NU Online News Service, May 19, 2004, 12:13 p.m. EDT – Some high-income seniors may have to pay about $3,800 per year for Medicare Part B outpatient coverage by 2011, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington.[@@]

The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 requires Medicare to reduce Part B subsidies for beneficiaries with annual incomes over $80,000. For beneficiaries who earn more than $200,000 per year, the subsidy will fall to 20%, from 75%, EBRI says.

At first, the subsidy cut will affect only 3% of beneficiaries, but the cut could affect 6% of the beneficiaries by 2013, EBRI says.

The changes mean that the cost of Part B coverage probably will increase to about $1,200, from about $800, for most beneficiaries, but the cost will increase from about $800 to about $3,800 for seniors with annual incomes over $200,000, EBRI says.