Q:

Do Medicare premiums change?

A:

Quick Answer

The premiums for Medicare part B can increase annually when Social Security benefits are raised for cost of living adjustments, according to Medicare. Part B premiums also vary with federal income tax filing status and income. Medicare part A is generally free for participants who paid Medicare taxes while working.

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Full Answer

For 2016, the standard Medicare Part B premium, which covers medical expenses, is $121.80 per month, states Medicare. It raises in steps, up to a maximum of $389.80 each month, for individuals whose income is more than $214,000 if filing single, or $428,000 on a joint tax return. Different premiums apply if this is the first year of coverage, if the premium is billed directly, or if the insured is also receiving Medicaid.

Medicare part A covers hospital insurance. If not eligible for the free premium, participants may have to pay up to $411 per month, says Medicare.

Medicare part D premiums, which cover prescription drug costs, vary based on the company issuing the policy and its specific details, notes eHealthInsurance. Participants with high incomes are subject to premium surcharges similar to those paid on part B premiums.

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