Medicare premiums 2014, the bogus rumor persists. $247 per month is ridicules


An Internet e-mail still circulates that come 2014 the Medicare Part B standard premium will be $247 per person. That’s nonsense for several reasons.

1. The calculation of the premium is set by law and that law has not changed.

2. There is nothing in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that affects the Medicare premium calculation.

3. The President does not, as has been alleged, have the ability to unilaterally change any of this.

4. The standard 2012 premium for Medicare Part B is $99.90 (higher for the 5% higher income beneficiaries). If you used the highest rate of inflation to hit Medicare in the last forty years for both 2012 and 2013 you would get a premium of less than $130.00. The likelihood of that kind of inflation in the next two years is non-existent.

5. There is nothing in the 2011 Medicare Trustees report to indicate other than normal rates of cost increases over the next several years. In fact, the Trustee’s project that by 2020 the Part B premium will be $158.60. Even that is based on a premium for 2012 of $106.60 (not $99.90).

6. Most Medicare beneficiaries (95%) are protected from high increases in Medicare premiums under the Social Security hold harmless provision. This means that an increase in Medicare premiums cannot cause a net reduction in the Social Security payments. So, for example, if you are receiving $1,000 a month in Social Security benefits and you receive a 3% COLA increase, your Part B premium cannot increase my more than $30. Do the math and you will see there would have to be whopping COLA increases in Social Security in the next two years to get most people anywhere near $247 and that ain’t gonna happen.

English: President signing the Medicare Bill a...

Are any of these projections 100% accurate? Certainly not, there are too many unknowns. However, before you pass along some outrageous story about Medicare premiums (or a tax on the sale of your home, or that the value of health benefits is now taxable income or that Obama was stopping the 2011 Social Security COLA – all of which were circulated in the last year), get the facts.

Unfortunately too many people out there are so obsessed with opposition to this or that, their judgement is clouded …or they are simply ignorant and that’s scary because they can still vote.

By the way, the story about a brain surgeon being at a meeting in Washington where denying care to Americans 70 and over was discussed is also a lie. There was no such meeting, there is nothing in the Affordable Care Act remotely related to that and the caller to a talk show giving the story was not a brain surgeon.

Read other articles related to Medicare under the “Medicare” and “Healthcare” categories on this Blog. 


  1. Even though I was 70 years of age (past full retirement age) in 2011, I continued to work hard and pay into social security in addition to paying $104.00 monthly from my social security check. I am now being penalized because my gross income was over $ 85,000. In addition to the thousands deducted from my pay check for social security and the $104.00 monthly deducted from my social security check; Deductions from my social security check has now increased from $104.00 monthly to $210.00 monthly. Am I angry about this? Yes!


    1. Why are you angry? You are not being penalized. The Part B premium has long been based on income with those with higher incomes paying a greater percentage of the total Part B cost. The $104 represents only 25% of the actual costs. You will also pay extra for Part D. What you pay in 2014 is based on your income in 2012 and 2015 your income in 2013.


  2. 12/9/2013 – Just received notice in the mail today that my Medicare Premium that I was paying $109.30 per month, has gone up to $130.90 per month (8.7% increase per mo.). Cost of living increase was 1.5% per month and then they increased my Medicare payment. No explanation as to why. I’m ticked off! Why are they doing this to the Senior’s? Because we are easy targets and they can!


    1. The Medicare Part B premium did not increase one penny so it’s hard to understand what you are talking about. However, if your 2012 income jumped to put you in the bracket so that pay the extra premium now for higher income people that could explain it (perhaps an IRA or 401k distribution). Otherwise your Part B premium did not increase. Besides for average people not subject to the extra premium, increases in Part B cannot exceed the COLA so there is a decrease in the SS benefit.


  3. I’m so sick of all the lies and all the false info on the Internet, you
    Don’t know who to believe anymore, I’m so confused of the future and what it
    Will do to us, right now my husband is retired af and Im Retired civil service for the af, we are doing great in our retirement and we are hopeing it stays that way, please who ever
    Is in charge don’t mess our lives up, we need to be where we are now in the years to come and we want it to stay that way. We are on fixed income but we do very well and
    We ask for no more or no less, just leave Medicare and tricare for life the way it is.
    Is this too much to ask for, that’s all I ask, we have both worked all our lives and never
    Asked for a handout and never wanted one, so now the only thing I’m asking for is leave
    Us old folks alone, please. Patsy a. Williams, We live in owasso ok and plan on
    Staying here until we die.


    1. Really? Just cite the specific section. The Affordable Care Act does not change the premium setting structure for Medicare. It is based on a formula in the Medicare law.


      Richard D Quinn Editor Health Insurance Illuminated


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