The standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $96.40 in 2008, an increase of $2.90, or 3.1 percent, from the $93.50 Part B premium for 2007. The 2008 amount is the smallest percentage increase in the Part B premium since 2001 and is $2.10 less than the increase in the premium for 2007.
The 2008 Part B premium of $96.40 is equal to the amount projected in the 2007 Medicare Trustees Report issued in April. This monthly premium paid by beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Part B covers physicians’ services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and other items. Several factors account for the 3.1 percent increase in the premium.
Growth in certain areas of Medicare’s fee-for-service program, including growth in home health services, physician-administered drugs, ambulatory surgical center services, durable medical equipment, independent lab and physician’s office lab services, as well as growth in the Medicare Advantage program and a rise in other Part B services contributed to the increase. In particular, increases attributed to the Medicare Advantage program reflect the increase in the average risk of enrolled beneficiaries as well as the impact of fee-for-service cost growth on Medicare Advantage county benchmarks.
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