Can You Pay Medicare Online With a Credit Card?

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Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people older than 65 and some younger adults living with certain health conditions. And while some parts of Medicare, such as Part A, may not charge a premium, most do.

Fortunately, Medicare has created multiple ways to conveniently pay your premiums. Read on to learn how much the different parts of Medicare cost and whether you can pay with a credit card, plus other accepted methods of payment.

Key Takeaways

  • Confirm your payment options when joining a Medicare plan—some private insurance plans won’t let you pay your bill with a credit card.
  • Depending on the plan you’re enrolled in, Medicare may bill you monthly or quarterly.
  • Medicare won’t bill you if your premiums are deducted automatically from your Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits.

Which Medicare Parts Do You Pay For?

Medicare Part A

You typically won’t pay monthly premiums for Medicare Part A (sometimes known as “premium-free Part A”) if either you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years (40 quarters).

If you need to buy Part A, your monthly premium for 2021 can cost between $259 and $471, depending on how long you paid into Medicare while working. For 2022, it's between $274 and $499 monthly.

Medicare Part B

You’ll pay a monthly premium to pay for Medicare Part B, but this payment is automatically deducted from the benefits you receive from Social Security, the Railroad Retirement Board, or the Office of Personnel Management.

If you don’t receive these benefits, Medicare will send a quarterly bill. The premium for Medicare Part B in 2021 is $148.50 and $170.10 in 2022 but could be higher if your annual income is over $91,000 and you file an individual return, or $182,000 and you’re married and file jointly. This extra amount is called an IRMAA (income-related monthly adjustment amount) and is sometimes referred to as Medicare surcharges.

The standard 2022 Medicare Part B monthly premium is $170.10.

Medicare Part C

Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage (MA) plans provide a way to receive your Part A and Part B benefits via private insurance carriers. If you have an MA plan that charges a premium (many don’t), the premium can be deducted from your Social Security benefit or you can pay the insurance provider directly.

The average Part C premium in 2022 will be $19 per month.

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D (drug coverage) plans are available through private insurance carriers, and the monthly premium varies by plan. You need either Part A or Part B to be enrolled in a Medicare prescription drug plan. Contact your plan provider if you want your premium deducted from your monthly Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board payment, or if you’d prefer to be billed directly.

If your individual income exceeds $88,000—or $176,000 if you file jointly with your spouse you’ll pay an IRMAA in addition to your premium.

In 2022, Part D coverage will cost $33 per month, on average.

How Often Do You Need To Make Payments?

If you pay Medicare directly, Medicare bills you with Form CMS-500, which you’ll use to make your Part A premium, Part B premium, and any Part D or Part B IRMAA payments.

If you buy Medicare Part B alone, Medicare bills you every three months. If you purchase Part A or are required to pay a Part B or Part D IRMAA, Medicare bills you monthly. Your payment takes care of the next month’s coverage or the next three months’ coverage if you’re billed quarterly.

Your Medicare bill may include premiums for past months if it’s your first bill, if you had a change in the premium amount, or if you missed a payment.

IRMAA is an extra amount you pay for Part D or Part B drug coverage if your annual income is over $88,000 and you file an individual return, or $176,000 and you’re married and file jointly.

Medicare Payment Methods

Medicare allows you to pay your premiums by charging the payment to your debit or credit card, automatic deduction from your Social Security benefit, arranging an electronic bank transfer, or mailing a monthly check. Remember, you'll pay your Part A (if required) and Part B premiums plus any IRMAA payments to Medicare directly.

But plans offered by private insurance companies—Part D drug plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medigap plans—may have different payment policies. Check with the insurance company to see if they accept credit card payments.

Pay Medicare With a Credit Card

You’ll receive Form CMS-500 to pay Medicare directly for your Part A premium, Part B premium, and Part B and Part D IRMAA payments (if you’re required to make them). You can pay your premium online with a credit card by logging in to your secure Medicare account. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to create one. Once you log in, select “My Premiums” and click on “Pay Now.” Choose a payment method—in this case, a credit card—and enter the amount due. You’ll be redirected to the U.S. Treasury’s site to complete the payment.

