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2017 Medicare Part B Premium increase smaller than expected
OPERS continues to work with Congress to adopt a permanent solution

On Nov. 10, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced 2017 premiums for the Medicare inpatient hospital (Part A) and physician and outpatient hospital services (Part B) programs. The projected 20 percent increase in Medicare Part B premiums was reduced to an approximate 10 percent increase.

Recipients subject to the higher 2017 Medicare Part B premium include:

  1. Those who do not draw a Social Security benefit
  2. Those with an income above $85,000 (subject to the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA)) (premium is based on Adjusted Gross Income)
  3. Those who have Medicare and Medicaid, and Medicaid pays the premiums

For more detailed information refer to Medicare’s Part B costs website. You can also find additional information in the fourth quarter OPERS News for Retirees, Update on Medicare Part B Premium Increase. For specific questions regarding 2017 Part B premium amounts call Social Security at 800-772-1213.

Looking Ahead

Although Congress did not address long term Medicare Part B premium increases before adjourning for the year, several members of Congress showed interest in working on this issue going forward. On Dec. 2, 2016, Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) introduced HR 6428 to limit the Part B increase and was joined by 43 co-sponsors. OPERS reached out to Rep. Titus, as well as the Ohio congressional delegation, regarding HR 6428, thanking them for their efforts on behalf of our members, and offered to work with them to address this issue once and for all.

OPERS believes retired public employees in Ohio should not be part of a minority bearing the brunt of increased Medicare costs. We will continue to fight for a permanent solution to this recurring problem and look forward to working with our congressional delegation in 2017 toward such a solution. We appreciate all of the outreach by OPERS members to urge Congress to act. Thank you for your continued support of this effort.