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The Ups and Downs of Medicare Part B Premiums: Frequently Asked Questions

This brief examines how Medicare Part B premiums for many beneficiaries are affected by the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits. Based on the most recent projections from the Medicare and Social Security Trustees, the brief examines the interactions between the two programs that resulted in some Medicare beneficiaries paying significantly higher Part B premiums in 2010 and 2011 when there was no Social Security COLA, followed by a drop in premiums in 2012.

The Ups and Downs of Medicare Part B Premiums

Previous versions:

December 2010

October 2009

May 2009

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.