* Outpatient coverage premium to rise by 5 percent
* Deductible to rise by 5 pct, hospitalization deductible up 2.4 pct
Nov 16 (Reuters) - Premiums paid by seniors for Medicare coverage will rise by $5 a month, or about 5 percent, the U.S. government health insurance program for the elderly said on Friday.
The increase to $104.90 a month is less than the $9 per month bump that had been projected earlier this year for Medicare Part B - the portion of the program that covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies and preventive services.
But the higher payment will eat up about a quarter of the 1.7 percent cost-living-increase Social Security recipients are set to receive next year.
“With millions of America’s seniors struggling with higher expenses - particularly higher health care costs - we need to do more to lower costs across the health care system and avoid further cost-shifting to seniors,” AARP legislative policy director David Cerner said in a statement.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also said the annual Part B deductible will increase 5 percent to $147 and the deductible for hospitalization costs - known as Part A - will rise 2.4 percent $1,184.
High-earning seniors, who already pay a bigger share of costs, will be charged 2013 Part B premium increases ranging from $42 to about $231 a month.