Should Higher Income Beneficiaries Pay More For Medicare?

By: Jill Bernstein
Published: May 1999

Medicare Brief No. 2 ~ May 1999

Summary: As Medicare cost increase, policymakers are searching for equitable ways to secure the program's financial base. Proposals that would require higher-income Medicare beneficiaries to pay a higher proportion of the program's costs are designed to increase beneficiaries' contribution without placing an unacceptable financial burden on those least able to afford it. Designing and implementing such a policy involves difficult tradeoffs in terms of revenue gains, burden on beneficiaries, and political support for Medicare over the long term.