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What Are the Medicare Costs for 2018?

Medicare costs change each year, but nothing should break your budget.

February 19, 2018 - By HealthCare.com Staff - read

There aren’t many surprises for Medicare costs in 2018. Still, prices have risen slightly this year. You’ll also get a new Medicare card in the mail for free.

You can skip many of the charges below with the appropriate Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage coverage.

Part A  |  Part B  |  Part C  |  Part D

Medicare Part A Costs

Medicare Part A covers inpatient stays – including hospital and hospice costs. You need Part A and B to get supplemental coverage.

2018 Part A Monthly Premium

Most people don’t pay a Part A premium because they paid Medicare taxes while working. If you didn’t qualify for premium-free Part A, you’ll pay up to $422 per month.

2018 Medicare Hospital Stay

In 2018, you pay:

  • $1,340 deductible per benefit period (this was $1,316 in 2017)
  • $0 for the first 60 days of each benefit period
  • $335 per day for days 61–90 of each benefit period (this was $329 in 2017)
  • $670 per “lifetime reserve day” after day 90 of each benefit period (up to a maximum of 60 days over your lifetime) (this was $658 in 2017)

Some Medicare Supplement plans pay for these costs in full.Medicare Part A skilled nursing facility | HealthCare.com

2018 Skilled Nursing Facility Medicare Stay

In 2018, you pay:

  • $0 for the first 20 days of each benefit period
  • $167.50 per day for days 21–100 of each benefit period
  • All costs for each day after day 100 of the benefit period

Certain Medicare Supplement plans completely cover these costs.

Medicare costs | HealthCare.com

Medicare Part B Costs

Medicare Part B generally covers outpatient care – including general practitioners and same-day procedures. You need Part A and B to get supplemental coverage.

2018 Part B Monthly Premium

The standard Part B premium in 2018 is $134 per month.

However, if your Medicare premiums are paid directly from your Social Security benefits, Medicare cannot cause you to receive less Social Security than you did in the previous year. Accordingly, most people who receive Social Security benefits pay less than $134.

You pay the standard premium amount (or higher) if:

  • You enroll in Part B for the first time in 2018.
  • You don’t get Social Security benefits.
  • You’re directly billed for your Part B premiums.
  • You have Medicare and Medicaid, and Medicaid pays your premiums. (Your state will pay the standard premium amount of $134 in 2018.)
  • Your modified adjusted gross income as reported on your IRS tax return from 2 years ago is above a certain amount.

If you’re in 1 of these 5 groups, here’s what you’ll pay:

If your yearly income
in 2016 was:
You pay
(in 2018):
File individual tax return File joint tax return File married & separate tax return
$85,000 or less $170,000 or less $85,000 or less $134.00
above $85,000
up to $107,000
above $170,000
up to $214,000
not applicable $187.50
above $107,000
up to $133,500
above $214,000
up to $267,000
not applicable $267.90
above $133,500
up to $160,000
above $267,000
up to $320,000
not applicable $348.30
above $160,000 above $320,000 above $85,000 $428.60

If you pay a Part B late enrollment penalty, these amounts may be higher.

2018 Part B Deductible

The Medicare Part B deductible is $183 per year. Once you spend this amount, Medicare will contribute to your medical costs.

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Medicare Advantage (Part C) Costs

Medicare Part C is an optional replacement for Part A and Part B. Part C members still pay Part B premiums, and also join a private insurance plan.

Medicare Advantage Premiums

Average Medicare Advantage premiums are projected to drop to $29.40 in 2018. Although each Medicare Advantage plan is different, the government believes that monthly Medicare Advantage premiums will have actually decreased by $1.91 per month compared to last year!

Calling an agent via HealthCare.com is the best way to compare prices. You can also use HealthCare.com’s plan comparison tool to check out Medicare Supplement premiums.

2018 Medicare Advantage Maximum Out-of-Pocket Cost

In 2018, the maximum out-of-pocket cost for those with Medicare Advantage is $6,700. You won’t have to pay a penny more than this amount for services that would have been covered under Original Medicare (Parts A & B).

However, this only applies to services that would have been covered under Original Medicare. Additional services in certain Part C plans, such as gym memberships or RX drugs, can exceed this limit.

Medicare Part D costs | pill price tag

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D) Costs

Medicare Part D is optional RX drug help that works with Medicare. People cannot be denied coverage due to health reasons.

2018 Part D Maximum Deductible

For standalone Part D coverage, the maximum annual deductible is $405, an increase of $5 over last year.

2018 Part D Monthly Premium

The average Part D premium has been between $30 and $35 per month, for over a decade.

The chart below shows your estimated prescription drug plan monthly premium based on your income. If your income is above a certain limit, you will pay an income-related monthly adjustment amount in addition to your plan premium.

If your yearly income
in 2016 was:
You pay
(in 2018):
File individual tax return File joint tax return File married & separate tax return
$85,000 or less $170,000 or less $85,000 or less Your plan premium
above $85,000
up to $107,000
above $170,000
up to $214,000
not applicable $13 + your plan premium
above $107,000
up to $133,500
above $214,000
up to $267,000
not applicable $33.60 + your plan premium
above $133,500
up to $160,000
above $267,000
up to $320,000
not applicable $54.20 + your plan premium
above $160,000 above $320,000 above $85,000 $74.80 + your plan premium

2018 Part D Initial Coverage Period

For standard Part D plans, the initial coverage period lasts until you spend $3,750 per year in out-of-pocket coinsurance. Part D enrollees are required to pay 25% of costs for covered drugs during this period.

2018 Part D National Base Beneficiary Premium

The Part D base premium is $35.02. This figure is used to estimate the Part D late enrollment penalty and the income-related monthly adjustment amounts listed in the table above. The national base beneficiary premium amount can change each year.

What if I’m Paying More Due to My 2016 Income?

Income-based Medicare charges are tied to your tax returns from two years ago. These extra costs are not permanent. If you report less income on your tax return in 2017 and beyond, then you’ll begin to pay less for Medicare coverage.

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Source for all charges: CMS Product No. 11579, Revised December 2017

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