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).
In 2020, the Medicare Part B premium is $144.60. This premium must be paid monthly. Individuals making higher incomes have to pay more for Medicare Part B. Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and certain other medical and health services not covered by Medicare Part A.
The average Social Security benefit for a retired worker will rise by $24 a month to $1,503 in 2020. The small increase in Part B premiums mean most retirees will get the benefit of the Social Security COLA (Part B premiums are deducted from monthly Social Security checks).
|If your yearly income in 2018 (for what you pay in 2020) was||You pay each month (in 2020)|
|File individual tax return||File joint tax return||File married & separate tax return|
|$87,000 or less||$174,000 or less||$87,000 or less||$144.60|
|Above $87,000 up to $109,000||above $174,000 up to $218,000||Not applicable||$202.40|
|Above $109,000 up to $136,000||above $218,000 up to $272,000||Not applicable||$289.20|
|Above $136,000 up to $163,000||above $272,000 up to $326,000||Not applicable||$376.00|
|Above $163,000 and less than $500,000||above $326,000 and less than $750,000||above $87,000 and less than $413,000||$462.70|
|$500,000 or above||$750,000 and above||$413,000 and above||$491.60|
While most Medicare recipients will pay the new $144.60 standard monthly premium, some will pay less because of a “hold harmless” provision that limits certain beneficiaries’ increase in their Part B premium to be no greater than the increase in their Social Security benefits.
This year CMS says 7% of Medicare recipients, up from 5% this year, will have to pay income-related surcharges. The graduated surcharges for high-income seniors kick in for singles with modified adjusted gross income of more than $87,000 and for couples with a MAGI of more than $174,000. An individual earning more than $87,000, but less than or equal to $109,000, will pay $202.40 in total a month for Part B premiums in 2020, including a $57.80 surcharge. That’s up 9% from 2019, when they paid $189.60 total in a month, including a $54.10 surcharge.1
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 2020, the Medicare Part B deductible is $198 a year.
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