Payments mailed to Medicare can also be paid by credit card. In this case, you’ll need to fill out the payment coupon that comes with your premium bill. Be sure to enter the credit card number and expiration date, your billing zip code, and sign the coupon. Send the payment coupon and payment to:

Medicare Premium Collection Center
P.O. BOX 790355
St. Louis, MO 63179-0355

You can't set up automatic monthly Medicare payments using a credit or debit card—you must link to a checking or savings account instead.

Pay Using a Debit Card

Paying your Medicare premium using a debit card is essentially the same as using a credit card. You must have a Medicare account to pay by debit card online. If you’re mailing your bill, you’ll need to provide the debit card number, the expiration date on your debit card, and the billing zip code. Once the payment is successful, your debit card statement will show a payment made to CMS Medicare.

Pay by Check

Premium payments by check are payable to “CMS Medicare Insurance.” By using a check, you’re authorizing the Medicare Premium Collection Center to use the information on the check to process the payment as a check transaction or make a one-time electronic funds transfer from your bank account. You can mail the check to the address on your Medicare bill. Don’t forget to include your payment coupon.

Pay With Your Bank’s Bill Pay

To pay your bill directly from a bank account, you’ll need to contact your bank or visit its website to set yourself up for its online bill pay service. This service isn’t available at all banks, and some will charge you for it. Be sure to set up the payment correctly—otherwise, inaccurate information could delay it.

You’ll need to provide your 11-character Medicare number, Payee name (CMS Medicare Insurance), and the address to the Medicare Premium Collection Center:

Medicare Premium Collection Center
P.O. BOX 790355
St. Louis, MO 63179-0355

 You must tell your bank how much money to deduct from your account.

Banks will generally let you set up recurring payments, but it’s up to you to adjust the payment amount if your premium changes.

Pay Using Medicare Easy Pay

You can sign up for Medicare Easy Pay so that Medicare automatically deducts your recurring monthly premium payments from your checking or savings account. You can sign up for this service by filling out a form on your online Medicare account.

Automatic deductions may take up to six to eight weeks to start, so you may still receive a bill to pay your premium. Medicare won’t mail you a monthly bill since the automatic payments appear on your online payment history—you’ll only receive monthly statements instead.

If your monthly premium changes and you pay using Medicare Easy Pay, Medicare will automatically deduct the new amount from your bank account.

Pay With a Money Order

You may also send payments by mailing a money order to the Medicare Premium Collection Center address (above, and on the front page of your Medicare premium bill). Your money order should be payable to "CMS Medicare Insurance."

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What happens if my Medicare payment is late?

Your payment is late if Medicare receives it after the date indicated on your Form CMS-500, the 25th of the month. You may lose coverage if a payment is late by 90 days.

What happens if my coverage lapses due to late payment?

If your coverage lapses due to a late payment, you must wait for the next available enrollment period to join another plan. You’ll automatically switch to Original Medicare if you lose your Medicare Advantage plan coverage.

Article Sources

  1. "Enrolling in Medicare Part A and Part B."

  2. "Medicare Costs at a Glance."

  3. "2021 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds." Page 209.

  4. "Pay Part A and Part B Premiums."

  5. "Part B Costs."

  6. Social Security Administration. "Medicare Benefits," See "The Parts of Medicare."

  7. Social Security Administration. "127 Hospital and Medical Insurance Benefits Provided," See "How Are Medicare Premiums Paid?"

  8. "CMS Releases 2022 Premiums and Cost-Sharing Information for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans."

  9. "Monthly Premiums for Drug Plans," See table.

  10."Online Bill Payment."

  11. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "Medicare Premium Bill," Page 2.

  12. Blog. "Make Your Next Medicare Premium Payment Online."