Changes to Medicare in 2017

All government insurance programs, including Medicare, undergo annual reviews. These reviews usually result in coverage amount, premium cost, and other adjustments to program features. Those currently enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B will see their costs rise, and anyone who newly applies in 2017 will see higher premiums and other financial changes as well.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Social Security Benefits

Medicare Part A: Hospital and Skilled Nursing Coverage

For those with Medicare Part A, premium, deductible, and coinsurance amounts have risen in 2017. These are not the only changes to Part A, but they are the most crucial. You can find the full list of adjustments at Medicare.gov.

Medicare Part A Feature 2016 Cost 2017 Cost
Monthly Premium (for individuals without a sufficient work history to qualify for premium-free coverage) $411 $417
Hospital Deductible $1,288 $1,316
Coinsurance for hospital stays, 61-90 $322 $329
Coinsurance for hospital stays, days 91 and beyond $644 $658
Coinsurance for skilled nursing home facilities, days 21-100 $161 $164.50

Medicare Part B: Medical Coverage

Medicare Part A covers only hospital or skilled nursing care, while Medicare Part B ensures coverage for doctor visits, physical therapy, durable medical equipment, and other outpatient services.

Costs in Part B have risen in 2017 too, including premium and co-insurance amounts. Keep in mind though that most people who receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits, pay a lower Part B premium. On average, the Medicare Part B cost for a Social Security beneficiary is about $109 a month.

Medicare Part B Feature 2016 Cost 2017 Cost
Income-influenced, Monthly Premium $121.80 or higher $34 or higher
Deductible $166 $183
Coinsurance 20% 20%

Social Security Disability and Medicare Benefits

If you receive disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA), you can additionally qualify for medical coverage through Medicaid and/or Medicare.

  • If you receive some or all of your disability payments through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, then you automatically qualify for “Extra Help” with Medicare Part D, which covers prescription drugs.
  • Most people who get SSI also meet the requirements for Medicaid, since both programs are income based. If you receive Medicaid, then your state Medicaid program may also cover some of the cost of your Medicare Part B premiums or pay the entire monthly Part B premium for you.
  • After a period of 24 months on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, Medicare coverage automatically becomes available to you. Since SSDI and Medicare both require a sufficient work history to qualify, then you will also meet the requirements for premium-free Medicare Part A, if you receive SSDI.
  • With the change in political administration in 2017, Medicare and Medicaid reform are both on the agenda. This may mean additional changes to the Medicare program, but beneficiaries shouldn’t worry too much about what’s still on the horizon. All politicians know retirees and disability recipients depend on Medicare, just as they do Social Security. For this reason, reforms may bring additional changes but not a loss of coverage.