You've paid into Medicare through all your working career. While that may help you access benefits at a lower cost, you may still have to pay a little. We have you covered if you’re confused about what you’ll pay for Medicare.
- What you pay for Medicare depends on the type of enrollment you have: Parts A, B, C, or D.
- Part A covers inpatient hospitalization, skilled nursing facilities, home health care, and hospice care. It doesn't generally charge a premium.
- Part B is considered your medical insurance. It covers medical treatments and comes with a monthly premium of $170.10 in 2022.
- Parts C and D are optional and may cover additional costs, including prescriptions.
Medicare Part A Costs in 2022
Part A covers inpatient hospitalization, skilled nursing facilities, home health care, and hospice care. For most people, this works well because Medicare Part A generally doesn't charge a premium.
You can buy Part A coverage for $499 a month if you don't qualify for Part A.
This doesn’t mean that you're not charged a deductible. For each benefit period, you pay the first $1,556 in 2022. A benefit period begins when you enter the hospital. It ends when you haven’t received any inpatient hospital services for 60 consecutive days. You’re responsible for the first $1,556 of charges if you're hospitalized in 2022 and again if you re-enter the hospital the day after your benefit period ends.
Part A also charges coinsurance if your hospital stay lasts more than 60 days. You'd pay $389 per day in 2022 for days 61 through 90 of your hospital stay. You'd pay $778 per day for days 91 through the balance of your lifetime reserve days.
Lifetime reserve days are the 60 days that Medicare gives you to use if you stay in the hospital for more than 90 days. You only get 60, and they don’t renew.
An extended hospital stay could cost you a lot of money. It's important to consider adding a Medicare supplement to your Original Medicare plan, or enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan if you don't have other health coverage in addition to Medicare.
Medicare Part B Costs in 2022
Part B is considered your medical insurance. It covers medical treatments and comes with a monthly premium of $170.10. A small percentage of people will pay more than this amount if they report income greater than $91,000 as single filers, or more than $182,000 as joint filers.
Part B also comes with a deductible of $233. Unlike Part A, your deductible isn’t tied to a benefit period or other complicated formulas. Medicare pays 80% of the Medicare-approved amount once you pay your $233, which is likely to happen after your first or second doctor visit or procedure of the year. That leaves you on the hook for only 20%.
Medicare Part C Costs in 2022
Parts A and B are called "Original Medicare." You receive Original Medicare at very little cost to you as part of what you paid into Medicare throughout your working years.
Part C or Medicare Advantage average premiums are $19 a month in 2022. Coinsurance, copayments, premiums, and deductibles may still vary, depending on your plan of choice.
Medicare Part D Costs in 2022
Medicare Part D may be worth considering if you’re taking prescription medication on a regular basis when you reach retirement age.
You can choose from two options to get prescription medication coverage. You can either sign up with a private insurance company that you can compare on the Medicare website, or you can get prescription drug coverage through your Part C program.
Like Part C, each plan has different coverage, deductible, and copayment options. Part D is generally included in your plan premium, but unmarried individuals with reported incomes of more than $91,000 pay an additional amount in 2022. This threshold increases to $182,000 for married filers of joint tax returns. The average Part D premium is $33 per month.
Make sure that it covers the drugs you take in one of the lower tiers before you sign up with a company. It will help keep your costs under control.
Other types of benefits, insurance, and social services can sometimes influence Part D benefits.
You must have Medicare Part A and/or Part B or Part C to enroll in Part D.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much does Medicare cost?
The cost of Medicare depends on how much you worked, when you sign up, and which types of coverage options you choose. If you paid Medicare taxes for 40 or more quarters, you're eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A. You'll pay a premium for Part A if you worked less than 40 quarters, and you'll also pay a premium for additional coverage you want from Part B, Part C, or Part D, as well as penalties if you enroll in these after your initial enrollment period.
What are the income limits for Medicare?
There are no income limits for Medicare benefits. However, if you did not pay Medicare taxes for at least 40 quarters, you may have to pay a premium for your Part A coverage. Additionally, premiums for Part B and Part D are income-based, so you'll pay more as your income increases.
What is the maximum out-of-pocket cost for Medicare?
Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not have an out-of-pocket limit. You'll keep paying co-pays and co-insurance regardless of how many services you receive or how much you spend in a plan year. However, Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans are required by law to have an out-of-pocket maximum. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the average out-of-pocket limit for Medicare Advantage recipients in 2021 was $5,091 for in-network services and $9,208 for combined in-network and out-of-network services.