Good news for seniors – the Department of Health and Human Services says Medicare premiums won’t go up as high as projected.

"Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare is providing better benefits at lower cost," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in a statement.

Part B premiums for outpatient care will be $99.90 per month in 2012 – up $3.50 from 2011. In May, the department projected a $10 increase to premiums.

Those younger retirees who paid $115.40 when they recently enrolled will see their premiums drop to $99.90.

The Medicare Part B annual deductible will also drop next year to $140 – down $22. Hospital deductibles will actually increase by $24 to $1,156 for those admitted as inpatients.

Premiums have been frozen at $96.40 since 2008 for about three-quarters of Medicare beneficiaries because of the lack of a cost of living increase from Social security. The Social Security administration recently announced a cost of living increase of $39 per month for 2012.