How Much Are Medicare Premiums?

How Much Are Medicare Premiums?

Medicare Part B premiums are $104.90 for the year 2013. That follows a $12 increase from 2012 to 2013. Part B is the portion of Medicare that covers doctor's visits and various medical services, such as blood tests and diagnostic tests.

Medicare Part A premiums, which pay for hospital services, cost $232 a month for most beneficiaries. The premiums can be deducted from your Social Security check. If you don't have a Social Security check, you can deduct them from your income.

Medicare Part B premiums are financed by general revenues, but the payments are used to pay for Part B costs.

How do I pay my Part B premiums?

Medicare Part B premiums are paid monthly, quarterly, or yearly. If you choose to pay quarterly, you'll have a three-month grace period before you incur a penalty for late payment. For most people, the annual payment is the most convenient. If you choose to have your premium deducted from your Social Security check, you'll be charged a late payment penalty if your check is delivered late. With the annual payment, you won't have to pay extra when your Social Security check arrives late.

What if I can't afford my premium?

If you can't afford your monthly, quarterly, or annual Medicare Part B premium, you may be able to get a free enrollment period. This allows you to sign up for Part B without paying a premium for three full months. If you decide not to pay after the free period ends, you will still be able to continue getting services from doctors and hospitals.

How do I get a free enrollment period?

You can get a free enrollment period if you:

Have limited income and resources.

Are eligible for government or non-government financial assistance programs such as Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Have certain medical bills you can't pay.

Have received a notice that you are responsible for paying higher Part B premiums.

Are a Qualified Individual (QI) who was eligible for Medicaid.

How long does a free enrollment period last?

The free enrollment period lasts for three full months. If you miss your third full month, you will still be able to sign up for Part B. However, you'll have to pay a Part B late enrollment penalty for a period of time. If you don't sign up for Part B during the free enrollment period, you could end up paying a late enrollment penalty for the rest of your life.

How much is the Part B late enrollment penalty?

The Part B late enrollment penalty is 10% of the premium that you should have paid when you became eligible. For example, if you are eligible for Part B in January 2014, the penalty will be 10% of the premium you would have paid if you had signed up in January 2014. It will be 10% of the January 2014 premium for the months of January through March 2014. It will be 10% of the February 2014 premium for the months of February through March 2014. If you are already enrolled in Part B, the late penalty will be 10% of the premium you should have paid for the months you were eligible. The late enrollment penalty does not increase the total amount you owe.

How do I apply for a free enrollment period?

You can apply for a free enrollment period through Social Security or your new Part B carrier.

What if I am already enrolled in Part B?

If you already have premium-free Part B, you can continue to receive services without paying a late enrollment penalty. You will have to pay Part B premiums (unless you have a premium-free Medicare Advantage plan) for the rest of your life.

If you are already enrolled in Part B, you can switch back to premium-free Part B by applying through your new Part B carrier or Social Security. You can also switch back to premium-free Part B if you had a limited income and financial resources when you signed up for Part B.

What if I want to sign up for Part B and don't want to pay a late enrollment penalty?

If you want to sign up for Part B and avoid a late enrollment penalty, you must apply before the free enrollment period ends. If you miss the free enrollment period, you can still sign up for Part B. You'll have to pay a late enrollment penalty for any months you are eligible for Part B and you do not sign up.

What if I have to pay more in Part B premiums?

If you have to pay more in Part B premiums, you can apply to have your higher premium paid from Social Security. You can also have the higher premium deducted from your Social Security check.

What if I don't want to pay a premium at all?

If you don't want to pay a premium at all, you can apply for Social Security and Medicare at the same time. When you apply for Social Security, you can apply for premium-free Part B.

What if I don't want to pay for premiums, but I want to keep my extra Part B coverage?

You can choose to pay additional premiums to keep your extra Part B coverage. For example, if your Part B coverage has a $50 deductible, you can pay an additional $100 per month for a $0 deductible.

What if I don't want to pay a premium, but I want to keep my Part B coverage?

You can choose to pay additional premiums to keep your Part B coverage. For example, if your Part B coverage has a $50 deductible, you can pay an additional $100 per month for a $0 deductible.

What if I want to keep my regular Part B coverage, but I want to pay less in premiums?

You can choose to pay additional premiums to keep your regular Part B coverage. For example, if your Part B coverage has a $50 deductible, you can pay an additional $100

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