How much do you pay for your Medicare coverage?
Could you be paying less for your monthly premiums?
Did you know that Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) can help pay for some of your out-of-pocket Medicare costs?
If you have a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, or if you are interested in comparing free Medigap quotes, a licensed insurance agent can help you compare plans that are available where you live.
Find Medigap plan quotes in your area.
Or call --ms-tfn-- to speak with a licensed insurance agent.
What Are the 4 Types of Medicare?
There are 4 parts of Medicare:
- Part A hospital insurance
- Part B medical insurance
- Part C, also called Medicare Advantage
- Part D prescription drug coverage
Medicare Supplement Insurance is a type of private Medicare insurance.
Learn more about each type of Medicare coverage below.
- Original Medicare
Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B are often referred to together as Original Medicare.
Medicare Part A covers some of the costs for inpatient hospital stays and other types of inpatient care.
Medicare Part B covers costs for certain types of outpatient care (such as doctor’s appointments), certain preventive care and durable medical equipment (DME).
- Medicare Advantage
Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage, is an alternative to Original Medicare.
Medicare Advantage plans provide all of the same coverage as Medicare Part A and Part B, and many plans also cover benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover.
Some of these additional benefits can include things like prescription drug coverage; routine hearing, dental and vision coverage; fitness memberships such as SilverSneakers and more.
- Medicare Part D
Part D plans provide coverage exclusively for retail prescription drugs, which are not typically covered by Original Medicare.
Medicare Supplement Insurance plans help cover some of Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs. These costs can include certain Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, excess charges and more.
What Is the Cost of Medicare for 2019?
Original Medicare is provided by the federal government.
The costs for Part A and Part B are standardized, although not everyone necessarily pays the same amount for premiums, depending on your circumstances.
Medicare Part A premiums are based on how long you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes.
Your 2019 costs for Medicare Part A premiums could be one of the following:
- Premium free
If you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for at least 40 quarters (10 years), you will not have to pay a premium for Part A. Most people qualify for premium-free Part A.
- If you paid Medicare taxes for between 30 and 39 quarters, you will pay $240 per month for Part A in 2019.
- If you paid Medicare taxes for fewer than 30 quarters (7.5 years), your Part A premium will be $437 per month in 2019.
Your Part B premiums are based partly on your reported modified adjusted gross income from two years prior.
The chart below shows what Part B beneficiaries will pay in 2019 based on their reported income from 2017.
|2017 Individual tax return||2017 Joint tax return||2017 Married and separate tax return||2019 Part B premium|
|$85,000 or less||$170,000 or less||$85,000 or less||$135.50|
|More than $85,000 and up to $107,000||More than $170,000 and up to $214,000||N/A||$189.60|
|More than $107,000 up to $133,500||More than $214,000 up to $267,000||N/A||$270.90|
|More than $133,500 up to $160,000||More than $267,000 up to $320,000||N/A||$352.20|
|More than $160,000 up to $500,000||More than $320,000 up to $750,000||More than $85,000 up to $415,000||$433.40|
|More $500,000||More than $750,000||More than $415,000||$460.50|
How Much Do Private Medicare Plans Cost?
The average cost of each type of private Medicare insurance can vary based on the type of plan you have, where you live, the insurance carrier who you buy your plan from and other factors.
The average Medicare Advantage plan premium in 2018 was $35.55 per month.1 It’s important to note that this is a weighted average. Some Medicare Advantage plans may feature $0 monthly premiums.
The cost of Medicare Advantage plans have been slowly decreasing in recent years. 2019 marks the fourth consecutive year that Medicare Advantage premiums have dipped.
Medicare Part D
The average Medicare Part D plan premium in 2018 was $52.23 per month.1
Part D premiums can be vary based on a number of factors, including their drug formulary, or the list of drugs that they cover.
Part D plan formularies typically separate drugs into different tiers, with less expensive generic drugs in lower tiers, and more expensive brand name drugs in higher tiers.
The average premium for a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan in 2018 was $125.93 per month.2
Medigap premiums can be determined partly by location, the benefits the plan offers and the pricing models that your Medicare Supplement Insurance company uses to price their plans.
There are three primary types of pricing methods insurance companies use:
- Community-rated – all new enrollees pay the same premium regardless of age
- Issue-age-rated – the premium is based on your age when you buy the policy (with older enrollees paying more than younger enrollees)
- Attained-age-rated – the premium is based on your current age, meaning it increases every year as you age
Medigap premiums can increase over time due to inflation and other factors, regardless of the pricing model your insurance company uses.
When Should I Buy a Medigap Plan?
When you turn 65 years old and are enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B, you will begin a six-month Medigap open enrollment period. This is the best time to buy a Medigap plan.
During this time, you have guaranteed issue rights, which means insurance companies are not allowed to use medical underwriting to determine whether they will issue you a plan and what they will charge you for plan premiums.
Underwriting is when an insurer issues you a physical exam or health questions, and then adjusts your plan quote according to your health.
The more health issues you have, the more you might be charged by the insurance company because you are seen as riskier to insure.
In addition to your Medigap OEP, there are several Medigap guaranteed issue rights that may allow you to sign up for a Medigap plan without medical underwriting. Your plan type options may be limited depending on the guaranteed issue right you have.
Who Do You Call for Medicare Questions?
A licensed insurance agent can help answer some of your Medicare questions, such as whether you are eligible for a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan and when you can enroll.
The selection and cost of Medigap plans can vary by location, but an agent will be able to tell you which plans are available in your area and go over the costs and details of each one.
Compare Medigap plan costs in your area.
Or call --ms-tfn-- to speak with a licensed insurance agent.
1 MedicareSupplement.com’s internal analysis of CMS Medicare Advantage landscape source files, May 2018. Data retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prescription-Drug-Coverage/PrescriptionDrugCovGenIn.
2 TZ Insurance Solutions LLC internal sales data, 2019. This data is based on the Medicare Supplement Insurance policies TZ Insurance Solutions LLC has sold. It is not a comprehensive national average of all available Medicare Supplement Insurance plan premiums.