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November 15, 2005

2006 Medicare Premiums, Deductibles and Coinsurance

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the Medicare premium, deductible and coinsurance amounts to be paid by Medicare beneficiaries in 2006.

For Medicare Part A, that pays for inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, and some home health care, the deductible paid by the beneficiary will be $952 per benefit period effective January 1, 2006, an increase of $40 from this year's $912 deductible. The Part A deductible is the beneficiary's only cost for up to 60 days of Medicare-covered inpatient hospital care. However, for extended Medicare-covered hospital stays, beneficiaries must pay an additional $238 per day for days 61 through 90 in 2006, and $476 per day for hospital stays beyond the 90th day in a benefit period. For 2005, the per day payment for days 61 through 90 was $228, and $456 for beyond 90 days.

For beneficiaries in skilled nursing facilities, the daily co-insurance for days 21 through 100 will be $119 in 2006, compared to $114 in 2005.

Most Medicare beneficiaries do not pay a premium for Part A services since they have 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment. However, seniors and certain persons under age 65 with disabilities who have fewer than 30 quarters of coverage may obtain Part A coverage by paying a monthly premium set according to a formula in the Medicare statute at $393 for 2006, an increase of $18 from 2005. In addition, seniors with 30 to 39 quarters of coverage, and certain disabled persons with 30 or more quarters of coverage, are entitled to pay a reduced premium of $216. Certain beneficiaries with fewer than 40 quarters of coverage must also pay a ten percent increase in the Part B premiums.

For Part B, the deductible will be $124 per year and the coinsurance amount will be 20 percent. The monthly premium paid by beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Part B, which covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment and other items, will be $88.50, an increase of 13 percent or $10.30 over the $78.20 premium for 2005.

Posted by Michael McKibben at November 15, 2005 09:06 AM

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