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>It was much better for me to give up the benefits offered by my former employer and go on my own. I now have basically the same coverage I always had while working, but the premium is only $20/month in addition to the Part B amount (which, by the way, is $96.40 for me this year). I had been paying $266/mo under my former employer's plan.<<

We have recently discovered that the $65 Part B amount that we were charged is in ADDITION to the $96.40. They chose a year to base it on and if you have any special income during that year, tough luck to you, your amount will be increased. They even state that in their letter. They will re-assess it next year but won't change this year's charge even if your income has gone to zero. The government will keep after us until they have every dime of ours, and then they have to support us. I have never figured out why government considers that preferable but that's apparently what they've decided.
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