Home Medicare/Medicaid News Part B Premium Remains Constant, Part A Amounts See Mild Increases

Part B Premium Remains Constant, Part A Amounts See Mild Increases

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Announced Friday, Nov. 17th, that Part B premiums for most Medicare beneficiaries will remain unchanged at $134 per month.

Part A deductibles and coinsurance amounts, on the other hand, will see mild increases in 2018.  The Part A inpatient hospital deductible will increase from $1,316 in 2017 to $1,340 in 2018.  The Part A inpatient hospital deductible applies to the first 60 days of hospitalization within a given benefit period.  For the next 30 days (days 61 through 90), beneficiaries must pay a coinsurance amount which is increasing from $329 per day in 2017 to $335 per day in 2018.  Certain types of Medicare supplement policies (also known as “Medigap Policies”) cover both the Part A deductible and the  Part A coinsurance hospital costs (up to 365 days).

Benefit periods begin on the day a beneficiary is admitted to a hospital (as opposed to simply being “observed” in the hospital) and end when a beneficiary has, for 60 consecutive days, not been an inpatient in a hospital or skilled nursing facility.  Consequently, returning to the hospital or a skilled nursing facility prior to the passage of the 60 days removed from a facility can be very costly.

After the 90th day, absent a Medicare Supplement / Medigap Plan, beneficiaries must pay a coinsurance of $670 per day for what are considered “lifetime reserve days”, an increase from $658 per day in 2017.  Beneficiaries have up to 60 lifetime reserve days.

The care received in a skilled nursing facility (“SNF”) following admitted treatment in a hospital, will also increase in cost.  Medicare pays 100% of the cost of the first 20 days in which a beneficiary is properly admitted to an SNF following admission to and treatment at a hospital.  However, beginning on the 21st day, the beneficiary pays a coinsurance amount which will increase from $164.50 in 2017 to $167.50 in 2018.

SLN Sources:  CMS News Release – 1; CMS News Release – 2; Fed. Register – 2018 Inpatient Hospital Amounts; Fed. Register — 2018 – Part A Premiums; Fed. Register — Part B Rates;  Medigap Plans.