FAQ: What Are Medicare Part B Premiums and Deductibles?

Understanding Medicare Part B Premiums and Deductibles

Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, is health coverage offered by the federal government to qualifying Americans who are over 65 or those with certain disabilities. Here, we explain the Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles.

Medicare Part B helps cover medically necessary services, such as doctor’s services and outpatient care. It also helps cover some preventive services as well, such as a one-time “welcome to Medicare” physical exam, flu and pneumococcal shots, cardiovascular screenings, cancer screenings, diabetes screenings, and much more. However, before Medicare will pay for its share of covered benefits, beneficiaries must first pay certain out-of-pocket costs, and beneficiaries may also be responsible for some cost sharing of these services and supplies. This post will focus on two types of Medicare Part B out-of-pocket costs: premiums and deductibles.

Medicare Part B Premium

Medicare beneficiaries pay a premium for Part B, and most people pay the standard premium amount, which is $104.90 per month in 2013. Note that if you don’t sign up for Part B when you’re first eligible, then you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty. Your particular monthly premium is dependent on your modified gross income, as reported on your IRS tax return from two years ago (which is the most recent tax return the IRS provides to Social Security). If your income was above $85,000 (single) or $170,000 (married) two years ago, then your Medicare Part B premium may be higher than the standard amount.

The chart below highlights the Part B premium amounts for 2013 based on income levels. Please note that these amounts are updated every year and there may be a late enrollment penalty.


Medicare Part B Deductible

The annual deductible for Medicare Part B is $147 in 2013. This means that once you’ve paid $147 out of pocket for medical care that is covered by Part B, Medicare will then start to pay for its share of covered services. However, you will still be required to pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount charged by providers. Non-covered expenses do not count towards the deductible. The Part B deductible is applied based on the date the claim is processed by Medicare, not the actual date you received the service.

Learn more about Medicare Part B costs in the video below:

Image courtesy of Flickr.


Medicare hasn’t approved or endorsed this information.

About Anita Loomba

Anita Loomba is a contributor of the eHealth Medicare Blog.
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