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Q: Will the Medicare Part B Premium Cost Increase in 2019?

Asked by Bonnie P. on November 3, 2018

Will the Medicare Part B Premium Cost Increase in 2018? | Bonnie P Facebook question |

Hal Levy November 3, 2018

The Medicare Part B premium cost of $134 per month will increase to $135.50 per month in 2019. That’s a 1 percent increase from 2017 and 2018 prices, if you’re paying the standard premium.

As always, if your income decreases, your premium may even be reduced. Things get a little more complicated if you fall under one of the following special situations:

Is Your Part B Premium Automatically Deducted from Your Social Security? By law, Medicare cannot cause you to receive less in Social Security benefits than you did last year. However, Social Security benefits are expected to increase slightly in 2019, and so your increased Social Security payments will likely go towards your Part B premium.

Are You Receiving Aid to Pay for Part B? You’ll have to check with your aid provider if your Medicare Part B premium is paid for with government or non-profit help, but the new year shouldn’t cause a significant change in your benefits.

Is Your Medicare Part B Premium More Than $135.50 Per Month? The income-related monthly adjustment amount (or IRMAA) requires high earners to pay more than the standard Medicare Part B premium cost of $135.50 per month.

High-income surcharges are based on your tax return from two years ago. Taxpayers who reported income of over $85,000 (or $170,000 if filing jointly) in 2017 may see premium increases of $54.10 or more per month.

The IRMAA cutoff began at a much higher level until 2018. Over the past two years, the surcharge has been applied to more people.

If your 2017 tax return no longer reflects your current living situation, you can contact Social Security to ask for a lower premium.

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Are You Enrolled in Medicare Advantage (Part C)? Although each Medicare Advantage plan is different, the government believes that monthly Medicare Advantage premiums will actually decrease by $1.81 per month in 2019!

Taking the Next Steps

Even if it does increase in the future, your Medicare Part B premium is tax-deductible.

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