
In fact, according to the Office of the Actuary, health costs have been increasing year over by at least 4% and are projected to inflate higher, by 6% going forward, so in laymen terms: your doctor may receive even less in terms of a payment for treating you if your health coverage is through Medicare in 2015.
Please note that that premium and even the deductible for Part B is set to remain level other costs associated to Medicare, like the Part A deductible and Part D costs are expected to rise. Currently, that data is yet to be released by the Centers of Medicare/Medicaid Services and will be updated once done.