The Individual Cost of Medicare

Most of the below information comes from Medicare’s 2017 Cost at a Glance.

Medicare Part A primarily covers hospitalization and hospice care. Most people don’t pay a monthly premium for Part A.

Under Part A there is a $1,316 deductible associated with each benefit period. A benefit period begins each time you’re admitted to a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF). A benefit period ends when you haven’t been admitted to a hospital or SNF for 60 days. If you’re admitted to a hospital or SNF after a benefit period has ended, you must pay the deductible again. There is no limit on the number of benefit periods you can have.

You get 60 days of free hospitalization each benefit period. From days 61 through 90, you’re charged $329 a day. Beginning on day 91, you use your “lifetime reserve days” (LRDs) and are charged $658 daily. Each person has 60 LRDs. Once you use your LRDs, Medicare stops paying.

You only need LRDs if you’re hospitalized for more than 90 days during a benefit period. So, you can be hospitalized for less than 90 days and pay the normal rates even if you’ve used your LRDs.

Generally, Medicare Part B covers services that don’t require hospitalization. The standard Part B premium is $134 a month. Depending on your income, you could pay more. If you get Social Security, you will pay less than the standard Part B monthly premium. The average recipient of Social Security pays a monthly premium of $109 for Part B.

Under part B there is a $183 deductible. After that, you’re usually responsible for 20 percent of the Medicare approved amount.

Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. The monthly premium varies by plan and depends on income.

Medicaid can cover costs not paid by Medicare.

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