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Rise In Medicare Premiums Less Than Feared In 2012

The government says Medicare's basic monthly premium will go up significantly less than expected next year.

It works out to an additional $3.50 a month for most seniors instead of the $10.20 forecast in May.

Score it as a political break for President Barack Obama and the Democrats, who have been struggling with senior voters since the health care overhaul law cut Medicare spending.

Officials said Thursday the Part B premium for outpatient care will be $99.90 a month for 2012.

That means the three-fourths of Medicare recipients whose premiums have been frozen at the 2008 rate of $96.40 a month keep more of next year's highly anticipated Social Security raise.

Some younger beneficiaries who enrolled recently have been paying $115.40. They'll save $15.50 a month.


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