Medicare Premiums - What You’ll Be Paying In 2019

By: Agnus Smith
Published: Monday, February 18 2019
Last Updated: 8 months ago

One of the biggest lies we hear about Medicare is that the senior healthcare program is completely free. While we’d all like to believe the health insurance program we’ve been funneling our hard earned money into for most of our working lives won’t cost a dollar more, it just isn’t the case. The question now becomes, how much does Medicare cost?

There are plenty of costs associated with your health coverage, but in this article, we will mainly be focusing on your Medicare premiums. Before we get started with what you’ll be paying, it’s important to cover the basics first. So, let’s get straight into it.

What Are Medicare Premiums?

Medicare premiums are the monthly payments you make to keep your coverage and maintain your benefits. Unlike traditional health insurance, your Original Medicare premiums will be determined by the federal government, which tends to see a slight increase year to year. While most people will pay the same price for both Part A and Part B, you may end up paying less or more based on your income and work history.

Are They Tax Deductible?

Yes, your Medicare premiums are tax deductible, along with many of your other medical expenses. Since you’ll likely receive Medicare Part A for free, your tax deductions will come from your Medicare Part B and Part D premiums since they are considered additional coverage. You’ll also be able to deduct your out-of-pocket expenses, like your deductible, copayment, or coinsurance, but there’s a catch.

You can only deduct medical expenses from your taxes once they exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Any medical expenses, including your premiums, that don’t meet the 10% threshold won’t be eligible for deductions, but anything after will. Let’s take a look at an example.

If your adjusted gross income for the year is $50,000, then you’re medical expenses will have to be at least $5,000 before you are eligible for tax deductions. If your total expenses come out to $4,500 for the year, you won’t be eligible. However, in this situation, if your medical costs total $6,000, then you’ll be eligible for tax deductions on $1,000 since that is how much money you spent over your 10% threshold.

Consequences Of Not Paying

If you don’t pay your Medicare premiums, you’ll be at risk for losing your coverage completely. For Medicare Part B, you’ll typically be billed in 3-month cycles, and you’re also provided with a 3-month grace period after receiving your bill to pay up. If you fail to make your payment after the third month, you’ll get a letter stating you will lose coverage at the 4-month mark after your grace period. However, if you pay in full for you premiums within the 30-day window after the 3-month grace period, you’ll get to keep your coverage.

Note that Medicare Part B is offered through the federal government, while Medicare Part C, Part D, and Medicare Supplement plans are offered by private insurers. Each insurance provider may have their own guidelines when it comes to missing premium payments, so make sure to check with your plan or agent to learn more.

Medicare Costs In 2019

When we’re talking about Medicare costs in 2019, we’ll specifically be outlining the Medicare premiums you’ll be paying. So let’s take a look at the following breakdown for Medicare premiums in 2019:

Medicare Part A Premiums

For most Americans, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A once you turn 65 years old, and won’t ever have to worry about paying a premium. Medicare Part A won’t cost you a dime in premium payments if you or your spouse worked for 10 or more years (40 or more quarters) while paying payroll taxes. There are some other eligibility factors, which you can learn more about here.

If you don’t meet the criteria for premium-free Part A, then you can still enroll. However, you’ll have to pay a monthly premium. What you pay will be determined by how much you have worked. If you worked less than 40 quarters, but more than 30, you’ll end up paying $240 each month. If you’ve worked under 30 quarters, then you’ll end up paying $437 each month for your premium.

Medicare Part B Premiums

Unlike Part A, your Medicare Part B premium will largely be determined by your income rather than your work history. For the most part, you’ll end up paying the standard rate of $135.50 each month in premiums in 2019. However, depending on your income range, you may end up paying up to $460.50 for your Medicare Part B premiums. Below is a table that should help you gauge your costs.

Filed Individually Filed Jointly Filed Married & Separately Your Premium
$85k or less $170k or less $85k or less $135.50
Between $85k - $170k Between $170k - $214k N/A $189.60
Between $107k - $133.5k Between $214k - $267k N/A $270.90
Between $133.5k - $160k Between $216k - $320k N/A $352.20
Between $160k - $500k Between $320k - $750k Between $85k - $415k $433.40
Above $500k Above $750k Above $415k $460.50

Medicare Part D Premiums

If you’re someone who is already taking prescription medication, then you’re going to want to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to help offset your costs. Prescription drug plans are offered by private insurance companies, so plans and pricing may vary depending on a few different factors. However, similarly to Part B, your Medicare Part D premiums may cost more depending on your income. View the table below to see what you can expect to pay for your prescription drug plan:

Filed Individually Filed Jointly Filed Married & Separately Your Premium
$85k or less $170k or less $85k or less No Additional Cost
Between $85k - $170k Between $170k - $214k N/A $12.40 + your premium
Between $107k - $133.5k Between $214k - $267k N/A $31.90 + your premium
Between $133.5k - $160k Between $216k - $320k N/A $51.40 + your premium
Between $160k - $500k Between $320k - $750k Between $85k - $415k $70.90 + your premium
Above $500k Above $750k Above $415k $77.40 + your premium