Medicare users could pay more for preventive care

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COLUMBIA - 30 percent of Medicare users will see a 52 percent increase in their Part B premiums in 2016. 

This information comes from the 2015 Medicare trustees report. Affected users will go from paying $104.90 to $159.30.

The "hold harmless" provision for Medicare Plan B goes into effect in 2016. Under this provision, when there is no change in cost-of-living adjustments, Medicare users who receive Social Security benefits are exempt from premium increases. This exemption will apply to 70 percent of Medicare users, leaving the other 7 million to shoulder the burden. 

Under the current law, applicable premiums had to be raised to offset the ones that were exempt. 

Carol Beahan, director of the CLAIM program, works with Medicare users to find the right program for them. 

She said she wants users to be wise and choose the best plan of action for their health, but also for their budget. 

The CLAIM program is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm to help Medicare users not only enroll in a plan, but also to adjust to these financial changes. 

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