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WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare said its “Part B” premium for outpatient care will rise to $144.60 a month next year, an increase of $9.10, or nearly 7 percent.

That follows a smaller $1.50 rise this year.

The health care cost increase comes after Social Security announced a modest 1.6 percent cost-of-living raise for 2020.

The Part B premium is an unofficial yardstick used by beneficiaries to track what health care is costing them. Part B covers doctor visits and outpatient care, while Medicare’s Part A covers hospitalization.

Medicare officials said Friday the annual Part B outpatient deductible will increase by $13, to $198 next year.

The Part A in-patient deductible will increase by $44, to $1,408 in 2020.

Next year’s Social Security increase works out to $24 a month for the average retired worker.

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