Moeller: Everything you need to know about Medicare Advantage

Journalist Philip Moeller, who writes widely on health and retirement, is here to provide the Medicare answers you need in “Ask Phil, the Medicare Maven.” Send your questions to Phil.

Courtesy of Creative Commons
Courtesy of Creative Commons

We interrupt today’s scheduled class, er, column, on open enrollment with news about the feds coming to the rescue of millions of Medicare beneficiaries who have been facing 50 percent hikes next year in their premiums and deductibles for Part B of Medicare — the part that covers doctors, outpatient and medical equipment expenses.

I have written about this situation before, at great length if not elegance. So, to keep it short today, the federal budget deal includes a $7.5 billion loan to Medicare that it will use to help pay some of next year’s Part B expenses.

These funds would otherwise have had to come from the 30 percent of Medicare users who were not held harmless when Social Security recently announced a zero COLA for 2017. Again, if this is all gibberish to you, please check out the aforementioned link.

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Philip Moeller

Philip Moeller is a research fellow at the Center on Aging & Work at Boston College and co-author of “How to Live to 100.”

He wrote his latest book, “How to Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security,” with Making Sen$e’s Paul Solman and Larry Kotlikoff. He is now working on a companion book about Medicare.

Follow him on Twitter @PhilMoeller or e-mail him at

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