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What Does Medicare Cost in 2021? (Update)

Learn more about Medicare costs in 2021 and how Medicare rates increased from 2020, such as premiums, deductibles and copays.

Medicare rate increases for 2021 include changes to Medicare premiums, deductibles and more.

As you explore your health care budgeting for 2021, the information below may be able to help.

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Did Medicare go up in 2021?

The cost of Medicare premiums and deductibles typically increase each year, though it’s hard to predict by how much.

It's important to consider rate increases as you prepare to enroll in Medicare for the coming year (even if you keep the same Medicare coverage going into next year).

When looking at Medicare rate increases for 2021, these are two of the main types of costs to consider.

  • Medicare premiums
    A premium is a monthly amount that you pay to belong to a Medicare plan.

  • Medicare deductibles
    The deductible is the amount of money that you must pay out of your own pocket for covered services before your plan coverage begins.

Different parts of Medicare have different premiums and deductible amounts.

Some Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) offer $0 premiums. To find out if any $0 premium Medicare Advantage plans are available where you live, call to speak with a licensed insurance agent at TTY Users: 711 24/7.

How much did Medicare Part A premiums go up in 2021?

Most people do not pay a premium for Part A, but those that do must pay either $259 or $471 per month in 2021, depending on how many years they paid Medicare taxes.

The follow list shows how the Medicare Part A premium has changed in recent years.

  • 2021 = $259 or $471 per month
  • 2020 = $252 or $458 per month
  • 2019 = $240 or $437 per month
  • 2018 = $232 or $422 per month
  • 2017 = $227 or $413 per month
  • 2016 = $226 or $411 per month
  • 2015 = $224 or $407 per month
  • 2014 = $234 or $426 per month

How much did the Medicare Part A deductible go up in 2021?

The Part A deductible does not operate on an annual basis, but rather it is based on benefit periods.

A benefit period begins the day you are admitted to a hospital or skilled nursing facility as an inpatient, and it ends when you have not been an inpatient for 60 consecutive days.

For 2021, the Medicare Part A deductible is $1,484 per benefit period.

This list shows how the Part A deductible has changed in recent years.

  • 2021 = $1,484 per benefit period
  • 2020 = $1,408 per benefit period
  • 2019 = $1,364 per benefit period
  • 2018 = $1,340 per benefit period
  • 2017 = $1,316 per benefit period
  • 2016 = $1,288 per benefit period
  • 2015 = $1,260 per benefit period
  • 2014 = $1,216 per benefit period

Did the Medicare Part B premium go up in 2021?

The standard Medicare Part B premium for 2021 is $148.50 per month.

Some people with higher incomes may pay more for Medicare Part B. This increased amount is called the Income-Related Monthly Adjusted Amount, or IRMAA.

Medicare Part B IRMAA
2019 Individual tax return 2019 Joint tax return 2019 Married and separate tax return 2021 Part B monthly premium

$88,000 or less

$176,000 or less

$88,000 or less

$148.50

More than $88,000 and up to $111,000

More than $176,000 and up to $222,000

N/A

$207.90

More than $111,000 up to $138,000

More than $222,000 up to $276,000

N/A

$297.00

More than $138,000 up to $165,000

More than $276,000 up to $330,000

N/A

$386.10

More than $165,000 up to $500,000

More than $330,000 up to $750,000

More than $88,000 up to $412,000

$475.20

More than or equal to $500,000

More than or equal to $750,000

More than or equal to $412,000

$504.90

The Part B rate increases in recent years may be able to help you anticipate what to expect for the 2022 standard Part B premium.

  • 2021 = $148.50 per month
  • 2020 = $144.60 per month
  • 2019 = $135.50 per month
  • 2018 = $134 per month
  • 2017 = $134 per month
  • 2016 = $121.80 per month
  • 2015 = $104.90 per month
  • 2014 = $104.90 per month

Projected Medicare Part B premium increase for 2022

The 2019 Social Security and Medicare Trustees’ Report projected the standard Part B premium to increase to $157.70 per month in 2022.1

How much did the Medicare Part B deductible go up in 2021?

The Medicare Part B deductible in 2021 is $203 per year.

Here’s a look at how the Part B deductible has changed in recent years:

  • 2021 = $203 per year
  • 2020 = $198 per year
  • 2019 = $185 per year
  • 2018 = $183 per year
  • 2017 = $183 per year
  • 2016 = $166 per year
  • 2015 = $147 per year
  • 2014 = $147 per year

What does Medicare Part C cost in 2021?

