Medicare beneficiary

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A Medicare beneficiary is a patient enrolled in the Medicare program for government coverage of medical expenses for individuals over 65 years old and some younger patients on disability. Medicare Plan A covers hospital costs, in which all Medicare-eligible patients are automatically enrolled, and Medicare Plan B covers physician fees, which requires enrollment by the patient to pay a monthly premium.

Recently about 4 percent of the 43-million Medicare beneficiaries have been required to pay more than the standard monthly premium ($93.50 in 2007) if their income exceeds $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for married couples.[Citation Needed] President Bush is proposing expanding who must pay the higher premiums as a way of reducing budgetary losses in the program.