How Much Does Medicare Cost?

There are a few key resources you can use to help control Medicare costs, including programs designed to lower your premiums.

Written by Devon Delfino / March 30, 2022

Quick Bites

  • Medicare costs depend on factors like your income and which plan (or plans) you select.
  • Part A is premium-free for most Medicare beneficiaries, while Part B charges a $170.10 monthly premium, which rises as your income goes up.
  • Part D drug coverage may be premium-free if your income stays below certain limits.
  • Premiums for Medicare Part C and Medigap plans, both sold by private insurers, vary based on several factors.

Once you reach age 65 and qualify for Medicare, you can be assured that you have health insurance coverage to help you stay healthy in retirement.

But this insurance from the federal government can also be confusing, especially since you have a choice of Medicare plans, all with their own price structures and potential out-of-pocket costs.

Read on to learn about the costs of Medicare—Parts A to D and beyond—including premiums, deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. Plus, learn how you might be able to save.

Inside this article

  1. Medicare costs: Parts A, B, C, D
  2. Medigap
  3. How to save money

Medicare costs: Parts A, B, C and D

Various factors dictate how much you’ll pay for health insurance coverage under Medicare, including your income, work history, tax-filing status and which plan you choose.

Here’s how costs play out across the various Medicare plans:

Medicare Part A

Most people don’t have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A—the part of the program that covers the costs of hospitals and skilled nursing facilities— because they (or their spouse) paid enough in Medicare taxes during their working years.

As long as you paid Medicare taxes for 40 quarters, which works out to 10 years, you won’t pay a premium for Part A. However, if you fall short of that requirement, you could face a premium as high as $499 per month in 2022.[1] Here’s how that breaks down:

Who pays for Part AMonthly premium in 2022
You paid Medicare taxes for only 30 to 39 quarters of your working life, or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for just 30 to 39 quarters.$274
You have fewer than 30 quarters of Medicare credits, plus certain people with disabilities who have exhausted other entitlements. $499

Anyone on Medicare has to pay a deductible. In 2022, the Part A deductible for inpatient hospital stays is $1,556.

Coinsurance for stays in an inpatient hospital kicks in after your 60th day as a patient; at a skilled nursing facility, cost-sharing starts on your 21st day. After 90 days in the hospital, your allotted number of “lifetime reserve days” apply.[2] Below are coinsurance costs you can expect:

Type of stayDaily coinsurance
Inpatient hospital stays: days 61 through 90$389
Lifetime reserve days (apply after day 90) $778
Skilled nursing facility stays, days 21 through 100$194.50

Medicare Part B

Part B premiums are based on your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). Most people pay the standard premium, which is $170.10 a month in 2022, but premiums vary depending on your income[1]:

Single filer modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) Married filing jointly MAGIMonthly premium in 2022
Up to $91,000 Up to $182,000 $170.10
$91,001 to $114,000 $182,001 to $228,000 $238.10
$114,001 to $142,000 $228,001 to $284,000$340.20
$142,001 to $170,000$284,001 to $340,000$442.30
$170,001 to $499,999 $340,001 to $749,000 $544.30
$500,000 or more $750,000 or more $578.30

Married folks who live together but file taxes separately have their own payment tiers:

  • Up to $91,000 MAGI: $170.10 per month

  • $91,001 to $408,999 MAGI: $544.30 per month

  • $409,000 or more MAGI: $578.30 per month

The other out-of-pocket cost that applies is the deductible, which is $233 per year for a Part B plan.[1, 2]

Medicare Part C

Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are offered by Medicare-approved private insurers. These plans combine the coverage found in Part A and Part B, and may also include extras like vision, hearing, dental and prescription drug coverage.

There are drawbacks to Medicare Advantage plans, however. You are typically limited to a certain network of doctors and health care facilities or need a referral to see a specialist, and those rules can change from year to year.[3]

While Medicare pays a fixed amount to the companies offering these plans, the insurers set their own premiums, deductibles and other rules.[4] That said, many Advantage plans do not charge a premium. Some charge a premium on top of what you pay for Part B; for those that do, the average premium in 2022 is $19 per month.[3, 5]

With a Medicare Advantage plan, your total out-of-pocket costs will depend on:

  • The company you go with and the premium it charges

  • Whether or not the plan requires you to meet a deductible

  • Coinsurance or copayment rules

  • The services you use

  • If you follow the plan’s rules, such as sticking with in-network providers

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D is a plan that provides prescription drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries who opt for Original Medicare (Parts A and B). As with Part B plans, Part D premiums are based on your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). For those with low enough income, Part D may be premium-free.