Medicare Part C plans (also called Medicare Advantage plans) are sold by private insurance companies, so plan premiums, deductibles and other costs can vary.

Despite regular increases in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) costs, Medicare Advantage premiums have decreased in recent years.

The average 2021 Medicare Advantage plan premium is $33.57 per month for Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage.2

Increasing competition may be contributing to falling premiums. The number of Medicare Advantage plans available in 2021 (3,550 plans) represents a 13 percent increase from 2020 and the highest number of plans ever available.3

It’s possible that the competition within the Medicare Advantage market will keep Medicare Advantage plan premiums lower.

As mentioned above, many Medicare Advantage plans feature $0 premiums.

Did Medicare Part D costs go up in 2021?

Medicare Part D plans provide coverage exclusively for certain retail prescription drugs.

Medicare Part D plans are sold on the private market. Premiums for Part D plans have been on the decline in recent years.

The average Part D premium is $41.64 per month in 2021.2

Part D plans use an IRMAA surtax for beneficiaries who earn a higher income.

Medicare Part D IRMAA
2019 Individual tax return 2019 Joint tax return 2019 Married and separate tax return 2021 Part D monthly premium

$88,000 or less

$176,000 or less

$88,000 or less

Your plan premium

More than $88,000 and up to $111,000

More than $176,000 and up to $222,000

N/A

$12.30 + your plan premium

More than $111,000 up to $138,000

More than $222,000 up to $276,000

N/A

$31.80 + your plan premium

More than $138,000 up to $165,000

More than $276,000 up to $330,000

N/A

$51.20 + your plan premium

More than $165,000 up to $500,000

More than $330,000 up to $750,000

More than $88,000 up to $412,000

$70.70 + your plan premium

More than or equal to $500,000

More than or equal to $750,000

More than or equal to $412,000

$77.10 + your plan premium

How did Medicare Part D plan costs change in 2021?

Although Part D plans are sold by private insurance companies, they must abide by certain cost rules determined by the CMS.

The CMS applied these rules for certain 2021 Part D costs:

  • The maximum annual Part D plan deductible will be $445 in 2021 (a $10 increase from the 2020 maximum Part D deductible amount of $435).

  • The Part D plan initial coverage limit will be $4,130 in 2021.

  • Once you and your Part D plan have spent $4,130 on prescription drug costs in 2021, you will enter the Part D donut hole coverage gap. During the coverage gap, your plan limits how much it will pay for your prescription drug costs.

    While you are in the donut hole in 2021, you will pay 25 percent of the cost of brand name drugs and generic drugs until you reach the catastrophic coverage stage.

  • Once you reach the maximum annual out-of-pocket spending limit of $6,550 in 2021, you enter the catastrophic coverage stage. In this coverage stage, you’ll only pay a small coinsurance or copayment amount for your covered drugs.

Are you looking for Medicare prescription drug coverage?

You can compare Part D plans available where you live and enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan online when you visit MyRxPlans.com.

Enroll in Medicare Part D at MyRxPlans.com

Visit MyRxPlans.com

How did Medicare Supplement Insurance change in 2021?

Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, helps pay for certain Part A and Part B out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, coinsurance and copayment.

As of 2020, Medigap Plan C and Plan F will no longer be sold to new Medicare beneficiaries.

If you became eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, you may still be able to buy Medigap Plan F or Plan C if either is available where you live. If you already have either plan, you can keep it.

Learn more about 2021 Medicare Advantage plans

If you are looking for a 2021 Medicare Advantage plan, a licensed insurance agent can help you compare the benefits, coverage and rates for plans that are available where you live.

Find $0 Medicare Advantage plans in your area

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Or call TTY Users: 711 to speak with a licensed insurance agent. We accept calls 24/7!

 

1 EveryCRSReport.com. Medicare: Part B Premiums. (Updated May 6, 2020). Retrieved from www.everycrsreport.com/reports/R40082.html.

2 MedicareAdvantage.com's The Best States for Medicare in 2021 report. (Oct. 27, 2020).

3 Fugelsten Biiniek, J. et al. (Oct. 29, 2020) Medicare Advantage 2021 Spotlight: First Look. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved from www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/medicare-advantage-2021-spotlight-first-look.

Christian

About the author

Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for MedicareAdvantage.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.

His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.

Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.

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