What Will Medicare Plan B Cost in 2019?

Medicare Part B Premium 2019

2019 Medicare Part B Premiums by Income

While most Medicare enrollees are able to receive Part A (hospitalization) coverage free of charge, the Part B (outpatient care, medical equipment, and doctor’s services) portion of this health care plan requires that you pay a monthly premium.

In most cases, the Medicare Part B premium is deducted directly from an enrollee’s Social Security retirement income. This can make it easy and convenient to take care of this premium cost.

For 2018, the standard Medicare Part B premium was $134 per month. A Medicare enrollee will pay this amount – or higher – if he or she meets the following criteria:

  • You are enrolled in Medicare Part B for the very first time in 2018
  • You do not receive Social Security retirement income benefits
  • You are billed directly for your Medicare Part B premium (i.e., these premiums are not taken directly out of your Social Security retirement income benefits)
  • You are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid, and Medicaid is paying for your Medicare Part B premiums
  • Your modified adjusted gross income as reported on your IRS income tax return from two years prior is above a certain amount (in this case, you will be responsible for paying a higher amount than the monthly $134 standard premium)

Are You Considered a Higher Income Earner for Medicare Part B?

For many Medicare enrollees in 2019, the standard Part B premium will also be set at $134. (This is the same as the Medicare Part B premium for 2018). However, if your income from two years prior, or in this case, for 2017, was above a certain threshold – and depending on how you filed your income tax return – you may be required to pay more than that.

Here is how the 2019 Medicare Part B premiums will be determined:

If you file as an individual, and your income from 2017 is:If you file a joint tax return, and your income from 2017 is:Income-related monthly adjustment amount:Total monthly premium amount in 2019 for Medicare Part B is:
Less than or equal to $85,000Less than or equal to $170,000$0$135.50
More than $85,000 but less than or equal to $107,000More than $170,000 but less than or equal to $214,000$54.10$189.60
More than $107,000 but less than or equal to $133,500More than $214,000 but less than or equal to $267,000$135.40$270.90
More than $133,500 but less than or equal to $160,000More than $267,000 but less than or equal to $320,000$216.70$352.20
More than $160,000 but less than $500,000More than $320,000 but less than $750,000$297.90$433.40
$500,000 or more$750,000 or more$325.00$460.50

It is important to note that, although the income thresholds for Medicare Part B premium determination are the same for the years 2018 and 2019, these figures are anticipated to increase by roughly 2 percent for 2020. After that, these figures will be indexed based on general price inflation. With that in mind, it can be helpful to budget for these expenses going forward.

How to Pay Your Medicare Part B Premium

There are actually several ways that Medicare Part B enrollees are allowed to pay these premiums. First, the Part B Premium may be deducted directly from your bank or credit union account. In order to set up this particular service, you can talk with your bank or credit union in person, or you can visit their website and complete the appropriate form(s).

You could also opt to pay your Medicare Part B premium by signing up for Medicare Easy Pay. This is a free service that will deduct your monthly payment automatically from either a savings or a checking account. This deduction will typically take place on the 20th of each month. (Knowing the date of this deduction can help you to keep track of budgeting for this monthly expense).

It is also possible to pay for your monthly Medicare Part B premium via a check or money order. If this is the option you choose, funds should be mailed to the Medicare Premium Collection Center at:
P.O. Box 790355
St. Louis, MO 63179-0355

Some Medicare enrollees may wish to make their Part B premium payment using either a debit or a credit card. If this is how you choose to pay your bill for your Part B coverage, then just simply complete the bottom portion of your Medicare Part B payment coupon and send it in with your debit or credit card information.

It is important to note that the bottom portion of your Medicare payment coupon must be submitted in order for your payment to be processed. In addition, your debit or credit card information must also be included exactly as it appears on your card.

Just like with most other items that are paid for using a debit or a credit card, you must include the expiration date, as well as the three-digit code on the card, in order for the payment to be processed. Debit and / or credit card payments for Medicare Part B coverage should also be sent to the address for the Medicare Premium Collection Center that is provided above.

Regardless of how you opt to make your Medicare Part B monthly premium payment, if your payment is late, you will receive a notice from Medicare, along with a second bill. If you still have not made your payment, you will receive a delinquent bill – and if this bill is not paid by the 25th of the month, then you will lose your Medicare coverage.

Where to Find More Information About Medicare Part B Coverage and Costs

The costs that are associated with Medicare can be somewhat difficult to understand. One reason for this is because there can be many different areas where charges may come from, including Part B (and sometimes Part A) premiums, as well as deductibles, copayments, and / or coinsurance charges.

For more information on both the 2018 and the 2019 Medicare Part B premium amount, you can go to Medicare’s website at: https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/part-b-costs. If you receive your Medicare coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan, it is important to be aware that you will still be responsible for making your Medicare Part B premium payment.

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Author Bio: Ben started Prepare for Medicare in 2014 to help people help people get objective answers to questions about Medicare. He’s held leadership roles at numerous Fortune 500 Medicare health insurers in product development, sales, marketing and strategy for over 20 years.