Question: How much will I pay for Medicare Part B in 2019?
Answer: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that most people will pay $135.50 per month for Medicare Part B in 2019, up slightly from $134 per month in 2018.
A small group of Medicare beneficiaries (about 3.5%) will pay less because the cost-of-living increase in their Social Security benefits is not large enough to cover the full premium increase. The “hold-harmless provision” 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 payments. Social Security benefits are increasing by 2.8% in 2019, which will cover the increase in premiums for most people.
Premium increases are also minor for most higher-income beneficiaries—those with adjusted gross income plus tax-exempt interest income of more than $85,000 if single or $170,000 if married filing jointly. These beneficiaries already pay a high-income surcharge, but a new surcharge tier will kick in for 2019 for people with the highest incomes. Overall, monthly premiums for higher-income beneficiaries will range from $189.60 to $460.50 per person, depending on income.
If your income is $85,001 to $107,000 (or $170,001 to $214,000 if filing jointly), your monthly premium will rise from $187.50 to $189.60. Monthly premiums for singles with an income of $107,001 to $133,500 (joint filers with income of $214,001 to $267,000) will increase from $267.90 to $270.90. And premiums for singles earning $133,501 to $160,000 ($267,001 to $320,000 for joint filers) will rise from $348.30 to $352.20.
If you had higher income than that, your monthly premium for 2018 was $428.60. In 2019, there will be an extra surcharge tier for people with the highest income.
If your income is between $160,001 and $499,999 ($320,001 to $749,999 for joint filers), you’ll pay $433.40 per month. Single filers with income of $500,000 or more ($750,000 or more for joint filers) will pay $460.50 per month.
High-income surcharges for 2019 are generally based on your 2017 income. If you’ve experienced certain life-changing events that have reduced your income since then, such as retirement, divorce or the death of a spouse, you can contest the surcharge. For more information about contesting or reducing the high-income surcharge, see Save Money on Medicare. Also see Medicare Premiums: Rules for Higher-Income Beneficiaries for the procedure.
Deductibles will also go up in 2019. The deductible for Medicare Part A, which covers hospital services, will increase from $1,340 in 2018 to $1,364 in 2019.
The deductible for Medicare Part B, which covers physician services and other outpatient services, will see a mild bump from $183 to $185.
What You'll Pay for Medicare in 2019
|Income (adjusted gross income plus tax-exempt interest income):|
|Single tax return||Married filing jointly||Monthly Part B premium (per person)|
|$85,000 or less||$170,000 or less||$135.50 (may be less if covered by the hold-harmless provision)|
|$85,001 to $107,000||$170,001 to $214,000||$189.60|
|$107,001 to $133,500||$214,001 to $267,000||$270.90|
|$133,501 to $160,000||$267,001 to $320,000||$352.20|
|$160,001 to $499,999||$320,001 to $749,999||$433.40|
|$500,000 or more||$750,000 or more||$460.50|
As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.
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