State Will No Longer Pay Part B Premium for Beneficiaries with a Share of Cost Over $500

As of November 1, 2008, California’s 57,000 Medicare beneficiaries who also have Medi-Cal with a share-of-cost (SOC) over $500 will no longer have their Medicare Part B premium paid for by the state. This means people with a share of cost incomes that exceed 129% of the Federal Poverty Level ($13,416/year for an individual and $18,060 for a couple) will have to pay the $96.40 Part B premium themselves each month in order to keep their Medicare Part B.

Previously, all Medicare beneficiaries with Medi-Cal, whether they had full Medi-Cal or Medi-Cal with a share of cost, did not had to pay their Medicare Part B premiums. Now, (as of 11/1/08) these beneficiaries will have their $96.40 monthly Medicare Part B premium deducted from their Social Security checks.  Paying an extra almost $100 each month for one’s Part B premium may well be a large financial burden to the tens of thousands of people affected by this change.

This change is part of the Governor’s proposed budget reductions and is expected to save $50.1 million in 2008-09 fiscal year. See a summary of all budget changes at

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is sending out a letter to all affected beneficiaries on October 22, 2008. DHCS will also send out a more detailed notice within a month.

See our website for more information on Medi-Cal.

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.