Medicare offers coverage for a range of medical costs, including regular visits to your doctor’s office, prescription medications that you purchase from a local pharmacy and even surgery and hospitalization.

Although most Medicare recipients receive Medicare Part A, the inpatient benefit, at no cost, there are premiums required for other parts of Medicare. For example, Medicare Part B, the outpatient benefit, typically involves a monthly premium in addition to a deductible. Additionally, Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit, also requires a monthly premium.

How Much Are Medicare Premiums?

The cost of your premium can vary depending on your plan provider, your income and the benefits included in your plan. Because Medicare Parts B and D are both optional coverage, you can decide whether you want to carry them or not. If you don’t receive premium-free Medicare Part A, you can opt to purchase this coverage separately. Your income will also be factored into your premium costs along with your taxing filing status.

In terms of your monthly costs for 2022, Medicare Part B is $170.10 for seniors who have a tax filing status of single or married filing separately with an income at or below $91,000. If you file a joint return, your reported income must be less than $182,000 in order to qualify for this premium. As your reported income goes up, your premiums will rise as well. For the top bracket, you can expect to pay $578.30 per month for Medicare Part B each month.

Your premium for Medicare Part D will vary based on your plan provider and the specifics of the drugs covered in your plan’s formulary. This is a list of all drugs and amounts covered by your plan. The average premium for Medicare Part D is between $30 and $50 per month, but some plans may only charge as little as $7 per month, while others may charge as much as $100 per month. To learn more, you will want to speak with a representative from your Part D provider.

How Can I Lower My Medicare Monthly Premiums?

If you’re finding it challenging to make your Medicare monthly premiums, there are some things you can do to potentially reduce your costs. First and foremost, consider working with an independent Medicare insurance broker who can shop plans from a range of providers to help you find a better deal during an enrollment period.

If you qualify for Medicaid in your state, you may be able to receive both Medicare and Medicare as a dual-eligible. In order to receive benefits from both programs, your income will need to fall below the threshold set by your state for Medicaid benefits.

You may also save on Medicare monthly premiums by looking into a Medicare Advantage plan. These are plans that are offered by private insurers but include all of the benefits of Original Medicare. They also offer additional benefits in most cases that may offer access to additional medical coverage not provided by Original Medicare.

What Does Medicare Pay For?

You might also need to ask yourself what does Medicare pay for in comparison to what you need. Answering this can help you determine which parts of Medicare are more important in addressing your unique healthcare situation.

For some seniors, prescription drug coverage is important due to having multiple monthly prescriptions. For others, outpatient coverage is more important due to frequent doctor visits or the need for coverage for things like diabetic supplies.

If a certain part of Medicare doesn’t apply to your situation, you may be able to reduce premium costs by cutting that part out, but consider late enrollment penalties if you delay enrollment. If you do this, however, remember that your needs may change in the future, and changes can only be made to Medicare plans during certain times of the year or when special circumstances apply.