Are there out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Part A and Part B?
Most beneficiaries get Medicare Part A for free with a qualified work history. However, Medicare recipients still need to pay monthly Medicare Part B premiums.
Part A focuses primarily on inpatient care, and Part B covers medical services like doctor visits, lab tests, and various outpatient services. Sometimes, people refer to Part A as hospital insurance and Part B as medical insurance. Since Medicare only had Part A and B when the government first established it in 1965, many refer to these two parts of Medicare as Original Medicare or Traditional Medicare.
Traditional Medicare also has other costs, like copays and deductibles. Still, the program offers broad coverage for various healthcare needs for a relatively modest premium.
What Do Medicare Beneficiaries Pay for the Part B Premium?
According to Medicare, most people will pay the standard Part B premium of $170.10 a month in 2022. The government adjusts this premium annually.
What Are Medicare Premiums for High-Income Earners?
High-income earners may pay somewhat more for Part B. For instance, single filers with incomes from $91,000 to $114,000 and joint filers with incomes from $182,000 to $228,000 pay $238.10. For the highest incomes over $500,000 for single filers and joint filers with incomes over $700,000, the annual premium costs $578.30.
Do Medicare Beneficiaries With Low Income Pay Less for Medicare Part B?
People with lower incomes and limited resources may qualify for Medicare Savings Programs that pay for the Part B premium. According to Medicare, these programs fall into four categories:
- Qualified Medicare Beneficiary: QMB helps pay for Part A premiums, if any, Part B premiums, and other costs, like deductibles, copay, and coinsurance.
- Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary: The SLMB program helps pay for Part B premiums.
- Qualified Individual: The QI program helps pay for Part B premiums.
- Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals: The QDWI program helps pay Part A premiums.
People who think they may qualify for these programs can contact Medicare at 1-800-Medicare. TTY users can dial 1-877-486-2048.
How Do Medicare Beneficiaries Pay for Medicare Part B?
Surprisingly, some beneficiaries don’t realize that they pay a Medicare Part B premium because the government has always deducted the payment from their benefit income. Examples of retirement benefits that the government could draw from include Social Security, the Railroad Retirement Board, and the Office of Personnel Management.
Some people receive Medicare Part B before they receive retirement benefits. For instance, most beneficiaries will qualify for Medicare at age 65. At the same time, the government allows people to delay Social Security payments until age 70.
Thus, the government can’t take the money from retirement income. In that case, Medicare claims they may send a bill every three months. Beneficiaries can mail a check, set up automatic drafts, pay online through a checking or savings account, or pay online through their Medicare account.
Who Qualifies for Medicare Part B?
Typically, U.S. citizens and permanent residents qualify for Medicare Part D at age 65. Younger beneficiaries might be eligible because of a disability or certain illnesses. Most people should enroll in Medicare Part B when they’re first eligible because late enrollment may incur penalties. Also, enrollment in Medicare Advantage or Medicare supplement plans requires having both Medicare Part A and B.
Beneficiaries can enroll in a Part D drug plan if they have Medicare Part A or B. For instance, people who can demonstrate they have other creditable coverage from job or union benefits can delay enrolling in Part B without a penalty. Thus, some of these people might only enroll in Medicare Part A because they don’t need to pay a premium and also enroll in a Part D plan for drug coverage.
What Are Other Costs of Medicare Part B Besides the Premium?
In 2022, Part B has a $233 annual deductible. After paying for covered services totaling the deductible, Part B usually covers 80 percent of the Medicare-approved cost. Beneficiaries who only have Original Medicare will need to pay the other 20 percent out of their own pockets. Medicare supplements and Medicare Advantage plans help Medicare beneficiaries control out-of-pocket costs.
- Medicare part B Costs, Medicare.
- Getting Help With Your Medicare Costs, Medicare.
- How to Pay Part A and Part B Premiums, Medicare.