The 2018 deductibles and premiums for Medicare Parts A and B are now available. The announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) presents a mixed bag for Medicare enrollees, with costs for some rising while others remain the same.
With next year’s costs announced, now is a great time to review your Medicare plan. To learn more about your coverage options, you can visit Medicareful’s Plan Finder. The period to select a new plan ends December 7.
Medicare Part A
Many Medicare Part A plan holders receive their hospital benefits premium-free as long as they paid 40 quarters of Medicare tax. If you do not qualify for premium-free Part A, your 2018 monthly premium will be $422, which is a $9 increase from 2017. (If you have at least 30 quarters of Medicare credits, you’ll get a discounted monthly premium. In 2018, this premium is $232, a $5 increase from last year.)
In 2018, Part A enrollees will see a slight increase in the hospital deductible, rising to $1,340 from $1,316. This deductible will cover your costs for the first 60 days you spend in the health care facility.
The coinsurance costs have also increased. The daily coinsurance for hospital stays from days 61 to 90 have grown from $329 to $335. For lifetime reserve days, the daily coinsurance went from $658 to $670. Finally, the coinsurance for skilled nursing facilities increased from $164.50 to $167.50.
Medicare Part B
For 2018, the standard Part B premium to cover medical benefits remains $134. About 70% of Part B enrollees who paid $109 in 2017 will now pay a figure closer to the standard Part B premium as a result of this year’s two percent cost-of-living-adjustment in Social Security benefits.
All Medicare enrollees, including those who opt for Medicare Advantage, must pay their monthly Part B premium. The premiums change each year to account for costs of the program, and premiums may vary per individual based on annual income.
Those who filed income of $85,000 or more individually or $170,000 or more jointly in 2016 will pay more for their Part B coverage. You can see a breakdown of income-related monthly adjustment amounts on Medicare.gov.
CMS also revealed that the annual Part B deductible will remain at $183 for 2018.
Any News on Medicare Parts C and D?
The costs of Medicare Advantage and Part D plans are set by the insurers who offer them. Presently, CMS estimates that the average Medicare Advantage monthly premium will drop by six percent or $1.91. This will bring it to an average of $30 per month. CMS claims that 77 percent of Medicare Advantage enrollees will see their premiums remain the same or decrease in 2018.
The average cost of a Medicare prescription drug (Part D) plan is also projected to drop to $33.50 per month, down $1.20 from 2017. This is the first expected prescription drug plan premium decrease since 2012.
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