Gov. Baker seeks congressional help on $152M MassHealth increase

October 26, 2015

The federal Medicare program is raising its premiums, and Massachusetts is preparing to take a $152-million annual hit. According to MassHealth officials, Medicare will instate a 50% premium increase for Medicare Part B enrollees starting Jan. 1. While Medicare Part B premiums are typically born by the members and supplement coverage provided by standard Medicare programs, the state pays the premiums for approximately 240,000 people with incomes too low to qualify for Medicaid. The state expects to pay an additional $38 million in the first quarter that the premium increase goes into effect. The federal government will reimburse the state for some of the expense, although it isn't clear how much will ultimately be borne by Massachusetts. In an Oct. 22 letter to the Mass. congressional delegation Gov. Charlie Baker wrote "I respectfully request that you support a fix to this urgent problem and reduce, if not eliminate, the financial impact on both beneficiaries and states like Massachusetts."
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