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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: December 4, 2012 01:38 PM
From: Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Exclude Medicare Premiums from Income under the Senior Citizens Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program
I am reintroducing Senate Bill 82, amending Chapter 13 (Senior Citizens Property Tax and Rent Rebate Assistance) of the Taxpayer Relief Act (2006 Sp. Sess. Act 1) to exclude from the definition of income Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) premiums when calculating Social Security benefits.

Under current law, an applicant is required to report as income 50% of all benefits received under the Social Security Act. This amount includes Medicare Part B premiums that are withheld from the amount paid to beneficiaries. In 2013, the standard premium for Medicare recipients will be nearly $105 a month or $1,260/year. It is my understanding that this premium is taken directly out of their payment by the Social Security Administration, so the beneficiaries never receive this as income.

Recognizing that Part B premiums are deducted automatically from a Medicare recipient’s benefits, I do not believe that portion of the benefits should be counted towards their Social Security income. By revising the law to exclude the Medicare Part B premiums, it will result in applicants reporting about $630 less in income. This amount could make the difference for some in qualifying for the Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program or possibly receiving a larger rebate.

By removing Medicare Part B premiums as part of Social Security benefits when calculating income, more seniors who live on a limited, fixed income will be able to benefit from this program and help lessen the impact of higher rents and property taxes.

Introduced as SB111