2012 Medicare Premiums & Cost Sharing

It's important to stay up-to-date about the latest changes that may affect your Medicare coverage. Every year new addendums are released that modify the pricing of your Medicare coverage. As a new year rolls through, you should stay up to date at www.medicare.gov to stay informed about any new changes that could modify your bank account. This article discusses a brief overlook at 2012 Medicare premiums & cost sharing policies, and some of the minor albeit noticeable modifications from 2011. This information has been compiled through the official Medicare resources found through their web site.

2012 Medicare Part A Premiums & Cost Sharing

Medicare Part A specifically relates to hospital related expenses that incurred. This could include extended periods of stay at a hospital, as well as specific procedures. Any Medicare beneficiary who is undergoing a procedure is incurred a deductible of $1,156, which is a minor increase of $24 from the 2011 rate of $1,132. Along with this, Medicare continues to implement a sliding scale of fees for their 2012 Medicare premiums & cost sharing policies. This is where your stay at the hospital for 1-60 days is covered by the deductible, but extended periods cost significantly more. For instance, days 61-90 you can expect a rate of $289, and after 90 days you must pay $578 per day. Many would suggest for low-income patients to search for state-sponsored services to assist with Medicare costs if you are caught in an extended period of treatment.

If you are a senior citizen requiring nursing care assistance, you or the paying beneficiary should also expect to pay the skilled nursing facility copayment, which is $144.50 a day for days 21-100, and then a substantial price increase after day 100. Fortunately, despite all of these charges, it should be noted that 2012 Medicare premiums & cost sharing policies maintain that almost all beneficiaries do not have to pay monthly premiums if they achieved the required 40 or more quarters of Medicare taxed work or government employment. If, however, you have achieved less than 40 quarters, you can expect a three-figure monthly charge in addition the premiums and deductibles related to your medical expenses ($248/month and $451/month for 30-39 achieved quarters and under 30 achieved quarters, respectively).

2012 Medicare Part B Premiums & Cost Sharing

Medicare Part B is related to basic medical insurance for check-ups at the doctor, in-house visits and other medical needs. The 2012 Medicare premiums & cost sharing rules indicate a decrease of monthly premium rates, at $99.90 for beneficiaries with income under $85,000 (or $170,000 if married), although many rates were adjusted in 2011 and patients actually paid less than this in 2011. Therefore, Medicare officials consider this to actually be a price increase. This increase is compensated by a Social Security monthly payment increase of 3.6%, which will easily manage any noticeable rate increases on the Medicare Part B premiums.

The 2012 Medicare premiums & cost sharing regulations for Medicare Part B also include a $140 annual deductible, as well as specific charges that relate to outpatient mental health services. For mental health related services, the initial visit and review costs 20% of the amount Medicare approves, and the treatment is 40% of the amount Medicare approves.

Keep in mind there are differences in the price-scale that depend on your personal income status and the 2012 Medicare premiums & cost sharing policies. The cost of premiums for Medicare Part B increases substantially with higher income levels. Most recipients pay the standard amount if they make under $85,000, but an individual who makes greater than $214,000 can expect to pay almost triple the normal amount - at $319.70.

2012 Medicare Part D Premiums & Cost Sharing

The 2012 Medicare premiums & cost sharing policies that relate to Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Programs are slightly lower versus 2011 rates. Premiums for basic Medicare Part D coverage is only $30, and for the Medicare Advantage service, the premium rates are now 4% lower, as well. This minor percentage decreases are, of course, good news as even these small percentile changes can accumulate with savings over the long-term, when dealing with pricy medical bills. As mentioned before, don't be too intimidated by high Medicare prices before first seeking state sponsored programs to help low-income beneficiaries pay for medical costs. In addition, in 2012 there has been an increased amount of prescription drug savings that carry over from 2011 (50% off brand name drugs, and a new 14% cut on generic drugs, up from 7% in 2011) and encompass many other changes that relate to American health care reform laws.

In addition to these slight cost adjustments to the 2012 Medicare premiums & cost sharing policies, there are other more substantial changes to be aware of as health care reform continues. In addition to these new prices that slightly favor the beneficiaries, there are also increased benefits through new incentive programs designed to increase customer satisfaction, which you can research through www.medicare.gov. Medicare is continually evolving, and it would be wise to stay as informed as possible through book marking the best online resources that discuss this topic, and checking the Medicare government web-page for updates in Medicare legislation, and any other changes that could potentially affect your bank account, or your health and well-being.