Medicare premium set to increase 7% by 2020, leaving fixed-income seniors worried

Health care costs are high, and they’re about to go up again.

John Hooks uses Medicare. If you ask him about the cost of health care these days, and he’ll tell you, “it’s way too high.”

Hooks says he has a lot to worry about, “My wife has MS. I’m getting older. Doctor visits are more frequent.”

He’s enrolled in Medicare Part B, which is supposed to help pay for those visits along with lab tests and medical equipment for people 65 and older.

Hooks says it covers most of his medical expenses, but the standard premium for Part B will increase by 7% in 2020. That’s according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services or CMS.

When it comes to your wallet, the 7% increase comes out to about $10 a month, which doesn’t seem like much, but if you’re retired and on a fixed income, it adds up quickly.

T.J. Depaola, with Cypress Pharmacy, says the higher premium won’t affect his business directly.

However, for patients who can barely afford their healthcare costs now, he says, “Sometimes they’ll skimp on meds when they don’t have money.” Leading to more health problems down the road.

CMS blames the increase on physician-administered drugs.

Adding to the problem, Social Security will only go up 1.6% next year.

Hooks, like many Americas, say, “Healthcare is a major element in our expenses,” who can’t ignore the increasing costs.

It doesn’t stop there.

Yearly deductibles for Part B will increase $13, as well.

And seniors relying on their savings aren’t helped by the low-interest rates because of the fed.

Reporter:Channing Frampton
Writer:Derrick Shaw
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