Medicare Your Coverage Options

What’s the Medicare premium in 2017?

Written by Diane Archer
The monthly Medicare Part B premium in 2017 technically is $134.00, up 10 percent from this year, for people with incomes of $85,000 or less. It’s a big increase, but half as much as the Trustees suggested it might be. More importantly, because Social Security benefits are barely increasing, the vast majority of people with Medicare are seeing a far smaller premium increase.

In late June, in the Medicare Trustees’ annual report to Congress on Medicare’s financial state, the Trustees projected as much as a 20 percent increase in Medicare premiums for some people because of rapidly rising health care costs. However, about 70 percent of people with Medicare are seeing a premium increase of $4.00 a month from last year’s premium of $105. That’s because of a “hold harmless” provision in the Social Security Act that protects most people with Medicare from paying more in Medicare premiums than the increase in their Social Security monthly benefits.

Since Social Security benefits are barely increasing in 2017up just 0.3 percent or about $4.00 a month, Medicare monthly premiums can only increase that much for the majority of people with Medicare. But, about three in ten people with incomes of $85,000 or less will pay the full $134.00 monthly premium. They include people not receiving Social Security benefits, people enrolling in Part B for the first time in 2017 and people with Medicare and Medicaid, whose state Medicaid agencies will pay the higher premium.

The Part B premium is a lot more for people with incomes over $85,000. People whose modified adjusted gross income from two years ago as reported on their federal tax return–about six percent of the Medicare population–will pay:

  • $187.50 a month, if their income is above $85,000 and no more than $107,000.
  • $267.90 a month, if their income is above $107,000 and no more than $160,000
  • $348.30 a month, if their income is above $160,000 and no more than $214,000
  • $428.60 a month, if their income is above $214,000

To arrive at the premium amount for married people filing a joint tax return, double the income.

The Part B annual deductible is $183.00, a $17 increase from 2016.

People with incomes up to 135 percent of the federal poverty level, ($1,357 in monthly income for an individual and $1,823 for a couple in 2016) are eligible for help paying their premiums through Medicaid or a Medicare Savings Program.

For more than four decades, the Medicare Part B premium (medical insurance) was the same for everyone regardless of income, geography or health status, a quarter of the cost of Part B services. (Medicare Part A, hospital insurance, is premium-free if you have contributed into Social Security for at least 40 quarters.)  In 2007, wealthier people with Medicare began paying higher premiums.

Right now, Congressman Paul Ryan and others in Congress are considering Medicare reforms that would privatize Medicare and turn it into a voucher program; it would drive up costs for people with Medicare significantly. Right now, people with Medicare typically spend about $5,000 out of pocket for care that Medicare does not cover, and people with costly conditions spend about $10,000. If you oppose such reforms, please sign this Social Security Works petition.

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22 Comments

  • Along with Social Security, Medicare is the most wonderful federal program our government has ever created for every citizen. No one voted to gut it or privatize it. Paul Ryan is a selfish, anti-democratic bastard for periodically scaring seniors and soon to be seniors around the country by regularly pushing to privatize and gut Medicare. If his district in Wisconsin was not so gerrymandered, he’d have already been voted out of office for being such an asshole.

  • Brilliant idea. Put Congress on the same programs as we the common citizens are on. Eliminate the pension and medical programs they are on. Let them have social security and HSA. Of course they can contribute to their own 401K. No more free loaders. Now let’s see if they are going to giut these programs. And make sure they pay back the billions they borrowed from social security.

  • Trump promised a lot of things, but I believe he’s going to GUT not only Medicare but Social Security as well. And all those old morons who voted for Trump will howl, but it will be too late. Elections, like people’s STUPIDITY, have consequences!

    • COMMENTING HERE IS USELESS!!
      CALL OR EMAIL YOUR CONGRESS PERSON

      AND PAUL RYAN! WE NEED TO VOTE HIM OUT IN 2018!!!
      HERE ARE THE NUMBERS AND YOUR CALL WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
      Washington, DC office
      1233 Longworth HOB
      Washington, D.C. 20515
      Phone: (202) 225-3031
      Fax: (202) 225-3393

      Janesville office
      20 South Main Street, Suite 10
      Janesville, WI 53545
      Toll-Free: 1-888-909-RYAN (7926)
      Phone: (608) 752-4050
      Fax: (608) 752-4711

      Kenosha office
      5031 7th Avenue
      Kenosha, WI 53140
      Phone: (262) 654-1901
      Fax: (262) 654-2156

      Racine office
      216 6th Street
      Racine, WI 53403
      Phone: (262) 637-0510
      Fax: (262) 637-5689

      Contacting Congress
      Here is the main number for Congress – the Senate and House – in Washington, DC:

      House & Senate: 202 225-3121

      White House: 202 456-1111

  • If I’m not mistaken, the monthly premium for 2016 is, $121.80.

    Not sure where you got the $105 figure.
    I just signed up for Medicare and won’t start collecting Social Security until mid way through 2017, so I guess my Medicare cost will go up.

    It already seems high to me since i don’t go to doctors and really signed up for parts A and B for more serious issues if they should arise including of course, anything catastrophic.

    There should be a lower monthly premium for people who rarely use part B for doctor’s visits but will use it sparingly for more serious issues.

    • You are technically correct. In 2016, the premium is supposed to be $121.60. However, because Social Security benefits did not go up in 2016, the vast majority of people with Medicare, people who did not see an increase in their Social Security checks, paid a monthly premium of $105. You can read the explanation here: http://justcareusa.org/medicare-premium-2016/ If you just signed up for Medicare and you are not yet collecting Social Security benefits, you will pay $134 a month if your annual income is $85,000 or less.

  • Now the idiots who voted for Trump won’t have to worry about the government messing with SS & Medicare , they won’t have any .
    Ryan and Trump ,plus the appointees are the most evil people ever in our history

  • Is this their (the republicans) way of population control? I live on less than 10k per year and when I get sick that will be the end. Is that their plan?

    • You’d better believe it. And even though you have access to Patient Assistance Programs they require a lot of paperwork and you may not even be up to doing it. They really don’t like people living much beyond 65 that’s why it was chosen for retirement. Once the Baby Boomers are all dead I expect that life expectancy will drop because the world is much more poisoness today than it was during the post WW2 years. Politicians are using the longer lifespans of the Baby Boomers to up the retirement age so they can spend more of the Social Security Trust than they have already which is decimating it in any sense of every getting the same value of dollars taken out back into the program.

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