Prescription drug coverage is not the only change coming to Medicare.
This year Medicare began offering new preventive benefits. New members receive a free “welcome to Medicare” physical. Also covered now are screening tests for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
The annual deductible for Part B also is rising to $105 and will be indexed for the program’s per capita cost.
Beginning in 2007, upper income members will pay higher premiums on Part B. The higher premiums will be paid by individuals with incomes above $80,000 and couples with incomes above $160,000. The higher premiums are on a sliding scale and will be phased in through 2011.