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The Department of Health and Human Services released the Medicare Part B premium rates for 2018
November 21, 2017

According to Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, the premium amounts for Medicare Part B are not changing from 2017 to 2018, however the premium you actually pay may go up.

 Your premium might go up for one of two reasons.

Reason #1:

Since Social Security is being increased by 2%, the folks who were previously protected under the “hold harmless” provision, currently paying less than $134 from their Social Security, will most likely see an increase to their Medicare Part B premium… and the slight increase to their Social Security benefit will most likely be fully or partially absorbed by the increasing cost of the Medicare Part B premium.

Example:  In 2017, Robert’s Medicare Part B premium was $109.  His Social Security benefit was $1,000.  In 2018, since his Social Security benefit will be increased by 2% to $1,020, his Medicare Part B premium will be increased to $129.  Unfortunately, Robert’s increase in Social Security this year will be fully absorbed by the increasing cost of his Medicare Part B coverage.

Example:  In 2017, Julie’s Medicare Part B premium was $109.  Her Social Security benefit was $2,400.  In 2018, since her Social Security benefit will be increased by 2% to $2,448, her Medicare Part B premium will be increased to $134.  Since Julie’s  Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) from 2016 keeps her in the least expensive Medicare Part B premium bracket, her premium cannot exceed the $134.  But part of the increase to her Social Security is still being absorbed by the increasing cost of her Medicare Part B coverage.

Reason #2:

The income bracket limits are changing for the highest 3 brackets.  This may move some folks in the higher income brackets to higher premium rates.

Example:  In 2017, Barbara’s Medicare Part B premium was $267.90 because her MAGI in 2015 was $140,000 (filing single), when filing an individual tax return with a MAGI between $107,001 and $160,000 kept her at this premium rate.  However, in 2018, Barbara’s Medicare Part B premium will increase to $348.30 even if her MAGI for 2016 continues to be $140,000 because the bracket for the $267.90 premium now caps out at $133,500… moving her into the $348.30 premium bracket.


NOTE:  All premiums listed in this article are per person/per month.

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association
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