HHS announces lower Medicare premiums for 2012 than initially projected


Due to the COLA adjustment, seniors won't be held harmless for Medicare premium increases as they have in recent years. As a result, the increase is lower and more evenly spread out than initially projected. 

In 2011, only about a quarter of beneficiaries — new enrollees, people with higher incomes and low-income beneficiaries whose premiums are paid by states — weren't held harmless and paid a higher premium of $115.40.

Democrats were quick to tout the news.

"Today's announcement of a lower Medicare Part B premium and deductible is welcomed news for America's seniors and people with disabilities," Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), ranking member on the Ways and Means health subcommittee, said in a statement. "These reductions are a direct result of the Medicare reforms included in the Affordable Care Act – further affirmation of the positive impact health reform is already having on Americans' pocketbooks."