There’s some relatively good news if you’re on Medicare. The average recipient will see a slight rise in cost — in the range of about $20 a year — for Medicare Part B premiums.
Here’s what Medicare premiums will look like next year
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that $135.50 will be the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B in 2019.
Part B covers services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment and some preventive services.
Last year’s monthly premium was $134, so that means the 2019 numbers represent an increase of about $18 more annually that you’ll have to pay in the new year.
Keep in mind that the standard monthly premium of $135.50 applies to people filing individual tax returns of $85,000 or less or joint tax returns of $170,00 or less.
Higher income earners could pay monthly premiums of anywhere from $189.60 to $460.50.
Part B will have a $185 deductible in 2019, and the plan covers about 80% of all costs with no annual maximum out-of-pocket expenses.
Meanwhile, your Medicare Part A deductible will increase from $1,340 in 2018 to $1,364 in 2019.
Part A helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facility care, home health care and hospice care stays.
Most people do not pay a premium for Part A, so long as you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working.
How does this all synch up with the Social Security increase in benefits?
Last week, the Social Security Administration announced the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2019 would be the biggest on record in seven years.
Put in real numbers, the 2.8% monthly COLA increase next year works out to be an extra $39 on the average Social Security average check — give or take a few dollars.
Despite that good economic news, the #1 response we heard from our audience was, “When they raise Medicare, I won’t see an increase in my Social Security check!”
Thankfully, with the generally muted rise in Medicare premiums, most people will get to keep more of that COLA raise in their pocket.