Medicare fee hike will impact more than 500,000 Oklahomans

Friday, September 3rd 2004, 6:05 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Most Oklahomans eligible for Medicare will have to pay $139.20 more a year for doctors' visits, outpatient care and home health care starting next year.

The 17% hike is the biggest in Medicare's 40-year history.

Medicare Part B premiums will rise. About 96% of Oklahomans eligible for Medicare are enrolled in Part B.

Federal officials say Social Security increases should help make up the difference for most Medicare beneficiaries.

Doctor Mark McClellan with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says the premiums are going up because of rising health costs and the addition of Medicare drug coverage.

Federal officials say the Medicare premium increases will keep payments to doctors from falling significantly.