Statement by Medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker on the Announcement of 2014 Medicare Premiums and Deductibles
New York, NY—Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the 2014 Medicare Part B premium will remain $104.90 per month, the same as in 2013, as will the Part B deductible at $147. The news that Medicare premiums and deductibles are virtually unchanged is welcome news for people with Medicare, many of whom already shoulder high health care costs on low, fixed incomes. Half of all people with Medicare live on annual incomes of $22,500 or less, and the average Medicare household spends 15% of annual income toward health care costs, opposed to 5% among non-Medicare households.
As evidenced by yesterday’s announcement, provisions advanced through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are successfully curbing Medicare spending growth—producing tangible results for people with Medicare. Yesterday’s news on stable Medicare cost sharing adds to the growing list of improvements to Medicare made possible by the ACA, including cost savings on prescription drugs for beneficiaries in coverage gap (or doughnut hole), access to lower-cost preventative services and expanded coverage options for those not yet eligible for Medicare. In other words, the Medicare verdict on the merits of the ACA is in: it continues to deliver for people with Medicare.