Current and Past Medicare Part B Premiums

Why They're on the Rise

Medicare Part B premiums are indexed for inflation—they're adjusted periodically to keep pace with inflation. What you pay this year may not be what you pay next year. Premiums are also means-tested. This means that they're somewhat dependent on your income. The more income you have, the higher your premium will be. So will you pay more in 2020? Current and past Medicare Part B premiums are detailed below.

2020 Medicare Part B Premiums for New Enrollees

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Medicare Part B premiums increased for 2020 by $9.10, compared to 2019. The 2020 premium rate starts at $144.60 per month and increases based on your income to up to $491.60 for the 2020 tax year. Your premium depends on your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) from 2018, and if you were not already enrolled in Social Security benefits in 2018. The new premium is for those who didn't start Social Security in 2018 at $134 per month. The rate of $144.60 is 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.

For tax years 2017 and 2018, the monthly premium for Medicare Part B was $134. 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). COLA is a statutory "hold harmless" provision put in place to help seniors.

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, 2014, and 2015 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. It 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 just $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

Make sure you enroll in Medicare just before you reach age 65, even if you're covered by another health plan. Medicare Part B premiums will be deducted from your monthly benefits if you're already collecting Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits. If you are not collecting Social Security or Railroad Retirement, you must sign up for Social Security in order to get Medicare Part B. You can then pay premiums through an automatic deduction from your bank account or by credit card or by mail.