Medicare premiums will hold steady in 2009 for the vast majority of the 44 million U.S. elderly and disabled Medicare recipients.
Richard Foster, Medicare's chief actuary, said it is only the sixth time in Medicare's 40-plus year history that outpatient premiums have stayed flat. "This is largely a one-time adjustment," Foster told reporters.
Medicare officials expect 2010 rates to rise. "Next year is going to be a little ugly, I'm afraid," said Foster.
For those who have no frame of reference Medicare is the United States federal government program of Hospital Insurance (Part A), Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part B), and Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) protection provided under the Social Security Act.
Specifically a 2009 Medicare monthly premium will remain at $96.40. Part B's out-of-pocket deductible will also stay the same at $135 per year for 2009. … Out-of-pocket deductibles for hospital visits or nursing home care will rise to $1,068 in 2009.
Medicare was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson as amendments to Social Security legislation in 1965. At the bill-signing ceremony President Johnson enrolled former President Harry S. Truman as the first Medicare beneficiary and presented him with the first Medicare card.
Caregivingly Yours, J Patrick Leer
(also available in Blogger edition, Caregiver Blog: "Caregivingly Yours")