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Medicare premiums rise less than expected

There had initially been fears among retirees that Medicare costs would increase in the coming year, but a recent announcement by the Obama administration provided some relatively good news. The Medicare Part B premium will only go up by about $3.50 for most beneficiaries, and some may even receive a decrease in costs, AARP reports.

The announcement allays the fears of many that the monthly premium could rise as high as $106, especially after Social Security received a 3.6 cost of living adjustment last week. With the rise in Social Security and the minimal boost in costs, retirees will have likely have more money in 2012 than in years past. Furthermore, the news is even better if you look at the annual Part B deductible, which covers everything from outpatient procedures to medical equipment, dropped from $162 to $140.

"AARP is pleased that the vast majority of people in Medicare will see just a $3.50 increase in their Part B premiums," said David Certner, AARP's legislative policy director. "Millions of America's seniors are struggling with higher expenses … and this small increase is welcome news."

The lower-than-expected rise in costs is being seen by some as a success for the Obama administration and the Affordable Care Act that was signed into law last year. Some had criticized the bill as harmful to older adults, but according to The New York Times, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius cited the rates as "pretty remarkable."

Baby boomers may benefit from the news most of all. There are approximately 77.6 million people born between 1946 and 1964 in the U.S., and around 10,000 boomers reach retirement age each day.

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