by Eileen Ambrose – AARP
The bipartisan budget agreement reached by the White House and congressional leaders wards off a spike next year in Medicare premiums and deductibles for millions of older Americans as well as ensures full Social Security disability benefits to millions who had faced steep cuts. The accord went to President Barack Obama after being adopted by the House of Representatives Oct. 28 and by the Senate Oct. 30.
In a letter to Congress, AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkinsapplauded the agreement: “Your efforts to reach across the aisle and together find sensible solutions to significant problems are appreciated and commended.”
Here’s a look at measures in the deal that affect the pocketbooks of older Americans.
Limits Medicare premium deductible increases. With no Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2016, 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will see no increase in their monthly Part B premiums next year, despite the program’s increased costs. But because of a wrinkle in federal rules, the burden of paying for the increased costs was to fall on the other 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries through an increase in premiums from $104.90 to $159.30. The budget deal softens the blow to $120 a month.