The basic premium for Medicare Part B will be $115.40 a month in 2011.

The basic premium for Medicare Part B will be $115.40 a month in 2011, up from $110.50 in 2010 (a 4.4 percent increase). But because there will be no cost of living benefit increase for Social Security recipients for 2011, most beneficiaries will be exempted from paying this increase and will instead pay the same $96.40 premium amount they have paid since 2008.

A "hold-harmless" provision in the Medicare law prohibits Part B premiums from rising more than that year's cost of living increase in Social Security benefits. Since there is no Social Security increase, most beneficiaries — about 73 percent — will not have to pay any increased Part B premiums because of the hold-harmless provision. Those covered by the provision will continue to pay Part B premiums of $96.40 per month in 2011.

But this hold-harmless protection does not apply to the other 27 percent of beneficiaries — about 12 million in all — who either:

  • do not have their Part B premiums withheld from their Social Security checks, or
  • pay a higher Part B premium surcharge based on high income (see below), or
  • are newly enrolled in Part B.

All Medicare beneficiaries will be subject to the new deductibles and co-payments, as outlined below. Medicare Part B covers physician services as well as qualifying out-patient hospital care, durable medical equipment, and certain home health services, among other services.

Following are all the new Medicare figures for 2011:

  • Basic Part B premium: $115.40/month

  • Part B deductible: $162 (was $155)

  • Part A deductible: $1,132 (was $1,100)

  • Co-payment for hospital stay days 61-90: $283/day (was $275)

  • Co-payment for hospital stay days 91 and beyond: $566/day (was $550)

  • Skilled nursing facility co-payment, days 21-100: $141.50/day (was $137.50)

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