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Episode Info: Hey Medicare Nation! The Center For Medicare & Medicaid Services has finally announced 2018 Premiums and deductibles for Part A & Part B of Medicare. Just as I had anticipated...... CMS has increased the Part B premium in 2018. A hefty amount....I might add. The 2018 Part B Premium for 2018 will be $134.00. Over 50 Million Medicare beneficiaries were protected by the "held harmless" regulation in 2017. Those Medicare beneficiaries did not see an increase in their Part B Premium for 2017, since the Part B Premium increase of $134.00 was higher than the Social Security COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) of .3%. When Social Security approved a 2% COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) for 2018, that gave Medicare the "go ahead" to increase the Part B premium.  As long as the Medicare Part B Premium is equal to or less than the Social Security COLA adjustment, the Part B Premium increase will go into effect.  Such is the case for 2018. With a 2% COLA increase in Social Security benefits, the majority of Social Security beneficiaries will see an increase of about $24-$25 in their Social Security benefit checks. Those same Social Security beneficiaries, make up about 70% of the Medicare population. CMS planned this out perfectly! The majority of Medicare beneficiaries that make up the same 70%, currently pay about $109.00 for their Medicare Part B Premium. If you add $25 to $109.00, you get........ $134.00! CMS adjusted the amount to become $134.00, to be aligned with the remaining 30% of Medicare beneficiaries, who currently already pay $134.00 for their Part B Premium. Now the majority of Medicare beneficiaries will be paying $134.00 a month for their Part B Premium in 2018. It's not rocket science people. Medicare needs more money to stay solvent.  When you take over 50 million people and add $25 a month in premiums.....that equates to BILLIONS of dollars A MONTH! Let's look at the remaining 2018 Deductibles: Part A Hospital Deductible - $1,340.00 per benefit period.  In English.....that means you pay $1,340.00 each time you are admitted to the hospital as an inpatient. Whether you are an inpatient for one day or sixty days, you will pay a $1,340.00 deductible. That's an increase of $24.00 from 2017. If you need to remain in the hospital for over 60 consecutive days, you will pay $335.00 per day from days 61-90 of a hospitalization. If you require more than 90 consecutive days in a hospital, you can use your "lifetime reserve" days. You are given 60 lifetime reserve days. When you use a lifetime reserve day....it's gone....forever.  Let's say you have a piggy bank that has 60 pennies in it. If you break open the piggy bank and take 1 penny out to use....you have 59 left in the bank. Works the same way for lifetime reserve days. Each lifetime reserve day you use, will cost you $670 per lifetime reserve day in 2018. An increase of $12. from 2017. Skilled Nursing Facility Medicare allows up to 100 consecutive days in a Skilled Nursing Facility. Days 1-20 as a inpatient in a Skilled Nursing Facility will cost you $0. Days 21-100 of extended care services in a Skilled Nursing Facility in the same benefit period will have a co-pay of $167.50 per day. If you require more than 100 consecutive days in a Skilled Nursing Facility, you are responsible for 100% of the charges.   Part B of Medicare Aside from paying $134.00 a month for being a "member" of Medicare Part B, you will also have out-of-pocket costs when you use outpatient services. The annual deductible for Part B in 2018 will be $183.00. That is the same amount as 2017. There will be on increase in the Part B deductible. Once you pay your Part B deductible, you will be responsible for 20% of the remaining Medicare allowable charge....under Original Medicare. Let's say you had to visit a Cardiologist and the Medicare allowable charge was $100.00 Medicare would pay 80% of the $100.00 and you would pay the remaining 20%. So....Medicare pays $80 and you would pay $20. You will continue to pay 20% of all Medicare allowable charges under Part B.   Advocacy Groups For Medicare Here are some national advocacy groups, fighting for your rights under Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Help the cause by volunteering or donating a few bucks to ensure the fight for your rights continue. National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare   The National Committee is dedicated to protecting Social Security and Medicare benefits for all communities and generations.   Center For Medicare Advocacy   The Center for Medicare Advocacy’s mission is to advance access to comprehensive Medicare coverage and quality health care for older people and people with disabilities by providing exceptional legal analysis, education, and advocacy.   State Health Insurance Program   provide free, in depth, one-on-one insurance counseling and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries, their families, friends, and caregivers. SHIPs operate in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and are grant-funded projects of the federal U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL).     Consulting During Medicare Annual Enrollment   If you would like to hire me as a consultant to assist you in comparing Medicare Plans or employer coverage, I am available to assist you.   Send me an email to Support@TheMedicareNation.com and send me your information and how I can assist you.   You can also go to the website - www.TheMedicareNation.com and "click" on the contact tab.   I am also available as a professional speaker or emcee for your event.   Thank you for listening to Medicare Nation!   I appreciate your support!   Diane Daniels  Read more »

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