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Medicare Premiums and Deductibles for 2019

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Summary: Premiums and deductibles may be some of your Medicare costs, and may change every year.

If you’re on Medicare, or soon will be eligible for Medicare, you will be happy to know that Medicare covers a lot of medical and preventive care. However, there are some out-of-pocket costs you may have to pay. Medicare Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D can each have premiums and deductibles, although most people don’t have to pay a Part A premium.

Let’s look at the Medicare premiums and deductibles for 2019. We’ll also show you how your income and certain coverage choices may affect your actual monthly Medicare premiums. Keep in mind that Medicare deductibles and premiums can change every year.

Do you worry about Medicare premiums and other costs?

Many Medicare beneficiaries are concerned about Medicare costs, like premiums, deductibles, and copayments/coinsurance, according to an eHealth study in 2018.

Healthcare Concerns

Source: Concerns about Coverage and Costs in Medicare: A Survey of Medicare Beneficiaries

We’ll explore these premiums and look at some statistics to give you a better picture of these Medicare costs.

What are my Medicare deductibles in 2019? 

There are a few different Medicare deductibles in 2019, but not all of them may apply to you. Your costs related to Medicare deductibles in 2019 depends on what Medicare coverage you have.

Maybe you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. This is the federal Medicare program. Many people are automatically enrolled when they become eligible, and some have to sign up. Some people decide to delay Part B enrollment – for example, because they’re still covered under an employer- or union-based health plan. Since you generally pay a Part B premium, and since Part B is medical insurance, you might choose to delay this coverage until your other coverage ends.

You might have other Medicare deductibles if:

  • You get your Original Medicare benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • You still have Original Medicare, but you also have a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles in 2019

  • Medicare Part A: You typically pay a $1,364 Part A deductible in 2019 before Medicare pays anything for a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF) stay.

This is not an annual Medicare deductible, but is “per benefit period.” A benefit period starts the day you’re admitted as an inpatient in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF). The benefit period ends when you haven’t gotten any inpatient hospital care (or skilled care) for 60 days in a row. If you are admitted to the hospital or SNF later in the same year, you begin a new benefit period and must pay another $1,364 Medicare Part A deductible.

After you have met your deductible for the benefit period, you usually pay coinsurance under Medicare Part A for covered services while you’re in the hospital or SNF.

  • Medicare Part B: The Medicare Part B deductible is $185 in 2019. After you have paid your deductible, you typically pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for most covered physician services, outpatient care, and durable medical equipment.

Medicare Part D deductible in 2020

Please note: This page will be updated with data for 2020 as the information becomes available from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. This section has the only 2020 information available at the time of publishing.

  • If you enroll in a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan, the plan sets the Medicare Part D deductible. Some plans might not have a deductible.
  • No Medicare prescription drug plan may have a deductible higher than $435 in 2020.

Medicare Advantage deductible in 2019

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, your deductible (if any) and cost-share amounts are set by the plan. Some Medicare Advantage plans may have deductibles as low as $0.

Let’s take a look at average deductibles* for Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (prescription drug coverage). Please note that not all Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage (most do). The graph below only includes Medicare prescription drug plans (Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans and stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans).

Average Deductible by Medicare Product

Source: Medicare 2019 Open Enrollment: Costs and Sentiments

As you can see, the average Medicare Advantage plan deductibles in the eHealth study actually went down between first quarter 2018 and first quarter 2019. Deductibles went up for stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.

What are my Medicare premiums in 2019?

Just as with your Medicare deductibles, your Medicare premiums in 2019 correspond to the types of Medicare coverage you have. It’s possible to have a few different Medicare premiums – for example, your Part A, Part B, and Part D premiums.

Medicare Part A and Part B premiums in 2019

  • Part A (hospital insurance) premium: If you or your spouse have paid Medicare taxes while working for at least 10 years (40 quarters), you typically have premium-free Medicare Part A. This is the case for most people with Medicare.

If you haven’t worked while paying taxes long enough to qualify for premium-free Part A, here’s what you pay per month in 2019.

  • If you’ve worked 30-39 quarters while paying taxes: $240
  • If you’ve worked fewer than 30 quarters: $437
  • Medicare Part B (medical insurance) premium: Medicare beneficiaries pay a Medicare Part B premium. The standard 2019 premium for Part B coverage is $135.50 per month.

If your income is above a certain amount, your Part B premium in 2019 might be higher.

Medicare Part D premium in 2019

If you have a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, your plan sets the monthly premium. Premiums can vary among plans.

Medicare Advantage premium in 2019

As with stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, Medicare Advantage plans set their own premiums. They may vary from one plan to another. Some Medicare Advantage plans have monthly premiums as low as $0.

It’s important to note that you must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium when you have a Medicare Advantage plan. Of course, you also need to pay the Medicare Advantage premium, if it charges one.

Medicare Part C and Part D average premiums in 2018-2019

Here’s an interesting look at the average Medicare premiums for Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D from 2018 to 2019.

Average Monthly Premium by Product

Source: Medicare 2019 Open Enrollment: Costs and Sentiments

Medicare Advantage plan premiums decreased, on average, by 33% between first quarter 2018 and first quarter 2019. Average premiums went up slightly for stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.

Note: People with low incomes and limited resources might qualify for state assistance in paying Medicare premiums and/or deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. For more information, contact your state health insurance assistance program (SHIP) – go to https://www.shiptacenter.org/.

Do you have questions about your Medicare coverage options and what premiums and deductibles they may have?  You can call us and speak with a licensed eHealth insurance agent. Click Browse Plans to start comparing plans instantly.

*This report reviews costs and trends among people who purchased Medicare insurance products through eHealth from January 1 through March 31, 2018, and the same period in 2019.

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