Armed Forces News

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that the premium to be paid by Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Part B will jump to $78.20 in 2005 This is an increase of $11.60 over the $66.60 premium in 2004. The new premium reflects general growth in health care costs, higher payments to physicians and Medicare Advantage coordinated care health plans under the Medicare Modernization Act, and a build of trust fund reserves, says HHS. Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment and other items. Military retirees and their spouses and survivors must be enrolled in Part B to be eligible for Tricare for Life benefits.