No rise in monthly Medicare premiums for 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government says monthly Medicare premiums will hold steady at $96.40 next year. It's the first time since 2000 that the charge for health coverage is not increasing.

Premiums usually go up to reflect higher costs and demand for care. But federal officials said Friday anticipated growth will be offset by an adequate reserve in the Medicare Part B trust fund account.

The monthly premium for Medicare Part B covers physician services, home health and the purchase of certain medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and oxygen machines.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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