Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Taxes & Financial Planning > Medicare

Medicare Cost


How Much Does Medicare Cost?

 
low costPrescription Drug Coverage: About $30 Per Monthaverage costOutpatient Care Coverage: $140-$319 Per Monthhigh costInpatient Care Coverage: $249-$451 Per Month
post E-mail post Post  

Medicare is a public health insurance plan with some private options that helps pay for health care for seniors or the disabled. Although some are opting out, most doctors and hospitals nationwide accept Medicare[1] , which is funded through mandatory payroll deductions. Employees or their spouses who paid into the Medicare system for a minimum period are eligible for Medicare when they turn 65 or have a qualifying disability. Those who did not pay into the system or who did so for less than the minimum amount of time may sign up for Medicare but will pay higher premiums.

(Note: Although the name is similar, Medicaid is a separate assistance program to help low-income individuals and families pay medical bills; Medicaid is not an insurance plan and is not the same as Medicare. For low-income seniors, a combination of Medicare and Medicaid may cover most health care needs. However, doctors and private hospitals or medical facilities which accept Medicare may not accept Medicaid.)

Typical costs:

  • Medicare Part A is a government-run program covering inpatient hospital care. Monthly premiums are free for seniors or their spouses who paid into Medicare as an employee for 40 or more quarters (10 years in three-month increments). For those with 30-39 quarters, the 2014 premium for Medicare Part A coverage is $234 monthly or $2,808 a year; with fewer than 30 quarters the monthly premium is $441, or $5,292 a year.
  • Medicare Part B is a government-run program covering outpatient/doctor care. It's possible to be covered by Part A, Part B or both. Part B monthly premiums are based on income. For 2014, the standard premium for Medicare Part B is $104.90 a month ($1,258.80 a year), but premiums can cost $146.90-$335.70 a month ($1,762.80-$4,028.40 a year) if total annual income in 2012 was more than $85,000 for a single person or $170,000 for a married couple.
  • Medicare Part A and Part B pay a portion of typical health care costs, but not the total amounts. Therefore, private insurance companies offer Medicare Supplemental policies (also called Medigap plans) that fill some or all of the "gap" between what Medicare Part A and Part B cover and the actual cost of health care, creating more comprehensive coverage than just traditional Medicare alone. Premiums for Medigap plans might cost $600-$6,200 or more a year, depending on the insurance company, what's included under the plan and local rates. Search the Medicare Plan Finder tool[2] by zip code for Medigap plan availability and pricing in a specific area.
  • Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans allow seniors the choice of receiving Medicare benefits through a private insurance plan, usually an HMO or a PPO. Medicare Advantage plans are required to provide at least as much coverage as original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and may offer expanded benefits such as dental or vision coverage, but they can also have different rules, coverage restrictions and costs. The individual pays the government's Medicare Part B premium plus the Part C premium from the private insurance company. The average Medicare Advantage Part C premium for 2014 is $32.60 a month ($391.12 a year), according to the Department of Health and Human Services[3] . However, Part C premiums vary from $0 to $2,900 or more a year depending on the company, the coverage provided and the recipient's location. Search the Medicare plan finder tool[4] by zip code for Medicare Advantage availability and pricing in a specific area.
  • Prescription drug coverage is available through Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans that are regulated by the government but designed, operated and sold by private insurance companies. Part D coverage can be purchased in addition to signing up for Medicare Part A and/or B, or as part of a private Medicare Advantage (Part C) policy. A wide variety of Part D plans are offered, with a large range of premium costs and coverage options. The average monthly premium for a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan in 2014 is $31, or $372 a year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services[5] . However, premiums can cost zero to more than $100 a month and not all plans are offered in all areas.
Related articles: Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, Medicare Part D, Medicare Supplemental, Medicare Advantage

