Articles about Medicare that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees

Medicare Premiums to Rise by $5 a Month

Medicare premiums will rise by $5 a month next year, the government said Friday. That is less than expected, but enough to consume about a fourth of a typical retiree’s cost-of-living raise in Social Security payments next year. Marilyn Tavenner, the acting administrator of Medicare, said the new “Part B” premium for outpatient care would be $104.90 a month. In most cases, it is deducted from a beneficiary’s monthly Social Security payment. The government had projected a premium increase of as much as $9 a month for 2013, but health care inflation has remained modest.

How Insurers Can Help

How Insurers Can Help

New York Times Editorial

October 1, 2012: Private insurance companies should be leading the way in the struggle to control health care costs. They know about every contact a patient has with the health care system and can see how much is wasteful or redundant. By altering the way they pay doctors and hospitals, they can potentially push providers to reduce costs, improve quality and even transform the whole culture of American medicine.


State's 1.43% Bucks Trend

MAY 2012 VOICE: With national health costs struggling to stay below 100% increases and our state’s public sector critics crying “budget busters”, the Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission’s (GIC) FY13 rate increase of just 1.43% has to be headline news.


OME Rates Clarified

APRIL 18, 2012: For the overwhelming majority of Medicare eligible retirees insured through the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC), the insurance plan of choice has long been the Optional Medicare Extension (OME) Plan run by UniCare. Typically, most OME subscribers also include CIC coverage with their basic plan.

Annual Insurance Hearing Draws Retirees

Annual Insurance Hearing Draws Retirees

FEBRUARY 1, 2012: Over 100 employees and retirees attended today’s annual public hearing of the Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) held in Minihan Hall at the Lindemann Center.

Dolores Mitchell, Executive Director of the GIC, presented an extensive update of all commission activities and an estimated projection of future needs and costs.

Mitchell started by pointing out that the Commonwealth could be under some pressure from the added costs of Federal health care reform.


Potential Targets: Social Security & Medicare

NOVEMBER 2011 VOICE: In early August, the US Congress and President Obama reached a compromise agreement to raise the Federal Debt Ceiling, as well as cut an immediate $900 billion in federal spending. The compromise also created a 12-member Congressional “Super Committee” tasked with cutting at least another $1.5 trillion in federal spending over 10 years.

Medicare Part B Premiums for 2012 Lower Than Projected

Medscape Medical News

October 28, 2011 — More prudent use of medical services and tougher competition among healthcare providers has slowed the growth of Medicare spending, allowing for Part B premiums to be lower than projected, federal health officials said yesterday.


Monthly Premium of $99.90 Begins in January

OCTOBER 28, 2011: The federal government has announced that the standard Medicare Part B premium for 2012 will be $99.90 per month. Under the Medicare program, eligible retirees are responsible for 25% of the total cost of Part B, with the federal government subsidizing the remaining 75%.