For 2010 the Medicare Part B premium has increased to $110.50 although most people will continue to pay the 2009 rate of $96.40. Most people have their Part B premium deducted from their monthly Social Security benefit check. In 2010, Social Security benefits won't include a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), which means Social Security benefit checks won't increase. However, the Social Security Act protects most people from having a decrease in their Social Security benefits from one year to the next because of an increase in the Part B premium. This means that most people who have the Part B premium deducted from their Social Security benefit check will continue to pay $96.40 each month.

In 2010, the following people aren't protected and will pay the standard $110.50 or more for their Part B premium:

oPeople who get Part B beginning January 1, 2010, or later (new enrollees) will pay the increased premium.

oPeople with incomes above certain amounts will pay increased premiums.

o People who have Part B but don't get Social Security benefits will pay the increased Part B premium.

(This article contains the current opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Brighton Securities Corp. The author's opinions are subject to change without notice. This blog post is for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended and should not be interpreted as recommendations to purchase or sell such securities).