Medicare deductible and premium rates will go up in 1999

December 1, 1998

Pharmaceutical Representative

Rates for Medicare deductibles and monthly premiums will go up in 1999, the Department of Health and Human Services announced.

Rates for Medicare deductibles and monthly premiums will go up in 1999, the Department of Health and Human Services announced.

The Part A deductible for inpatient hospital care will rise by $4 to $768. In 1998, the deductible rose by this amount as well, and the parallel increase reflects savings from reductions in Medicare hospital payments and other program changes made law in the balanced budget agreement.

The Part A deductible is a beneficiary's only cost for the first 60 days of inpatient hospital care. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the beneficiary co-insurance for hospital stays longer than 60 days is rising by $1 to $192 per day, while the beneficiary co-insurance for stays longer than 90 days will increase by $2 to $384 per day. Skilled-nursing facility co-insurance, which is paid after the first 20 days of skilled-nursing care, will increase by $0.50 to $96 per day.

In 1999, the Part B premium will increase $1.70 per month. The increase is the first since 1997, and $5 less than premiums estimated by the Congressional Budget Office in the Balanced Budget Act. The higher premium will cause the total monthly premium rate for most seniors to rise to $45.50.

The Part B premium covers physician services, hospital outpatient care, durable medical equipment and other services outside hospitals.

Most Medicare beneficiaries do not pay premiums for Part A coverage, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The 360,000 seniors who do will not see an increase in their premiums in 1999. PR

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