Phone calls from Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) members have pushed Congress towards a Medicare Part B compromise. As we reported two weeks ago, Medicare Part B premiums are set to increase next year for retirees whose premiums are not automatically deducted from their Social Security benefit payments.
The originally proposed premium increase would affect approximately 30 percent of Medicare Part B recipients, including retired educators who are impacted by the Government Pension Offset (GPO) or the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) but who do not receive enough Social Security income to have their Medicare Part B premiums automatically deducted.
Also included in the proposed premium increase are retirees who receive no Social Security income due to GPO and WEP, those who will be enrolling in Medicare Part B next year for the first time and those who have higher incomes and are charged higher premiums. The other 70 percent of Social Security recipients with Medicare Part B are held harmless from this premium hike because there is no increase projected for Social Security this year.
TRTA members rallied together on this issue, arguing that the premium increase was unfair and required immediate congressional intervention.
Congress’s proposed compromise includes reducing the premium increase to 17 percent. The original premium increase would have been 52 percent. In terms of dollars, most retirees affected by this increase would pay $120 per month for Medicare Part B (with an additional $3 per month “surcharge”) instead of the proposed $159.30 per month.
This budget deal passed the House and is off to the Senate for consideration.
TRTA still contends that no Medicare B premium increase should impact one group of retirees over another, and we are still working with our members of the Texas congressional delegation to see if more can be done to reduce the impact of this proposed increase. For now, TRTA members can feel assured that their voice is being heard, and that TRTA is working diligently to help you with this important matter.
Thank you for your tireless support and ongoing effort to get results. TRTA believes that our members are the most dedicated, organized, and active advocates in Texas and in Washington, D.C.! Please let your friends and fellow TRS retirees know that TRTA is getting results, and that we will continue to make a difference if we all rally together and stay involved in our great organization.
We will keep you posted on this important matter as it progresses through the Congressional process.
Protecting your health care benefits is one of TRTA’s top priorities, and your participation makes all of difference! Be sure to stay tuned to our other digital mediums to stay informed on all the latest news and updates. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.