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For the approximately 506,348 Iowans enrolled in Medicare Part B, premiums and deductibles will remain unchanged in 2015, leaving more of seniors' cost of living adjustment from Social Security in their pockets.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Thursday said the monthly premium for Medicare Part B will be $104.90 and the deductible will be $147 next year, the same as the last two years. CMS also said the average premium for people enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan is estimated to increase to $32 per month.
When compared with Congressional Budget Office projections made in 2009 for 2015, Medicare Part B premiums will be more than $125 lower over the course of the year. Total Medicare Part B and Part D premiums for seniors and people with disabilities in Iowa will be approximately $10 million lower than predicted for 2015.
Nationwide, approximately 49 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare Part B, which covers physicians' services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment and other items.
CMS also announced that for the small number of beneficiaries who pay Medicare Part A monthly premiums, their monthly bill will drop $19 in 2015 to $407. Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility and some home health care services.
Although about 99 percent of Medicare beneficiaries do not pay a Part A premium because they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment, enrollees age 65 and over and certain people with disabilities who have fewer than 30 quarters of coverage pay a monthly premium in order to receive coverage under Part A.
Beneficiaries who have between 30 and 39 quarters of coverage may purchase Part A at a reduced monthly premium rate of $224 for 2015, a decrease of $10 from 2014.
The Affordable Care Act closes the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap, known as the 'Donut Hole,” over time. Beginning in June 2014, people with Medicare in Iowa have saved $124,714,999 on prescription drugs.