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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Medicare gouging seniors

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Retirees who have been extra good at saving for their golden years will pay billions in higher premiums for Medicare Part B and Part D.

Starting in 2008, the government set income thresholds over which Medicare participants would pay higher premiums. There were four thresholds starting at $82,000 for a single person and $164,000 for a married couple. The highest threshold paid nearly 2 times the standard premium, or $238.40 each month. The thresholds were set to index with inflation, and the lowest thresholds later increased to $85,000 and $170,000.

In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act froze the income thresholds for Part B premiums and added a surcharge on Part D premiums. For 2013, retirees over the top threshold will pay more than three times as much, or $335.70 each month. Over time, freezing the thresholds will result in more and more retirees paying the higher premiums. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that these seniors will pay an additional $25 billion in Medicare premiums over the next 10 years. In addition, those participating in the Part D drug program are estimated to pay an additional $11 billion during the next 10 years.

Many seniors in the Dayton, Ohio, area were caught by this program when they were forced to sell the Dayton Power & Light stock they had accumulated over their working years. This is a perverse method of setting insurance premiums. The amount you pay is based on the sum of you life's work and not on the health risk that you represent.


Kettering, Ohio

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