Current and Past Medicare Part B Premiums

Why They're on the Rise

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Medicare Part B premiums are indexed for inflation. They're adjusted periodically to keep pace with the falling value of the dollar. What you pay this year may not be what you'll pay next year.

Premiums are also means-tested, so they're somewhat dependent upon your income. The more income you have, the higher your premium will be. You'll generally see increases in your Medicare Part B premiums if your earnings rise over certain limits and the cost of living continues to increase.

2022 Medicare Part B Premiums

Medicare Part B premiums for 2022 will increase by $21.60 from the premium for 2021. The 2022 premium rate starts at $170.10 per month and increases based on your income, up to to $578.30 for the 2022 tax year. Your premium depends on your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) from your tax return two years before the current year.

The signup period for Medicare Parts A and B takes place at the same time as when you apply for Social Security.

The rate of $170.10 is for single or married individuals who file separate tax returns with MAGIs of $91,000 or less and for married taxpayers who file jointly with MAGIs of $182,000 or less.

2021 Medicare Part B Premiums

Medicare Part B premiums for 2021 increased by $3.90 from the premium for 2020. The 2021 premium rate starts at $148.50 per month and increases based on your income, up to to $504.90 for the 2021 tax year.

The rate of $148.50 is for single or married individuals who file separate tax returns with MAGIs of $88,000 or less, and for married taxpayers who file jointly with MAGIs of $176,000 or less.

2020 Medicare Part B Premiums

Medicare Part B premiums for 2020 increased by $9.10 from the premium for 2019. The 2020 premium rate started at $144.60 per month and increased based on your income to up to $491.60 for the 2020 tax year. Your premium depended on your MAGI from your tax return two years before the current year (in this case, 2018).

The rate of $144.60 was for single or married individuals who file separately with MAGIs of $87,000 or less and for married taxpayers who file jointly with MAGIs of $174,000 or less.

2017 to 2019 Medicare Part B Premiums

Medicare Part B premiums for tax year 2019 started at $135.50 and increased to up to $460.50, depending on your income. The rate of $135.50 was for single or married individuals who filed separately with MAGIs of $85,000 or less, and for married taxpayers who filed jointly with MAGIs of $170,000 or less.

The monthly premium for Medicare Part B was $134 for tax years 2017 and 2018. This rate was for single or married individuals who filed separately with MAGIs of $85,000 or less and for married taxpayers who filed jointly with MAGIs of $170,000 or less. The 2017 premium rate was an increase of 10% over the 2016 rate that was not based on the Social Security Administration's cost-of-living adjustments (COLA).

Medicare has a "hold harmless" provision for seniors. This provision prevents Medicare from raising the premiums more than the cost of living increases. While this keeps seniors from paying more than they should, you'll have to pay the increased premiums if your COLA is higher than the increase.

2013 to 2016 Medicare Part B Premiums

Medicare Part B premiums went up in 2013 from the previous year, but then they stayed the same until the projected 2016 increase. The 2013 to 2015 premiums started at $104.90 per month and increased for single or married individuals who filed separately with MAGIs over $85,000 and married taxpayers who filed jointly with MAGIs over $170,000.

In 2016, the premium rate of $104.90 from the previous three years applied to about 70% of beneficiaries due to COLA. The other 30% paid a Medicare Part B premium that was not based on COLA. The premium was $121.80 in 2016, which was a 16% increase from the $104.90 paid in 2015.

2012 Medicare Part B Premiums

Medicare Part B premiums actually went down from their 2011 levels in 2012. They started at $99.90 per month, which was $15.50 less than the monthly premium for those who enrolled in 2011. Taxpayers with higher incomes paid more. 

2011 Medicare Part B Premiums

Medicare Part B premiums were $115.40 per month in 2011. Single taxpayers and married individuals who filed separately with MAGIs over $85,000 and married couples who filed jointly with MAGIs over $170,000 paid more. 

Historical Medicare Part B and D Premiums

The Social Security Administration has historical Medicare Part B and D premiums from 1966 through 2012 on its website. Medicare Part B premiums started at $3 per month in 1966. Medicare Part D premiums began in 2006 with an annual deductible of $250 per year.

When and How to Apply for Medicare

If you already receive benefits from Social Security (or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), you will automatically be enrolled in Part B, and Part A, starting the first day of the month in which you turn 65. If you're not receiving Social Security, though, be sure to contact the Social Security Administration about three months prior to your 65th birthday in order to receive Medicare.

There are a few other enrollment situations to be aware of, including if you're a disabled widow or widower between age 50 and 65 but have yet to apply for disability benefits; if you're a government employee and became disabled before age 65; if you, a spouse, or dependent child has permanent kidney failure; or if you've had Medicare Part B in the past.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Medicare Part B?

Medicare Part B covers medical insurance rather than hospital insurance (Part A) and drug insurance (Part D). Medical insurance coverage includes services from doctors, home healthcare, preventative services, and medical equipment like wheelchairs.

What is the Medicare tax?

The standard Medicare tax is 2.9% of income, but employers and employees split responsibility for the tax (1.45% each). There is an "Additional Medicare Tax" of 0.9% on wages over $200,000. The employee pays this additional portion.

Article Sources

  1. Medicare.gov. "Part B Costs."

  2. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. "2022 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles/2022 Medicare Part D Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts."

  3. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. "2020 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles."

  4. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "2019 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles."

  5. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "2018 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles."

  6. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "2016 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles Announced."

  7. Social Security Administration. "Annual Statistical Supplement, 2011: Medicare: Table 2.C1."

  8. Social Security Administration. "Medicare," Pages 9-10.

  9. Medicare.gov. "Parts of Medicare."

  10. Internal Revenue Service. "Topic No. 751 Social Security and Medicare Withholding Rates."