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 ebudget.ca.gov/BudgetSummary/HHS/32266019.html.
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.