Are you becoming Medicare eligible in 2019? If so, we have some updated costs for you. The cost of Medicare usually goes up each year due to inflation and other factors. However, this coming year, the cost of Medicare is only slightly increasing.
Cost of Medicare Part A
You share in Medicare’s costs in several ways. These include premiums, deductibles, and copays.
For most people, Medicare Part A has a $0 monthly premium. This is because the majority of Americans have at least 40 quarters (10 years) of work under their belt (or are married to someone who does) and have been paying into Part A for many years.
However, if you don’t have the necessary quarters, you may have to pay a monthly premium.
If you have worked anywhere from 31 quarters to 39 quarters, your 2018 Medicare Part A premium is $227. In 2019, your premium will increase by $13, making your new premium be $240.
Those who have worked 30 quarters or less have been paying $422 a month for Part A. Beginning 2019, they will pay $437 each month instead.
The inpatient hospital deductible for Part A during in 2019 will be $1364. You pay this each time you are admitted as an inpatient if you haven’t been in the hospital for at least 60 consecutive days. Once this deductible is met, Medicare Part A will cover your first 60 days in the hospital.
If you stay in the hospital longer than 60 days, that’s when you begin paying copays. In 2019, this copay will be $341 per day.
Those who spend more than 90 days in the hospital pay a copay of $682 each day until day 150. Beginning on Day 11, Medicare stops paying, and you are responsible for all Part A costs.
Cost of Medicare Part B
Your Part B premium is based on your household income. Basically, if you make more, you pay more because Medicare assesses an Income Related Modified Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). Most Medicare beneficiaries (around 95%) pay the standard base premium which is $135.50 for 2019.
With Medicare Part B, once you meet the annual deductible, Medicare pays 80% of your Part B costs, while you pay 20%. The deductible has been $183 during 2018, but the new deductible will be $185 as of 2019. Again, not a huge increase.
Cost of Medicare Part D
Because every Part D plan is able to set its own cost-sharing amounts, deductibles can be different from plan to plan. However, Medicare sets a max deductible each year that Part D plans cannot exceed.
In 2019, the max annual deductible Part D plans will be $415. Again, some plans may charge less, but they can’t charge more than $415.
Initial Coverage is stage two of the four stages of Part D drug plans. Once you have paid the annual deductible, you move into Initial Coverage where you pay copays for your medications. Once you and the carrier together have spent $3,820 in 2019, you move into stage three which is the coverage gap.
Coverage Gap (Donut Hole)
Stage three is the Coverage Gap, also known as the Donut Hole.
In 2019, you will pay up to 37% of generic drugs during the donut hole. Your costs for brand name medications will not longer be affected by the gap.
Once your out-of-pocket spending reaches $5,100 in 2019, you reach stage four, which is called the catastrophic coverage level. After this point, you pay 5% or less of the cost of your covered medications for the rest of the year.
The good news about the cost increases for Medicare between 2018 and 2019 is that they are among the lowest increases Medicare has made in the recent years. Over the past years, Medicare has made much steeper increases. For instance, in 2015 the Part B deductible was $147. Medicare increased this by nearly $20 for the following year. This time, the Part B deductible has only been raised by $2.
If you’re turning 65 in 2019 and need help budgeting you Medicare costs, contact us today. We can compare multiple plan options to ensure that you get the most for your money.