Bonnie Burns, our Training and Policy Specialist, has made many statements over the last few years related to the “camel’s nose under the tent” with regard to the creation of increased Medicare premiums for people with high incomes. And, as she predicted, those thresholds for high income seniors are likely to be set lower, in addition to the freeze on cost of living adjustments. Below is link to a story related to Congressional attempts to raise premiums for higher income beneficiaries that will ultimately also affect middle income beneficiaries. In addition, our President’s own proposals include freezing the high income threshold until 25% of beneficiaries would be subject to higher Part B and D premiums, and also include a higher Part B deductible for that same group. It’s important to note that high income with regard to workers is much, much greater than high incomes for retirees, an interesting contrast.
For example, when Obama talks about raising taxes on the rich, he means individuals making more than $200,000 a year and families above $250,000. But his health care law fixed the level for paying “high-income” Medicare premiums at the current $85,000 and above for an individual, $170,000 for families. And the new Republican plan would drop the thresholds to $80,000 for an individual and $160,000 for families.