Every year Medicare costs can change. Costs for the upcoming year are announced in the late fall, and the new costs go into effect January 1. For 2021, Medicare did increase costs for both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. The average premiums for Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Part D prescription drug plans; however, are at an all-time low. CMS recently shared that average monthly premiums for Medicare Advantage plans have seen a 34 percent decrease since 2017, and the average Part D premium has dropped 12 percent since 2017.
What is the Medicare Part B Premium for 2021?
The standard monthly Medicare Part B premium for 2021 is $148.50, which is up only $3.90 from $144.60 in 2020. Medicare Part B helps pay for doctor visits and outpatient care.
Most people will pay the standard Part B premium amount, but you could pay more based on your income. Medicare uses your reported income from two years ago to determine what you’ll pay. And while the Part B premium did increase by $3.90, due to a recent change in law, this is less than was originally projected for 2021, which was formerly a $50 increase. Because of the new budget law, Congress was able to limit the Part B increase and thus preserve the new 2021 COLA (Cost-of-Living Adjustment) increase, which is set at 1.3 percent for 2021.1
Medicare adds an income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMMA) to Part B premiums for individuals with an adjusted gross income over $88,000 and for couples with income over $176,000. High earners could pay up to $504.90 per month for Part B in 2020.
Other Part B costs include a deductible and coinsurance for those who have Original Medicare (Parts A & B). The 2021 Part B deductible is $203.
What are the Medicare Part A Deductible, Coinsurance and Premium amounts in 2021?
The Medicare Part A deductible for 2021 is $1,484, which is up $76 from $1,408 per benefit period in 2020. A benefit period begins the day you’re admitted to the hospital and ends when you’ve been out for 60 days in a row. The deductible covers up to 60 days in the hospital. After that you pay daily coinsurance amounts.
Medicare Part A coinsurance amounts for 2021:
For hospital stays:
·$0 for Days 1-60 of hospitalization
·$371 per day for Days 61-90 of hospitalization
·$742 per day for lifetime reserve days
For a skilled nursing facility:
·$0 for Days 1-20
·$185.50 per day for Days 21-100
Note: these amounts are per benefit period.
Medicare Part A premiums for 2021:
The Part A premium is only paid by individuals who worked less than 40 quarters with coverage. The Part A premiums for 2021 are as follows:
·$259 for individuals who had at least 30 quarters of coverage, or who are married to someone with 30 quarters of coverage
·$471 for certain uninsured individuals or with less than 30 quarters of coverage, and for people with disabilities who have exhausted other entitlement
Medicare Part A covers hospital and inpatient care.
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C), the Part A deductible and other Part A costs usually won’t apply. Each plan sets its own cost-sharing terms for hospitalizations. For example, you may have daily copays for a set number of days or a flat cost per hospitalization. After that, plans usually pay 100% of hospital costs. Check plan details for exact costs.
Is the Medicare Part D Donut Hole Closed?
The Medicare Part D donut hole technically “closed” on January 1, 2020, but it’s not exactly going away completely. The donut hole – also called the “coverage gap” – is still one of the four Medicare Part D payment stages.
The donut hole is considered closed because as of January 2020 you no longer have to pay more for your drugs while you’re in that coverage stage. You will pay the same amount for your drugs from the initial payment stage through the donut hole. In 2021, you will pay no more than 25% of the cost for both brand-name and generic drugs in the donut hole.
You enter the donut hole once you and your plan have paid $4,130 for your drugs in 2021. You exit the donut hole when the total cost of your drugs for the year reaches $6,550.
You can get drug coverage through a standalone Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage plan.
Remember, the costs for Medicare can change each year. And the total costs you will have for your Medicare coverage will vary depending on the coverage you have along with the health care items and services you use.