The 2021 Part B Medicare premiums increased $3.90 per month to $148.50, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In 2022, premiums will increase another $21.60 to $170.10.
The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries is $203 in 2021, a $5 increase from $198 in 2020. In 2022, Medicare Part B deductibles will increase $30 to $233.
The cost-of-living adjustment Social Security recipients receive should be high enough to cover the increases in premiums. If they are not, most recipients will be protected by the hold harmless rule, which prevents benefits from decreasing from one year to the next. Medicare Part B premiums will be temporarily reduced so that the Social Security check remains the same as in the previous year.
This decrease in premiums is temporary. If the hold harmless rule applies to you and your monthly premium is lower than $144.60 in 2020 or $148.50 in 2021, your premium may increase more than you expect. This is because you must apply all or a portion of your COLA increase (1.3% in 2021 and 5.9% in 2022) toward “catching up” with the current monthly premium.
2021 Medicare Update
As part of a short-term federal government funding bill, the increase in Medicare Part B premiums for 2021 was capped at 25% of what it would be for the year. Because of that, the standard Part B premium in 2021 is $148.50. This cap contributed to the large increase in premiums for 2022.
How to Determine Your Part B Medicare Premiums
If you paid $144.60 per month in 2020, your monthly increase for 2021 is $3.90. If you paid less than that, you will need to catch up. Here is how to determine your 2021 payment.
- Step 1: Subtract your current Part B premium from $148.50.
- Example 1: $148.50 – $120 = $28.50
- Example 2: $148.50 – $138 = $10.50
- Step 2: Multiply your current monthly Social Security benefit by 1.3%.
- Example 1: $1,700 x .013 = $22.10
- Example 2: $1,700 x .013 = $22.10
- Step 3: Your Part B Premium increase is the lesser of the two figures from steps 1 and 2.
Example 1: The total from Step 2 is lower. The recipient would apply the entire COLA increase to catching up the Part B Medicare payments: $144.10 per month ($120 + $22.10).
Example 2: The total from Step 1 is lower. The recipient would apply $10.50 of the COLA increase to the Part B Medicare payments. The monthly premium would be $148.50, and the Social Security benefits would increase by the remaining $11.60.
What Is the Hold Harmless Provision?
The hold harmless provision prevents Social Security benefits from declining from one year to the next due to Increases in Medicare Plan B.
Most Social Security recipients are protected by the hold harmless rule. Their Part B premium costs will not increase more than their COLA increases as long as:
- They were entitled to Social Security benefits for November and December of the previous year
- Medicare Part B premiums were deducted from their Social Security benefits between November of the previous year and January of the current year
- They don’t pay higher Part B premiums because of Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) eligibility
The hold-harmless provision does not protect those who:
- Are new to Medicare Plan B
- Are subject to IRMAA
- Are enrolled in a Medicare Savings Program (MSP)
- No longer qualify for MSP due to an increase in income or you didn’t renew
2022 Medicare Part B Premiums
Medicare Part B monthly premiums are based on the beneficiary’s income. Most people pay the standard amount. Those with higher incomes pay an income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA).
The total premiums for high-income beneficiaries are shown in the following table:
2022 Medicare Part B PremiumsA beneficiary’s Part B monthly premium is based on his or her income. These income-related monthly adjustment amounts (IRMAA) affect roughly 5% of people with Medicare Part B. Here are the total premiums for high income beneficiaries:
|Individual Income||Married Filing Jointly income||Income-related monthly adjustment amount:||Total monthly premium amount:|
|Less than or equal to $91,000||Less than or equal to $182,000||$0||$170.10|
|Greater than $91,000 and less than or equal to $114,000||Greater than $182,000 and less than or equal to $228,000||$68||$238.10|
|Greater than $114,000 and less than or equal to $142,000||Greater than $228,000 and less than or equal to $284,000||$170.10||$340.20|
|Greater than $142,000 and less than or equal to $170,000||Greater than $284,000 and less than or equal to $340,000||$272.20||$442.30|
|Greater than $170,000 and less than $500,000||Greater than $340,000 and less than $750,000||$374.20||$544.30|
|Greater than or equal to $500,000||Greater than or equal to $750,000||$408.20||$578.30|
|Married Filing Jointly Income||Monthly Adjustment Amount||Total Monthly Premium Amount|
|Less than or equal to $91,000||$0||$170.10|
|Between $91,000 and $409,000||$374.20||$544.30|
|Greater than or equal to $409,000||$408.20||$578.30|
Medicare Part A Premiums
Most Medicare beneficiaries do not pay Part A premiums for hospital coverage because they or their spouses have at least 40 quarters (10 years) of Medicare-covered employment.
The 2021 Medicare Part A costs are:
- $1,484 for hospital inpatient deductible
- $371 for daily coinsurance for the 61st to 90th days
- $742 for daily coinsurance for up to 60 lifetime reserve days
- $185.50 for skilled nursing facility coinsurance for the 21st to 100th days
The 2022 Medicare Part A costs are:
- $1,556 for hospital inpatient deductible
- $389 for daily coinsurance for the 61st to st to 90thth days
- $778 for daily coinsurance for up to 60 lifetime reserve days
- $194.50 for skilled nursing facility coinsurance for the 21st to 100th days
Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C)
For 2021 and 2022 Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, the amount you pay for premiums, deductibles, copayments and/or coinsurance varies by plan
Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan Premium
The monthly premium for the 2021 and 2022 Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan varies by the plan. Higher-income consumers may pay more.
- Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital and skilled nursing facility care, hospice and some home health care services.
- Medicare Part B covers preventive care, physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, mental health care and other services.
- Medicare Part B (Medicare Advantage) plans are are Medicare-approved private health insurance plans for individuals that include Parts A and B plans. They may also include vision care and prescription glasses, dental care, hearing aids and other services.
- Medicare Part D is the Medicare prescription drug benefit, an optional program to help Medicare beneficiaries pay for outpatient prescription drugs through prescription drug insurance premiums. The costs of many professionally administered drug prescriptions are covered under Medicare Part B.
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