Medicare Part B - Coverage, Costs in 2017

Medicare Part B

What does Medicare Part B Cover?

Medicare Part B is part of Original Medicare. Medicare Part B covers outpatient medical services such as doctor visits and preventive care like flu shots and diabetes screenings. Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospitalization services.

Some medical care services are not covered by either Medicare Part B or Part A. Dentures and dental care, vision care, long-term care, hearing aids, and routine foot care are not typically covered by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).

How much does Medicare Part B Cost in 2018?

In 2018, the Medicare Part B premium is $134. This premium must be paid monthly. Individuals making higher incomes have to pay more for Medicare Part B. For 70% of Social Security recipients who have been paying an artificially low $109 a month, they’ll see a big jump to the $134 a month level. Also, many high earners—starting at $133,500 for a single—will face higher high-income surcharges. Part B (the base and the surcharge) covers doctors’ and outpatient services.

The average benefit for a retired worker will rise by $27 a month to $1,404 in 2018. Many recipients will find most or all of their increase eaten up by the jump in the Medicare Part B premiums deducted from their monthly Social Security checks. A “hold harmless” provision (no increase in Medicare premiums can reduce a Social Security recipient’s net monthly check) kept their premiums in check before.

If your yearly income in 2016 (for what you pay in 2018) wasYou pay each month (in 2018)
File individual tax returnFile joint tax returnFile married & separate tax return
$85,000 or less $170,000 or less $85,000 or less $134.00
Above $85,000 up to $107,000above $170,000 up to $214,000Not applicable$187.50
Above $107,000 up to $133,500above $214,000 up to $267,000Not applicable$267.90
Above $133,500 up to $160,000above $267,000 up to $320,000Not applicable$348.30
Above $160,000 above $320,000 above $85,000 $428.60

The graduated high-income premium surcharges for seniors kick in for singles with a modified adjusted gross income of more than $85,000 and for couples with a MAGI of more than $170,000. An individual earning more than $85,000, but less than or equal to $107,000, will pay $187.50 in total a month in 2018, including a $53.50 surcharge, the same as in 2017.

The next bracket is compressed, so individuals making $133,500 to $160,000 will now face a $214.30 monthly surcharge, up from $133.90, bringing their total premium up from $267.90 a month to $348.30 a month. That’s a 60% hike.

The highest surcharge—which applies to individuals above $214,000 (couples above $428,000 this year) will apply to individuals with income above $160,000 (couples above $320,000) for 2018. That means Medicare Part B premium will top $10,000 a year ($10,286.40) for high income senior couples, with adjusted gross income of $320,000 or more, in 2018.

What is the Medicare Part B Deductible for 2018?

Medicare Part B has a deductible, that is to say, an amount that must first be paid by the enrollee for medical services prior to Part B contributing towards costs. In 2018, the Medicare Part B deductible is $183 a year.



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