Medicare is a program designed to help seniors and other eligible Americans access quality healthcare at an affordable price; however, taking part in Medicare will include some out-of-pocket costs. While there are some state-sponsored healthcare and wellness programs available at no cost, including Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicare does require payment in various forms, including through co-pays, monthly premiums and deductible requirements. Additionally, not all medical care or treatment options and products are covered by Medicare benefits.
What Does Medicare Cost?
Because the program includes various parts that Medicare recipients can choose from, there is no fixed cost that applies to every recipient. Instead, costs can vary depending on the recipient’s needs and plan choices. This is why it’s important to discuss your needs with a qualified, licensed Medicare agent in order to take advantage of the right benefits while avoiding overpayment for services you don’t need.
Medicare Part A is the inpatient benefit and is available to eligible recipients without a monthly premium as long as you paid 40 quarters of Medicare taxes while working. Although there is no monthly premium required in order to take advantage of Part A coverage for things like hospital admission or treatment in a skilled nursing facility, Medicare recipients will still need to meet a deductible before benefits begin to apply. This deductible typically changes each year, and for 2020, the deductible is $1,048.
Medicare Part B is the inpatient benefit, and it does require a monthly premium payment in order for benefits to apply. Recipients who opt into Part B coverage may also be responsible for additional charges for some services in the form of co-pays, so if you have part B coverage, you will want to discuss your plan with your provider to reduce the chances of facing out-of-pocket expenses. For 2020, the standard monthly premium is $144.60, but a deductible will also likely apply to this coverage. The deductible for Part B in 2020 is $198.
If you take prescription medications, you may also enroll in Part D coverage if you’re eligible for Medicare benefits. This benefit covers prescription medications that are purchased at retail pharmacy locations and are administered by the patient at home. The deductible for Part D coverage in 2020 is $435, and the standard base premium is $32.74 per month. Co-pays may also apply for some drugs, and all eligible drugs will be listed in your plan’s formulary. Costs and coverage may vary between plans.
What Costs Are Associated With a Medicare Advantage Plan?
The above information outlines the costs associated with Original Medicare, but some recipients choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan instead. Medicare Advantage plans provide the same Part A and Part B benefits found in Original Medicare, but they are offered through private insurers and may come with additional benefits and savings. Costs and coverage between plans can vary, so compare your options before enrolling.