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Medicare Cost

how much does medicare cost

How much does Medicare cost? This depends on a number of different variables that you can learn more about here.

How much does Medicare cost? This depends on a number of different variables that you can learn more about here.

Medicare cost is broken down into three major areas, Part A, Part B, and Part D. First if you worked 40 or more quarters your Medicare cost  for  Part A is zero. The monthly Medicare cost for Part A can be as high as $407/month (2015 rate) if you did not meet the employment requirement.  Everyone pays a monthly premium for Medicare Part B.  The Part B monthly premium is based on your marital status and annual income.  Premiums are set by the Federal Government. For 2015, monthly premiums start at $104.90 and go up from there.

Medicare Cost for Part D

The Medicare cost for Part D. if you choose to enroll, may come with an additional monthly premium if your annual income (as stated on your tax return 2-years ago) is above a $85,000 (single person) and $170,000 for a married couple. If you do not enroll in both Part A,  Part B, and Part D when you first become eligible you  may end up paying a penalty when you do so. This penalty will be added to your monthly premium for as long as you stay enrolled in the particular program(s).  More about this below.

2015 Medicare Cost Changes

There were no changes for 2015 the Medicare cost for your Part B premium ($104.90 for many people) and Part B deductible ($147).  The Part A hospital deductible went up to $1,260 (from $1,216).  The 2015 Medigap Plan F hi-deductible  is $2,180 (this went up $40 for 2015).  Here is the announcement on 2015 Medicare Part A and Part B cost .

Late Enrollment Penalties and Income Adjustment for Part D Premium

Learn more about late enrollment penalties for Part A , Part B , and Part D.  We encourage you to avoid penalty payments as they will affect your monthly Medicare cost for as long as you remain enrolled in Medicare.   You can learn more about how monthly premiums are calculated for Part A ; for Part B, and Part D. A Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) is available for people that may have difficulty paying these monthly premiums.  If you qualify for LIS, we encourage you to  enroll.  Doing so will lower your Medicare cost .

A note for those choosing to stay with Original Medicare

If you choose to stay with original Medicare, please keep these two important facts in mind.   These are:

Original Medicare does not cover all of your Medicare-approved expenses.  You will be responsible for Part A deductibles, coinsurance, copays and 20% of the medical services normally covered under Part B.  Learn more about the specifics of what Part A  and B covers .    Be sure and read how you can limit your annual Medicare costs by enrolling in a Medigap Plan F high deductible .

If you choose to not enroll in Part B when eligible, your monthly Part B Medicare premium may go up 10% for each full 12-month period that you could have had Part B but didn’t sign up.

Medicare Cost for Part C:  Out

of Pocket Costs for Medicare Advantage Plans Are Going Up.

We are seeing out of pocket cost go up for monthly premiums (look at both health services and the prescription drug side of the plan), the limit on the maximum out of pocket cost, and copays for services in several 2015 plans.  How individual plans have changed is documented in your plan’s Annual Notice of Change.  We encourage you to review this document closely.  What costs are being affected?  Look closely at your these key benefits:

out of pocket limit (look at both the in and out of network limits)

daily hospital stay rates

skilled nursing day rates

tests and diagnostic services

and changes to the copays in each drug tier

We are still seeing, for the most part, regional/local plans being a better choice than national plans (lower out of pocket costs).  National plans typically have higher copays and out of pocket limits.  We anticipate the ACA’s (Obamacare) $11.3 billion (in 2015…this will be increasing to $14.3 billion in 2018) ‘excise tax’ on all health insurance companies will be affecting their cost structure.    Learn more about this here.  We are hearing this tax is being passed to plan holders through increased copays and premiums.  There are scheduled cutbacks for the government’s contribution to insurance companies offering Medicare Advantage plans in 2015 and beyond too.  We expect this to further increase Medicare cost for Medicare Advantage plan members.  If you see this starting to affect you and are concerned, call us about switching to a Medigap plan. If you are a resident of Idaho and want help evaluating your 2015 options, call us between October 15th and December 7th.

Medicare Cost: Prescription Drug Plans

We are seeing interesting market positioning by several insurance companies that are lowering out of pocket costs for many people.  If you are not comparing your current year’s drug plan to those available next year (during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period ), there is a good chance you will be paying more for your prescription drugs.  This article reviews this issue on a national level.

You Must Have Medicare Part A and B If You Want To Enroll In a Medigap or a Medicare Advantage Plan

If you have Medicare Part B, you are eligible for enrollment in a Medicare Advantage or a Medigap policy.  These policies help with some or all of the copays, coinsurance, and deductibles not covered by original Medicare.  If you are an Idaho resident the decision on Medigap versus Medicare Advantage decision is straightforward.

The 2015 Federal Budget and how it will affect Medicare cost in the coming years

We encourage you to take the time to read and understand the proposed direction of your share of the cost for your health care under Medicare in the coming years.  The Federal budget has outlined their intention to save money on subsidizing Medicare cost for health care provided to seniors.  There are a number of areas where people may be affected.  You can learn more about this here .

We are here to help

If you are an Idaho resident and want help sorting through your out of pocket costs for Medicare and choosing a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan, call us.

Category: Insurance

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