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SLIGHT INCREASE COMING IN MEDICARE DEDUCTIBLE

The deductible in Medicare insurance for in-patient hospital care will increase slightly — by less than 1 percent — for calendar year 2000, Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II announced Tuesday in his capacity as the territory's banking and insurance commissioner.
The Medicare Part A deductible will rise by $8, to $776, James said. This deductible is the beneficiary's only cost for up to 60 days of in-patient hospital care.
"This small increase reflects savings from reductions in the [federal] Balanced Budget Act to help protect and preserve the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund," the lieutenant governor said. Most Medicare beneficiaries do not pay premiums for Medicare Part A coverage, he said.
He also noted that the Part B premium, which is paid by Medicare beneficiaries, will remain unchanged for the coming year. Part B coverage is for physician services.
For further information on Medicare premiums and deductibles, call 774-7915 on St. Thomas or 778-6311, ext. 2338 on St. Croix.

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