Rapid growth in the intensity and utilization of Part B services in hospital outpatient services is a primary reason for a $10.30 increase in the monthly premium for Medicare Part B services, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
In addition to the growth in hospital outpatient services, the growth of Part B services in physician office visits, lab tests, minor procedures, and physician-administered drugs also prompted the premium increase.
The premium in 2006 will be $88.50, up from $78.20 in 2005. Despite the increase, most beneficiaries will see lower out-of-pocket expenses because of new savings on Medicare prescription drugs.
To view CMS’s analysis of the Part B premium rate increase, click here.