Will Medicare Costs Go up in 2018? – Frequently Asked Questions

Pamela Cannaday by Pamela Cannaday | Licensed since 2011
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This article was updated on: 10/29/2018

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Medicare costs like premiums, copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles may change from year to year. Here’s what to expect when it comes to Medicare costs in 2018.

2018 Medicare costs for Part A

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital and skilled nursing care services, as well as hospice care. Most people don’t pay a premium for Part A if they’ve worked at least 10 years (40 quarters) and paid Medicare taxes, or if they qualify through their spouse’s employment history. If you haven’t worked long enough, however, you may owe a premium.

In 2018, the Medicare cost for your Part A monthly premium is $422 if you worked less than 30 quarters. If you worked between 30 to 39 quarters, your premium is $232.

The Medicare cost for hospital inpatient care went up slightly in 2018:

  • The 2018 Part A deductible is $1,340 for each benefit period.
  • You pay nothing for the first 60 days of each benefit period.
  • You owe a $335 daily coinsurance for days 61 to 90 of each benefit period.
  • You owe a $670 daily coinsurance for each “lifetime reserve day” used in days 91 and beyond (you get up to 60 days over your lifetime).
  • Once you’ve used up your lifetime reserve days, you pay all Medicare costs.

The Medicare cost for skilled nursing facility care also went up in 2018:

  • You pay nothing for the first 20 days of each benefit period.
  • You owe a daily $167.50 coinsurance for days 21 to 100 of each benefit period.
  • You pay all Medicare costs for days 101 and beyond.

2018 Medicare costs for Part B

Medicare Part B covers a variety of outpatient services, including doctor visits, lab work, and durable medical equipment.

Your Medicare costs for Part B may vary, depending on your situation:

  • The standard Part B premium is $134 in 2018 (you may pay more based on your income). Most people who get Social Security retirement benefits pay less than this amount; Social Security will notify you how much you owe for your Part B premium in 2018, but the average is $130.
  • You may pay either the standard Part B premium or higher if:
    • You enrolled in Part B for the first time in 2018.
    • You’re not currently receiving Social Security benefits.
    • You get a direct bill for your Part B premiums.
    • You’re a dual eligible (meaning you’re enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid), and Medicaid pays the Medicare cost for your premiums. In this case, Medicaid will pay the standard Part B premium of $134 in 2018.
    • Your modified adjusted gross income from your 2016 tax return is above a certain amount; the Medicare cost for your Part B may be higher in this case. See this article on Medicare premiums and deductibles for more information on Medicare costs.

In 2018, the Medicare cost for the Part B annual deductible is $183.

2018 Medicare costs for Part C (Medicare Advantage)

Medicare Advantage (or Part C) plans are an alternative way to get your Original Medicare coverage. Because these plans are offered through Medicare-approved private insurance companies, benefits and Medicare costs may vary. Check with your specific Medicare Advantage plan to learn more about your Medicare costs for 2018 and if they will change.

2018 Medicare costs for Part D

Similarly, Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) is available through Medicare-contracted private insurance companies,  and Medicare costs depend on your specific plan. Contact your Medicare plan to find out if the Medicare costs for your prescription drug coverage have changed for 2018.

Similar to Part B, some people pay higher Medicare costs for their Part D premiums if they make above a certain amount. If your modified adjusted gross income from your 2016 tax return is above a certain amount, you may have an income-related monthly adjustment added to your Part D premium, and your Medicare costs could be more.

While deductibles vary by plan, no Medicare plan with prescription drug benefits may have a deductible higher than $405 in 2018.

Remember, many factors may affect your Medicare costs for prescription drug coverage, including your specific plan, the cost of the medications you take, and whether you get Extra Help.

2018 Medicare costs for Medicare Supplement

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) coverage works alongside your Original Medicare benefits to cover certain out-of-pocket costs. Medicare costs vary depending on your specific plan, so contact your insurance company for more information.

Certain Medicare costs may change in 2018, depending on which of the 10 standardized plan types you have:

  • In 2018, the out-of-pocket maximum for Plan K is $5,240, while the maximum for Plan L is $2,620. After you reach this amount, your Medicare Supplement plan covers all Medicare costs for covered services for the rest of the year.
  • The annual deductible for the high-deductible version of Plan F is $2,240 in 2018. Your Medicare-covered costs must reach this amount before benefits begin. 

If you’re concerned about Medicare costs and would like help finding a plan in your budget, I can show you options. Use the links below to schedule a phone appointment or receive emailed plan information. If you’d rather start right away, click the Compare Plans button to view plan options in your zip code.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information

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