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 ARTICLE – How much does Medicare cost?

How much does Medicare cost?

There are two ways to get Medicare coverage: Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. The cost depends on the approach.

Original Medicare starts with Part A, hospital insurance, and Part B, medical insurance. 

Part A is free for individuals who (or whose spouses) have worked and paid Medicare taxes for 10 years or longer. Those who have not worked enough can get Part A for a premium.  

There is a premium for Medicare Part B, medical insurance. In 2018, the premium is either $134 a month. (Read more at What Does Medicare Cost?) Those who choose Original Medicare—but want comprehensive coverage–will probably purchase a Medigap policy and a Part D, prescription drug plan. Both carry premiums that vary by policy, area, benefits, and more.

People opting for Medicare Advantage must have Parts A and B, which means paying the Part B premium. Medicare Advantage plans come with or without drug coverage and may or may not charge a premium. 

In both cases, the beneficiary will face deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance for care, treatment, and medications. Original Medicare has established out-of-pocket charges for Parts A and B. Each Medicare Advantage plan establishes its own charges.  

One more thing: Higher-income beneficiaries will pay more for Part B. How much more depends on their incomes. 

Last updated: 08-29-2018