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Medicare Rates for 2003 Announced

  • October 21st, 2002

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the premium, deductible and coinsurance rates that Medicare beneficiaries will pay in 2003. The rates change each year based on statutory formulas. Following are the changes affecting most beneficiaries:

  • The deductible for Medicare Part A, which pays for inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, and some home health care: $840 in 2003, up 3.5 percent from this year''s $812 deductible.
  • The monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which covers physician services and outpatient hospital services: $58.70 in 2003, an increase of 8.7 percent over the $54 premium for 2002.
  • Medicare Part A co-payment for extended hospital stays in 2003: $210 per day for days 61-90, and $420 per day for hospital stays beyond the 90th day. For 2002, the figures were $203 and $406, respectively.
  • Co-payment for days 21 through 100 of skilled nursing facility stays: $105 in 2003, compared with $101.50 in 2002.

'Health care costs have spiraled out of control,' commented Robert M. Hayes, president of the Medicare Rights Center. This, Hayes said, 'means more hardship for older and disabled Americans.' Still, Hayes noted that Medicare is a 'model of efficiency' compared to private health insurance, where premiums are jumping 15.4 percent next year.

'Private insurers, and politicians who ideologically push privatization as the solution to all problems, have much to learn from the Medicare program,' Hayes said. 'Medicare spends just two percent on administrative costs. Private, profit-making insurers routinely spend ten times that amount.'

For the HHS press release outlining all the Medicare rate changes, go to: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2002pres/20021018.html

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Last Modified: 10/21/2002

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