Medicare

What You'll Pay for Medicare Premiums in 2018

What are Medicare premiums in 2018? The standard premium of $134 for Medicare Part B won't change, but some recipients will still end up paying more.

Question: How much will I pay for Medicare Part B in 2018? Are some people still protected by the hold-harmless provision?

Answer: The standard premium for Medicare Part B will continue to be $134 per month in 2018. However, even though the standard premium remains the same, many people will have to pay much more for Part B in 2018 than they did in 2017.

The reason is rooted in the "hold harmless" provision, which prevents enrollees' annual increase in Medicare premiums from exceeding their cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits—if their premiums are automatically deducted from their Social Security checks. This applies to about 70% of Medicare enrollees. The cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits for this year was so low (just 0.3%) that people covered by the hold-harmless provision paid about $109 per month, on average, for Medicare premiums in 2017.

But Social Security benefits will be increasing by 2% in 2018, which will cover more of the increase for people protected by the hold-harmless provision. Some 42% of Part B enrollees who are subject to the hold-harmless provision for 2018 will pay the full monthly premium of $134 because the increase in their Social Security benefit will cover the additional Part B premiums. Another 28% of Part B enrollees who are covered by the hold-harmless provision will pay less than $134 because the 2% increase in their Social Security benefits will not be large enough to cover the full Part B premium increase.

Most people who sign up for Medicare in 2018 or who do not have their premiums deducted from their Social Security benefits are not protected by the hold-harmless provision and will pay the full $134 per month.

And some people will pay even more. If your adjusted gross income plus tax-exempt interest income is more than $85,000 if you're single or $170,000 if you're married and file taxes jointly, then you'll have to pay a high-income surcharge for Medicare Part B and Part D – whether or not you are protected by the hold-harmless provision. Your monthly Part B premiums will range from $187.50 per person to $428.60 per person, depending on your income.

What You'll Pay for Medicare in 2018

Income (adjusted gross income plus tax-exempt interest income):
Single tax returnMarried filing jointlyMonthly Part B premium (per person)
$85,000 or less$170,000 or less$134 (may be less if covered by the hold-harmless provision)
$85,001 to $107,000$170,001 to $214,000$187.50
$107,001 to $133,500$214,001 to $267,000$267.90
$133,501 to $160,000$267,001 to $320,000$348.30
More than $160,000More than $320,000$428.60

You may be able to contest the extra charge if your income has gone down since your last tax return on file. For more information, see FAQs about Medicare.

Also, the Medicare Part A inpatient hospital deductible in 2018 will increase for everyone by $24, to $1,340. The Medicare Part B deductible, which covers physician and outpatient services, will remain at $183 for 2018.

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
9 Great Growth ETFs for 2022 and Beyond
ETFs

9 Great Growth ETFs for 2022 and Beyond

These growth ETFs offer exposure to higher-risk, higher-reward stocks while lessening the risk of a single stock torpedoing your returns.
January 18, 2022
The 10 Best Closed-End Funds (CEFs) for 2022
CEFs

The 10 Best Closed-End Funds (CEFs) for 2022

These high-yielding CEFs won't just significantly boost your portfolio income. They'll also allow you to buy their underlying stocks and bonds at a di…
January 12, 2022

Recommended

Virtual Reality Turns Games Into Treatments
happy retirement

Virtual Reality Turns Games Into Treatments

Seniors are utilizing virtual reality programs to boost physical therapy, fight acute and chronic pain and address mental health concerns.
January 25, 2022
12 Questions Retirees Often Get Wrong About Taxes in Retirement
retirement

12 Questions Retirees Often Get Wrong About Taxes in Retirement

You worked hard to build your retirement nest egg. But do you know how to minimize taxes on your savings?
January 21, 2022
Why Your New Social Security Check May Be Less Than You Thought
social security

Why Your New Social Security Check May Be Less Than You Thought

Watch out, because these three supposed “rules” about Social Security benefits may not actually apply to you.
January 13, 2022
Could You Lose Your Job if You Get COVID-19?
careers

Could You Lose Your Job if You Get COVID-19?

With omicron surging, many are losing the ability to work. Can they get fired? Will they get paid time off? It depends.
January 12, 2022