Single filer modified adjusted gross income (MAGI)Married filing jointly MAGI Monthly premium in 2022
Up to $91,000Up to $182,000None
$91,001 to $114,000$182,001 to $228,000 $12.40
$114,001 to $142,000$228,001 to $284,000$32.10
$142,001 to $170,000$284,001 to $340,000$51.70
$170,001 to $499,999$340,001 to $749,000 $71.30
$500,000 or more$750,000 or more$77.90

Again, there are different payment tiers if you’re married and living with your spouse but filing separately[2]:

  • Up to $91,000 MAGI: no premium

  • $91,001 to $408,999 MAGI: $71.30 a month

  • $409,000 or higher MAGI: $77.90 a month

Like Medicare Advantage plans, Part D drug plans are run by private companies, which can set their own rules. Plan D deductibles can vary, though they are capped at $480 per year in 2022.[6]

Medigap or Medicare supplement insurance

A Medigap policy is designed to cover at least some of the out-of-pocket costs you’ll face with Original Medicare (Parts A and B). Since these policies are sold by private insurance companies, the premiums will depend on the company you go with, the type of Medigap policy you choose (there are various standardized plans) and where you live.[7]

For example, for a 70-year-old woman who lives in San Francisco and doesn’t smoke, the monthly premiums can range from $32 per month up to $960 per month. And the deductibles in this example range from $0 to $2,490, depending on the Medicare plan (Parts A or B) as well as the Medigap plan you choose.[8]

How to save money on Medicare

One way to save money on Medicare is to make sure you’re taking advantage of all of the special programs you may qualify for. The National Council on Aging offers a BenefitsCheckUp tool that helps you screen for money-saving benefits. It also provides contacts and application information for the programs.

With a low income or a disability, you may qualify for Medicare Savings Programs, which can help beneficiaries who are having trouble paying their monthly premiums, deductibles, coinsurance or copayments.

“Those programs have income and savings restrictions, but there are several levels of benefits, and all levels help pay the Part B premium,” says Mary Johnson, a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at The Senior Citizens League. “Individuals with the lowest incomes and savings qualify for help with out-of-pocket costs as well.” These programs can also help with the costs of Part A plans.[9]

Medicare’s Extra Help aids with prescription drug expenses you incur with a Part D plan, including premiums, deductibles and copayments. According to Johnson, if you qualify for a Medicare Savings Program, you would most likely also qualify for Medicare Extra Help. She recommends applying for Extra Help first since the income restrictions are a bit less strict than with the Savings Programs.

“Getting help to apply is really a game-changer,” says Johnson. “There are Area Agencies on Aging in every area of the country that can help link individuals up with programs that can help save money on not only these costs, but other expenses including food, transportation, information on housing and long-term care.”

Tip: To apply for Medicare Savings Programs, you’ll need to go through your local Medicare office. You can apply for Medicare Extra Help via the Social Security website.
Article Sources
  1. “2022 Medicare Costs,” Medicare, https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11579-medicare-costs.pdf.
  2. “2022 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles/2022 Medicare Part D Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts,” Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/2022-medicare-parts-b-premiums-and-deductibles2022-medicare-part-d-income-related-monthly-adjustment.
  3. “Costs for Medicare Advantage Plans,” Medicare, https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/costs-for-medicare-advantage-plans.
  4. “What Is Medicare Part C?” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.hhs.gov/answers/medicare-and-medicaid/what-is-medicare-part-c/index.html.
  5. “CMS Releases 2022 Premiums and Cost-Sharing Information for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans,” Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-releases-2022-premiums-and-cost-sharing-information-medicare-advantage-and-prescription-drug.
  6. “Yearly Deductible for Drug Plans,” Medicare, https://www.medicare.gov/drug-coverage-part-d/costs-for-medicare-drug-coverage/yearly-deductible-for-drug-plans.
  7. “Medigap Costs,” Medicare, https://www.medicare.gov/supplements-other-insurance/whats-medicare-supplement-insurance-medigap/medigap-costs.
  8. “Supplement Insurance (Medigap) Plans in California,” Medicare, https://www.medicare.gov/medigap-supplemental-insurance-plans/#/m/plans?fips=06075&zip=94102&year=2022&lang=en.
  9. “Medicare Savings Program,” Medicare, https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/get-help-paying-costs/medicare-savings-programs.

About the Author

Devon Delfino

Devon Delfino

Devon Delfino is a writer who’s covered personal finance—including everything from student loans to budgeting to saving for retirement and beyond—for the past six years. Her financial reporting has appeared in publications like the L.A. Times, U.S. News and World Report, Teen Vogue, Masha

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