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Medicare Costs Rise In 2000

The Federal Health and Human Services Department announced Oct. 19 that out-of-pocket health care costs for the 39 million Americans covered by Medicare, the national health insurance program for the elderly and disabled, will be as follows:

  • Premiums for Medicare "Part B" coverage for doctor's office visits and other out-of-hospital treatment will remain at $45.50 a month. Most beneficiaries have this amount deducted automatically from their Social Security checks

  • The annual deductible for hospital care will rise from $768 to $776

  • Co-payments for hospital stays longer than 60 days will rise from $192 to $194 a day

  • Co-payments for hospital stays longer than 90 days will rise from $384 to $388 a day

  • Co-payments charged after the first 20 days of care in a nursing home will rise from $96 to $97 a day. Medicare covers up to 100 days of nursing home care following hospitalization.

The 365,000 Medicare beneficiaries who must pay a monthly premium for "Part A" coverage of hospital care will get a break in 2000 as it drops to from $309 to $301. Retirees who spent less than 7 1/2 years in the work force, along with people who have lost Social Security disability coverage because of earnings from work, will have to pay the monthly charge. Retirees who contributed Medicare payroll taxes for 7 1/2 to 10 working years will pay $166 a month. There will be no monthly premium charged to retirees who paid Medicare payroll taxes for more than 10 years.

Source: Associated Press

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