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TFL Premiums to Go Up Very Slightly

It looks like TFL premiums will be going up very slightly for 2019. (See below):

Medicare recently released its new rates for
2019. After staying the same last year, Medicare and TRICARE for Life beneficiaries will see their Part B ​premium increase slightly this year. The Part B standard premium is set to increase $1.50 per month, from $134 to $135.50.

For the past two years, some Medicare beneficiaries have been paying lower premiums and have been protected by a provision called the “hold harmless” rule. Medicare estimates only 2 million beneficiaries will have
their premiums shielded this year.

Let's recall why this was originally put into place.
Adjustments are made annually to both the Social Security benefit and the Medicare premiums an individual pays.
Thes e adjustments are indexed to different inflation measures. The Social Security COLA is based on the CPI - W
index, which measures inflation. By contrast, the Medicare premium is based on how much the Medicare program
itself grows through its spending on medi cal services.
These different adjustment measures have resulted in Medicare premiums that typically increase at a rate greater
than Social Security COLAs.
For instance, from 2000 to 2018, Social Security COLAs increased an average of 2.2 percent annually, which resulted in a cumulative benefit increase of approximately 50 percent. This was
considerably less than the average 6.1 percent annual increase in standard Medicare Part B premiums, whose premium growth was a whopping 195 percent over the same period, according to aCongressional Research Service report.
The bottom line? A greater percentage of total Social Security benefits were being deducted to pay for Medicare premiums.

Congress has acted several times to protect beneficiaries from the impact of large Medicare Part B premium increases.
The hold-harmless provision was made permanent, and prevents certain
Social Security beneficiaries' monthly benefit amounts from decreasing from one year to the next due to an increase in their Medicare Part B premiums

(Actually, I think the above article is a little misleading. What it really seems to be saying is that Medicare Part B premiums will be going up by $1.50 per month. TFL costs continue to be zero).


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