Press Release             

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Paul Precht
Director of Policy and Communications
202-544-5561

Robert M. Hayes
President
212-204-6215

September 19, 2008

Stable Part B Premium Is Good News for People with Medicare

New York, NY — The announcement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today that the monthly Part B premium will remain at $96.40 is "welcome news" for older adults and people with disabilities who have seen the premium charged for doctor visits and other Medicare outpatient services more than double, from $45.50 since 2000, said Robert M. Hayes, President of the Medicare Rights Center.

"News that health care premiums are not going up is rare these days. The stability in the Part B premium is good news for people with Medicare struggling to cope with rising prescription drug costs and medical bills," said Mr. Hayes. "Congress and the next President should look closely at the Medicare program as a model for health reform in 2009," he said.

The Part B premium will remain the same in 2009 for a number of technical reasons, including more than adequate contingency reserves in the Part B trust fund account, according to CMS.

The Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs and public policy initiatives.