Medicare Premium Increase - Why You Pay More In 2019

By: Thomas Wright
Published: Wednesday, January 16 2019
Last Updated: 9 months ago

There’s never any good way to say it, but here it goes. Yes, 2019 will be the year you pay for your Medicare coverage than you ever have before, but before rightfully getting frustrated, it’s important to know exactly why.

We’ll start by taking a look at the reasoning behind the Medicare premium increase in 2019 compared to 2018, and what you should expect to pay in 2020 as well. You’ll also learn whether or not your out-of-pocket expenses will increase as well, and about a small, but powerful appeal process that can actually save you money if you qualify. Before we get started, let’s find out just how much of an increase you should expect for your Medicare Part B premiums this year.

How Much Medicare Premiums Will Increase In 2019

Medicare premiums will end up increasing a total of anywhere between 1% to 2% depending on which income bracket you fall into. For Medicare Part B enrollees, the standard monthly premium will be $135.50, which an increase of $1.50.

How It Compares to 2018

In 2018, Medicare Part B premiums cost $134 each month. However, as mentioned in the paragraph above, your premium is largely based on the amount of money you bring in. So while high earners ended up paying more, the average Medicare beneficiary paid $134 per month for coverage through Part B.

Why Medicare Premiums Increase

Medicare premiums don't only increase for you, they increase for every American. The reason being, it’s a wide sweeping piece of legislation that affects all Medicare beneficiaries, but the real question is why?

Well, there's a number of reasons, but let’s start with the most important. In past years of increase, people were not paying more due to the old, harmless provision which prevents the premiums from surpassing the income seniors received through their Social Security checks.

Is It Expected To Rise Again In 2020?

Since our country is one based on printing money and balancing the expensive debt we are carrying, our inflation has been on the rise ever since we can remember. One dollar today could have bought you gas, milk, and some groceries in the 1930s. Now, it's not even enough for a bag of chips. This is why in the year 2020, and for the foreseeable future, the price for Medicare premiums will continue to rise simply because of inflation. If there are other laws or bills passed by Congress that directly and negatively affect the amount of money that Medicare providers spend, then they have to raise their prices to balance this out.

Do Out-Of-Pocket Expenses Increase Too?

Depending on which plan you have, Part A or Part B, your out-of-pocket expenses will increase within the following criteria:

  • 1-60 hospitalization days: $0 daily
  • 61-90 hospitalization days: $341 daily
  • 91+ hospitalization days: $682 daily
  • 21-100 days in skilled nursing facilities: $170.5 daily

The 1-60 day out-of-pocket expenses remained the same from 2018. The 61-90 day out-of-pocket expenses increased by $6 since 2018, 91+ hospitalization days increased by $12, and the skilled nursing facility rates increased by $3 since last year. So, you will pay a bit more in out-of-pocket costs from last year's numbers. This concludes everything you need to know about the Medicare Part B premium increase for 2019.

How To Appeal Your Rising Medicare Costs

You can use a Reconsideration Request, which is also called an IRMAA appeal. The amount you pay is not just some random number, it is determined based on your modified adjusted gross income, or MAGI. If your premium ends up being higher, this is your adjustment amount monthly, related to your income, and you can choose to send the reconsideration appeal to reduce your costs. Here are some of those potential reasons which the IRS sees as qualifying life events:

  • Loss of job
  • Change in marital status
  • Termination or change in pension status

Learn How To Save Money With FirstQuote Medicare

If you’re worried about the rising costs of Medicare premiums in 2019, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are ways to curb those additional dollars, and actually save money going into the year, and it starts with Medicare Supplemental plans.

FirstQuote Medicare isn’t only one of the leading resources for all things Medicare, but we’re also the first stop in finding and comparing Medicare quotes in your area. Supplement plans, which fill in the gaps that your Medicare won’t cover (like certain out-of-pocket expenses), are the perfect addition to your coverage. To get started, fill in your zip code, and talk to an experienced agent who can help you find a plan that fits your needs. It’s free, and there’s no obligation. Get started, and get covered today.