As we head into the holiday season, I wanted to let you know how much your Medicare will cost in 2019.

Most people with Medicare will pay the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which will be $135.50 next year, an increase of $1.50 over 2018.

Part B covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, some home health services, durable medical equipment, and certain other medical and health services not covered by Medicare Part A.  

Your Part B premium is based on your income. People whose tax returns show income equal to or higher than $85,000 pay higher premiums. These income-adjusted premiums apply to about 5 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries.

The premiums for higher-income beneficiaries for 2019 can be found here: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/2019-medicare-parts-b-premiums-and-deductibles.

The annual deductible for Part B is $185 in 2019, an increase of $2 from 2018.

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital, skilled nursing, and some home health services. The vast majority of Medicare beneficiaries don’t have to pay Part A premiums since they or their spouses paid Medicare payroll taxes for at least 40 quarters (10 years).

The Part A inpatient hospital deductible that beneficiaries pay when admitted to the hospital will be $1,364 in 2019, a $24 increase over 2018.

There are two ways to get your Medicare benefits: Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

With Original Medicare, you can choose any doctor, hospital, or other healthcare provider you want, as long as they accept Medicare. When you receive medical services or goods, Medicare pays the provider directly. About 70 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries have Original Medicare.

The other way to get your benefits is Medicare Advantage, which is a form of managed care, like an HMO or PPO. Medicare Advantage is provided by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. If you’re in Medicare Advantage, you generally must go to doctors and other providers in the company’s network.

If you go outside the network, you may have to pay more.

On the other hand, Medicare Advantage plans may offer some services — such as dental, hearing, vision, and prescription drug coverage — that Original Medicare doesn’t.

Most people with Original Medicare pay a monthly Part B premium. If you’re in Medicare Advantage, you may have to pay an additional monthly premium to the private insurer that covers you.

With Original Medicare, you or your supplemental insurance must pay deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance.

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