NARFE Sets Up Web Page and Letters to Protest Medicare Part B Premium Increase

By on October 7, 2015 in Current Events, Retirement with 23 Comments

The National Active and Retired Federal Employee Association (NARFE) has started a web page devoted to opposing the projected 52% increase in Medicare Part B premiums from $104.90 to $159.30 per month.

On their web page is a copy of the joint letter that 70 organizations, including NARFE, have sent to congressional leaders asking for protection of those not currently held harmless by the Social Security rules. The organization has also supplied an issue brief outlining the problem and their suggested solutions.

You do not need to be a member of NARFE to access the web page and documents.

The page also contains a link to an electronic letter that individuals can send to their congressional representatives asking for relief from this proposed increase.

Note that while sending an electronic form letter is helpful, congressional representatives are more likely to react to individual messages, letters, and telephone calls rather than to a generic form letter.

Under current law, without administration or congressional action, Medicare trustees will have to implement the proposed increase to offset higher costs in the Part B program. The Social Security Act does not allow the trustees to pass along an increased premium if that increase results in a reduction of Social Security benefits. This covers approximately 70% of Social Security recipients.

As a result, the entire amount of the increase must be shared among the approximately 30% of the Part B participants who do not have their premiums deducted from their Social Security benefits.

© 2016 Michael Wald. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Michael Wald.

About the Author

Michael Wald is an independent economics analyst and writer based in the Atlanta area. He specializes in topics related to business, labor, and human resources. Prior to his retirement from the U.S. Department of Labor, he served as the agency’s Southeast Regional Director of Public Affairs and Southeast Regional Economist.

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