What should be included:
  • A packet with coverage information, a Medicare card and a questionnaire is automatically mailed to individuals three months before their 65th birthday. Medicare.gov charts the different parts of Medicare[6] and the two main choices[7] for receiving Medicare.
  • Traditional Medicare doesn't cover everything. For example, dental care, hearing aids or health care received outside the United States are not included. Medigap/Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage/Part C policies may cover some of these services, depending on the terms of the policy. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid lists what is and isn't covered[8] by Medicare.
Discounts:
  • The Medicare Rights Center lists government programs[9] such as Medicaid or Veterans benefits that might also help with seniors' health care costs.
Shopping for medicare:
  • The typical enrollment period for Medicare is the month of the person's 65th birthday, as well as three months before and three months after that month. The annual open enrollment period for making changes is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.
  • Medicare.gov explains who is eligible for Medicare[10] and provides a confidential Medicare eligibility tool[11] .
  • Various plans are offered in different parts of the country. Medicare.gov provides a Medicare Plan Finder Tool[12] and a Medigap policy tool[13] ; both search by zip code or by an individual's Medicare information (name, Medicare number, etc.).
post E-mail post Post  
CostHelper News


10 Key Ways to Prepare for Extreme Snow
Forecasters are predicting a true nor'easter will hit the eastern and central states with rain, thunderstorms, ice, snow and high winds over the Thanksgiving weekend. It's crucial to plan ahead, before bad weather hits. || Posted November 26 2013


10 Most Popular Cosmetic Procedures Before the Holidays
With reunions and other get-togethers scheduled during the holiday season, most people want to look their best at this time of year. For some, that means filling in those wrinkles with a bit of botox, or having a nip and tuck down here and there. || Posted November 23 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


 

Comment On Your Experience With Medicare
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Type of Plan: Coverage Provided: 
Company:   
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.medicare.gov/find-a-doctor/provider-search.aspx
  2.  www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/medigap-home.aspx
  3.  www.hhs.gov/news/press/2013pres/09/20130919b.html
  4.  //www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx
  5.  www.hhs.gov/news/press/2013pres/07/20130730c.html
  6.  www.medicare.gov/navigation/medicare-basics/medicare-benefits/medicare-benefits-overvie...
  7.  www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/decide-how-to-get-medicare/your-medicare-coverage...
  8.  /questions.medicare.gov/?
  9.  www.medicareinteractive.org/page2.php?topic=counselor&page=script&slide_id=463#top
  10.  www.medicare.gov/MedicareEligibility/home.asp?dest=NAV%7CHome%7CGeneralEnrollment&versi...
  11.  www.medicare.gov/MedicareEligibility/home.asp?version=alternate&browser=Chrome%7C7%7CWi...
  12.  //www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx
  13.  www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/medigap-home.aspx
More Personal Finance Topics
Check Out All Costs for Personal Finance How Much Do Tax Returns Cost? How Much Does Closing a Home Cost? How Much Does a Traffic Ticket Attorney Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com

 


Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
PFT Cost Dallas
Paid: 2568.00
My regular doctor wanted me to see a specialist since he didn't like my spirometry results. I reluctantly agreed since I never have problems. Two doctor visits later and I'm out $2568... [more]
-CHRIS REED
Pulmonary Function Test Cost
WHEEL ALIGNMENT
Paid: 85.59
GAVE ME A PAPERSHOWING RED AND GREEN ALIGNMENT, RED MEANING IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED. WHEN IT WAS DONE THEIR WAS STILL RED SHOWING IMPROPER ALIGNMENT, HE SAID WE CANT FIX THAT UNLESS I PAY ANOTHER $119.00...WHAT A BUNCH OF CROOKS..... [more]
-JAMES DENOS
Wheel Alignment Cost
Crazy Expensive for a 250 gal tank in San Diego
Paid: 4.43
We have a rental property that had an AmeriGas tank on it that's used for the outdoors (pool/spa and fire pit)... [more]
-jessmeagan
Propane Cost
Am I paying too much
Paid: 1800.00
I have a small auto repair shop. He prepared my tax return in 2016. I do my own 941, wage report and monthly taxes. He does the rest and I still get charged 1800.00... [more]
-Martín Duran
Business Tax Preparation Cost
Tsh t3 and t4
Paid: 2500.00
Any ideas what to do? I do not want to pay this... [more]
-Thisbillistohigh
Thyroid Test Cost
Teeth Cleaning
Paid: 0.00
in order to prefer cleaning, $149 for blood work, chest X-rays and an ekg another $375 and then he brings in a specialist to sedate, X-ray and clean, scale and polish for $809 and then extra if anything is wrong... [more]
-breaking the bank
Dog Teeth Cleaning Cost