Urgent Legislative Alert Medicare Part B

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Urgent Legislative Alert Medicare Part B

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Urgent Legislative Alert

(PERI State Office – October 26, 2017)  Ohio public sector retirees may be faced with a significant increase in their Medicare Part B premiums. The Social Security Administration recently announced that the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 2017 will be .3%.  Unless Congress addresses the issue, the low Social Security COLA in 2017 will trigger the Act’s “hold harmless” provision, thereby shifting the entire cost of the proposed 2017 Medicare Part B premium increase from the Medicare beneficiary population as a whole to the minority of Medicare beneficiaries who are not eligible to be held harmless.

Because many OPERS’ members do not receive Social Security benefits, they are ineligible to take advantage of the “hold harmless” provision.  When triggered, the “hold harmless” provision does not eliminate any proposed increase in Medicare Part B premiums; rather, it applies the proposed increase only to the smaller, non-held harmless population.

Stated another way, approximately 30% of the Medicare beneficiary population is responsible for paying 100% of the proposed increase in Medicare Part B premiums.

In 2017, the “hold harmless” provision will apply to exempt most Medicare beneficiaries from paying the higher premium amount while also exposing many of our members, as well as those who have recently aged into Medicare and those who are dually-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, to significantly increased costs.

We need Congress to intervene now to prevent your Part B premium from increasing 20% or more!  We understand that the remaining legislative calendar is short, but we are seeking Congress’ assistance in providing some relief for the 30% of Medicare beneficiaries who will not be held harmless from the increased Medicare Part B premiums in 2017.  Ohio public employee retirees will be hit with a more than 20% increase in their Med B premiums, while the rest of the population is held harmless from such increases.

Take Action Now! Call or write Senators Sherrod Brown, Rob Portman and your Congressman to voice your concerns!

Contact Senator Brown:   (202) 224-2315, 713 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

Contact Senator Portman: (202) 224-3353, 448 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

Copy and paste this link into your computer browser to identify contact information for your Congressman:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find

Here are the most important points to convey:

  • Without Congressional action, many of Ohio public sector retirees will face a 20% or higher increase in their Medicare Part B premiums. They are not held harmless under federal law, as are about 70% of Medicare recipients. Retired public sector employees in Ohio, who don’t receive Social Security benefits, should not be expected to carry the burden of paying for all the increased costs in Part B.
  • Mitigate the impact of this unfair and unreasonable burden by supporting a legislative solution now to protect me and other OPERS retirees with Medicare coverage from the unintended consequences resulting from the hold harmless provision protecting other Social Security recipients.

 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Rita Edwards says:

    I read about the “Husband” being helped and wondered if there any special provisions for poverty level OPERS single retirees? My sister receives a little over $10,000. disability income from OPERS (which appears as retirement NOT DISABILITY INCOME on her W-2’s and taxable). This is her only income.

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