WASHINGTON — Nearly 31 million aged and disabled Medicare recipients will have to pay about $300 a year in premiums on Jan. 1, an unprecedented 38.5% jump over the current $214, White House and health officials said today.
The Department of Health and Human Services said the Medicare premium that covers medical services, such as doctor's care, will jump from $17.90 a month this year to $24.80 in 1988--more than $83 a year--mainly because the cost of physicians' services for the elderly is rising much faster than expected.
Medicare recipients will be required to pay a total of $297.60 a year, compared to the $214.80 this year.
Hospital Charges to Rise
Also to increase under Medicare is the amount a patient must pay a hospital for the first day of hospitalization, rising from $520 this year to $540 in 1988.
Medicare provides health benefits to people 65 or older and the permanently disabled.
A senior White House official said that while the increase is the largest in the program's 22-year history, it will be offset by an expected 4.2% cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits, averaging just under $500 a year.