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Medicare fees rise for 2013

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Monday, November 19, 2012
Posted: 11 am ET

Medicare is raising its 2013 fees. Factor this into your retirement planning. Let's start with the easy stuff that doesn't affect many people living in retirement.

Medicare Part A. Very few people pay a Part A premium. As long as you worked for 40 quarters or 10 years or are married to someone who did, you're entitled to this coverage at no additional charge. Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care and some home health care. (Don't be confused. Part A doesn't cover nursing home care.) If you're part of the 1 percent required to pay, the 2013 Part A premium is decreasing to $441, down from $451 in 2012.

Medicare Part A deductible, which everybody is responsible for, is rising 2.4 percent to $1,184. You'll be charged this every time you're admitted to the hospital. Many people have a Medigap insurance policy or are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage insurance plan that pays this fee.

Medicare Part B premium, which is automatically deducted monthly from everyone's Social Security payments, is rising $5 per month from $99.90 to $104.90.  The Medicare Part B deductible will rise to $147 in 2013, from $140. Part B covers doctors' services, outpatient care, medical supplies and preventive services. Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans cover the Part B deductible.

If you have very low income, you may qualify through your state Medicaid program for help paying Part B premiums and the Part A deductible. There is also a Medicare-managed program known as Extra Help that will help you pay Part D prescription drug expenses. Whether you qualify for all or part of this assistance depends on your income.

If your 2011 income was above $85,000 a year ($170,000 filing jointly) you'll be charged more for Part B.  These premium adjustments range from $42 to $230.80 per month, depending on how much you make. If your income has changed since you paid your 2011 taxes, you can ask the government to recalculate.

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November 03, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I'm trying to figure out to do for 2014. I hit the gap for Rx's and now I can't afford groceries. One script went from $40 to $185. (and I have 10 more Rx's coming up.) I honestly don't know what I'm going to that. I turn 65 January 5, 2015. I've been on disability since 2010. Any suggestion for help and 2014.?

tom weir
October 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm

have everyone in the usa who works be covered under social security,including government representatives of the people whether local,state or federal.I am sure this will eliminate all attacks on social security.

tom weir
October 11, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Doesn't the word entitlement mean something you are entitled to?and everyone who has worked and paid into social security is certainly entitled to the benefit.Why does the word offend you?

earl hardwick
January 15, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I see attacks on our president for problems wth our social security and medicare and am amazed how few people ignore the fact that congress is the major force behind plans to cripple and cut the programs each of us rely on. Over the last few years it is the GOP who have been hucking these programs under the buss they view the program that most of us will use to survive our senior years as a charity supported by rich people wrong it is a fund we have paid into all our working lives and i am offended every time i hear the word entitlement.