News of the Day ... in Perspective10/16/2003
Medicare Part B premiums to rise next year by $7.90 a month, to $66.60, according to an Associated Press story, October 16. Annual increases are mandated by Congress, which requires that participants' premiums cover one-fourth of the cost of the program.
This means that working people, many of whom can't afford to buy their own insurance, will be paying an additional $31.60 and a total of $266.40 per month, or $2,397.60 per year, for each Medicare beneficiary's Part B benefits.
Three-fourths of Part B benefits are funded through general revenues. All of Medicare Part A is paid for from the payroll taxes of people who are currently working.