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How much is Medicare in 2021?

Find an affordable plan by comparing premiums, deductibles and coinsurance for every Medicare policy.

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While Medicare covers most of your healthcare costs as a senior or someone living with a disability, it doesn’t cover all of them. Each plan comes with out-of-pocket costs you’ll need to shoulder, including premiums, deductibles and coinsurance — and comparing plans can help you figure out which one fits your budget.

Medicare costs for Part A, B, C, D and Medigap

To give you a quick overview of Medicare costs, this table lays out the average out-of-pocket prices and maximums for each plan.

PlanMonthly premium in 2021Deductible in 2021Coinsurance or copay in 2021Out-of-pocket maximum in 2021Late enrollment penalty
Medicare Part A$0, or up to $471 if you sign up early$1,484 per benefit period$0, $371 or $742 per day, depending on your hospital needsNoneYes
Medicare Part B$148.50 or more for high-income earners$203 per year20%NoneYes
Medicare Part CVaries by planVaries by planVaries by plan$7,550 in-network, $11,300 out-of-networkNo
Medicare Part D$33.06 or more for high-income earnersVaries by plan — max $445 per yearVaries by plan$6,550Yes
MedigapVaries by plan — $20-$600+Varies by planVaries by planVaries by planNo

How much does Medicare Part A cost?

The costs of Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) depend on when you sign up and the length of any hospital stays.

Premium

Most seniors who qualify for Medicare don’t pay a premium for Part A because they paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years while they were in the workforce, according to Medicare.gov.

You can get premium-free part A when you turn 65 if:

  • You’re already getting retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board
  • You’re eligible for federal benefits but haven’t enrolled yet
  • You were a government employee, or your spouse was.

Part A is also premium-free if you’re under 65 and have received Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits for 24 months, or you’ve been diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease (ESRD).

If you’re not eligible for a premium-free plan, you can buy Part A on your own. You’ll pay $259 or $471 per month in 2021 — depending on how long you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes.

Deductible

The deductible for Medicare Part A is $1,484 per benefit period. Your benefit period starts the day you’re admitted to hospital and ends once you’re free of inpatient care for 60 days.

Coinsurance and copays

There are no copays for Medicare Part A. However, your coinsurance comes down to how long you’re in the hospital or a skilled nursing facility — they’re billed differently.

Hospital stay

If you require a hospital stay for medical or mental health reasons, you’ll need to meet your deductible first. Then, you’ll pay these prices for each benefit period:

  • $0 for the first 60 days
  • $371 per day for days 61 to 90
  • $742 per “lifetime reserve day” after day 90 — you get 60 of these days in total during your lifetime
  • All costs after lifetime reserve days

Skilled nursing facility

After meeting your deductible, you’ll pay these rates to stay in a skilled nursing facility each benefit period:

  • $0 for the first 20 days
  • $185.50 per day for days 21 to 100
  • All costs for each day after day 100

Hospice care

Under Part A, hospice care is free.

Annual out-of-pocket maxim

There’s no out-of-pocket maximum for Part A.

How much does Medicare Part B cost?

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) has a clear-cut deductible and coinsurance, but premiums vary based on income.

Premium

There’s a monthly premium for Part B. If you’re receiving Social Security, Railroad Retirement Board or Office of Personnel Management benefits, the amount is automatically deducted from your benefit check.

Otherwise, you’ll pay a premium based on your income. Most people pay $148.50 a month, but if you’re a high-income earner, you could pay up to $504.90 a month. This additional payment is known as the income-related monthly adjustment amount, and it’s based on your tax return from two years ago.

Here’s a breakdown of the monthly premiums in 2021.

Annual income in 2019 if you filed an individual tax returnAnnual income in 2019 if you filed a joint tax returnMonthly Part B premium in 2021
$88,000 or less$176,000 or less$148.50
Over $88,000 to $111,000Over $176,000 to $222,000$207.90
Over $111,000 to $138,000Over $222,000 to $276,000$297.00
Over $138,000 to $165,000Over $276,000 to $330,000$386.10
Over $165,000 to less than $500,000Over $330,000 to less than $750,000$475.20
$500,000 and above$750,000 and above$504.90

Deductible

The deductible for Medicare Part B is $203 a year.

Coinsurance and copays

After you meet your deductible, you’ll typically be charged a 20% coinsurance for Medicare-approved services. This includes most doctor’s services (including during a hospital stay), as well as outpatient therapy and durable medical equipment.

Annual out-of-pocket maximum

There’s no out-of-pocket maximum for Part B.

How much does Medicare Part C cost?

Also known as Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part C is sold by private insurance companies. Because of that, premiums, deductibles, copays and coinsurance vary by plan — but you’ll always need to pay the Part B premium.

There is a limit on out-of-pocket expenses. In 2021, that’s $7550 for in-network services and $11,300 for out-of-network services — though many insurers set lower limits. For example, the average out-of-pocket limit in 2020 was $4,925 for in-network and $8,828 for out-of-network services, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Once you reach that limit, your Medicare Advantage plan steps in to pay for all covered healthcare services.

How much does Medicare Part D cost?

Like Medicare Advantage, Part D — prescription drug coverage — is offered through private insurers. The costs vary by plan, state and income, but let’s talk averages.

