The Medicare Part B Premium
This article was updated on: 09/16/2018
Medicare Part B typically comes with a premium. If you’re new to Medicare or becoming eligible soon, you might be wondering how much your Part B premium will be. The amount can vary depending on your situation.
Most people who are eligible for Medicare are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) at age 65, if they’re receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits. Some are enrolled when they are diagnosed with a qualifying illness or disability before age 65 and receive Social Security disability benefits. In most cases, your Medicare Part B premium is automatically deducted from your benefits payment, which makes managing your premium payment easy.
If you’re billed for your Part B premium each month (that is, if it’s not automatically deducted from your Social Security benefits), your premium payment might be somewhat higher than if it were automatically deducted. There are various other factors that may affect your Part B premium. Here’s what you should know about your Medicare Part B premium this year.
What factors can affect my Medicare Part B premium?
Most people actually pay less than the standard Medicare Part B premium amount, which is determined by the federal government each year. In 2018, the standard Medicare Part B premium in 2018 is $134, yet beneficiaries pay an average of $130. You can generally expect to pay the standard amount ($134) if:
- You signed up (or will sign up) for Medicare Part B for the first time in 2018.
- You’re billed directly for your Medicare Part B
The standard premium also may apply to you if get both Medicare and Medicaid benefits, but your state may pay the standard Medicare Part B premium if you qualify.
If you delayed enrollment in Part B, you might have to pay a late-enrollment penalty along with your monthly premium- see below.
If your income is above a certain amount, you may be subject to the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). See the table below.
What is the Medicare Part B late enrollment penalty?
If you don’t sign up for Part B as soon as you’re eligible for Medicare, you might have to pay a late-enrollment penalty each month when you do enroll into Part B, for as long as you get Medicare Part B benefits. The penalty adds 10% to your Part B premium for each year (12-month period) that you could have signed up for Part B, but didn’t enroll. For example, if you became eligible for Medicare Part B in September 2016 but didn’t enroll until January 2018 (during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period), your Medicare Part B premium would include a 10% late enrollment penalty.
If you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in Part B, you may not have to pay a late-enrollment penalty. For example, if you delayed Part B enrollment because you were still covered by an employer’s plan (either your employer or your spouse’s), you might qualify for an SEP when you can enroll in Part B without a penalty.
How will I know how much my Medicare Part B premium will be?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) – or the Railroad Retirement Board, if that applies to you – will tell you how much your Part B premium will be. Here’s a table that may help you to know what to expect, particularly if your income is above a certain level.
If your income falls into one of four higher-income categories based on your 2016 tax return, in most cases you’ll pay more than the standard Medicare Part B premium. The amounts listed below reflect the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount, or IRMAA. To determine your Part B premium, the Social Security administration looks to your income tax returns from two years ago (2016).
Here is a chart of Medicare Part B premiums for 2018, including IRMAA amounts, if applicable. Please note that your actual premium may be different depending on your individual circumstances.
|Your reported tax income in 2016||Your 2018 Part B premium|
|Married, filing jointly||Married, filing separately||Filing as individual|
|$170,000 or less
|$85,000 or less||$85,000 or less||Average: $130
If you pay standard amount: $134
|$320,001 and above||$85,001and above||$160,001 and above||$428.60|
If you have questions about enrolling in Medicare Part B or understanding your Medicare Part B premiums, I’m available to help you. You can schedule a phone call or request an email with premium information by clicking the appropriate button at the bottom of the page. To see some plans in your area you may be eligible for, please click the “Find Plans” button.
Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.