"Means testing" and Medicare Part B

2008 is the second year for "means testing" for Medicare Part B premiums.

Medicare beneficiaries with higher incomes pay more for their Part B coverage than Medicare beneficiaries with lower incomes.  The coverage does not change.

There is no precedent for this "means testing".  Although there are situations where insurance premiums vary [automobile, homeowners etc], the premium difference is related to the costs for providing coverage in that geographic area etc.  There has never been any reason to believe that Medicare beneficiaries with higher incomes have more costly Part B expenses than Medicare beneficiaries with lower incomes.

"Means testing" has the potential for destroying the Medicare program.  Beneficiaries with higher incomes [and without significant medical expenses] have the option of abandoning Medicare and purchasing [less costly] health insurance from other sources.  If a significant number of beneficiaries abandon the Medicare program, the Part B premiums will increase drastically for those remaining in the program.  This could be the beginning of the end for Medicare Part B!!

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