Proposals to raise premiums for higher-income Medicare beneficiaries are currently being discussed along with other options to reduce federal spending on Medicare. This brief describes current law with respect to the income-related Medicare Part B and Part D premiums. It also describes how new proposals would increase the share of beneficiaries who would pay the higher premium, and the amounts that they would pay. Given the relatively low incomes of most people on Medicare, significant savings from such proposals are only possible by going relatively far down the income scale to reach a sizeable share of beneficiaries.
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