Premium

To get Part D, you have to enroll in Original Medicare first — which means you’ll need to pay Part A and Part B premiums. Then, you’ll pay a standalone premium for drug coverage.

In 2020, the average monthly premium for Part D was $43, according to the CMS. The higher your income, the more you’ll pay — and the table below breaks down those adjustments, according to Medicare.gov.

Annual income in 2019 if you filed an individual tax returnAnnual income in 2019 if you filed a joint tax returnMonthly Part D premium in 2021
$88,000 or less$176,000 or lessyour base plan premium
Over $88,000 to $111,000Over $176,000 to $222,000$12.30 + your plan premium
Over $111,000 to $138,000Over $222,000 to $276,000$31.80 + your plan premium
Over $138,000 to $165,000Over $276,000 to $330,000$51.20 + your plan premium
Over $165,000 to less than $500,000Over $330,000 to less than $750,000$70.70 + your plan premium
$500,000 and above$750,000 and above$77.10 + your plan premium

Deductible

This is the amount you’ll pay for your prescriptions each year before your Part D plan kicks in.

No Part D plan can have a deductible more than $445 in 2021, according to Medicare.gov. Some plans don’t have a deductible at all.

Coinsurance and copays

These charges depend on three things:

  • Your plan — some insurers are more generous than others
  • The type of drug you need — for example, generic prescriptions typically cost less than brand-name drugs
  • How much you’ve spent on prescription drugs that year — once you’ve spent $4,130 on covered drugs (the 2021 threshold), you’ll reach the “donut hole.” Your Part D plan typically pays 70% to 75% of covered drugs after this point.

Annual out-of-pocket limit

The coverage gap or “donut hole” is $4,130 in 2021.

How much does Medigap cost?

Medigap is meant to supplement Original Medicare (Part A & Part B) and help you to cover out-of-pocket expenses like copays and deductibles. There are 10 standardized plans, and they’re named by letters A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N in most states.

These supplemental policies are sold privately, and the costs vary significantly — so it’s worth comparing plans from a handful of insurers. Some insurers use medical underwriting, offer discounts or sell high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), all of which can drive costs up or down.

Premium

Medigap plans charge a premium, which you’ll pay in addition to your Original Medicare and Part D costs. Insurers can set premiums in one of three ways:

  • Community-rated. Everyone pays the same monthly premium.
  • Issue-age rated. Your premium is based on your age when you purchase a policy. The younger you are, the less you’ll pay.
  • Attained-age-rated. Your premium is tied to your current age, which means it goes up as you get older.

Medigap monthly premiums can range from as low as $20 to over $600, according to our research using Medicare’s Medigap Finder Tool.

Deductible

Since Medigap is designed to bridge the gap between your other Medicare plans, it usually doesn’t have a deductible.

However, Medigap Plan F and Plan G are high-deductible health plans. For 2021, these plans have a $2,370 deductible, according to the CMS.

Coinsurance and copays

Medigap plans typically don’t have coinsurance or copays.

Keep in mind that Medigap doesn’t cover some health services, so you may have to pay out-of-pocket for these types of care:

  • Dental
  • Vision, including glasses and contacts
  • Hearing aids
  • Prescription drugs
  • Long-term care
  • Private nursing care

Annual out-of-pocket limit

Two Medigap plans have out-of-pocket limits, and once you reach that limit, they’ll pay for 100% of covered services for the rest of the year. These are the limits in 2021, according to the CMS.

  • Plan K: $6,220
  • Plan L: $3,110

What’s the late enrollment penalty?

If you don’t sign up for Part A, B or D of Medicare when you first become eligible, you may face a late enrollment penalty.

The penalty is based on how long you went without the plan, and it’s rolled into your monthly premium when you do sign up:

  • For Part A and B, the premium goes up by 10% each year you could have had coverage
  • For Part D, Medicare takes 30% of the “base monthly premium” — $33.06 in 2021 — and rounds it to the nearest $0.10.

How can I lower my Medicare costs?

There are a few ways to make Medicare more affordable:

  • Look into Medicare savings programs. Run by individual states, these federally funded programs can help you cover Medicare Part A and Part B premiums, deductibles, coinsurance and copays. To find out if you’re eligible, go to Medicare’s resource page.
  • Apply for the Medicare extra help program. If you have limited income, you may be eligible for a stipend to pay for prescription drugs. Head to the Social Security Administration to learn more.
  • Shop around. While you don’t have much flexibility with Part A and Part B, you can choose a Part C or Part D policy on your own. It’s worth comparing plans from multiple insurance companies to make sure you’re getting the coverage you need at the lowest possible price.
  • Check if you qualify for Medicaid. This program is open to low-income Americans. The requirements vary by state, but you’ll usually qualify for coverage if your income is at or below 138% of the federal poverty level. That level is $17,609 for a single person, $23,791 for two people and $36,156 for a family of four.

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Bottom line

Medicare is a complicated system, and each plan is priced differently depending on things like your income, where you lived and how long you were in the workforce. Some plans also have late penalties, so if you know you’re going to sign up for Medicare, it’s a good idea to enroll as soon as you’re eligible.

Costs aside, compare Medicare plans to find out what’s covered — and what’s not.

Frequently asked questions about Medicare costs

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