2020 Medicare Tax Rates

Social Security and Medicare tax rates are withheld from your paycheck and are matched by your employer. Learn more about how your tax dollars contribute to Medicare.

Like Social Security, Medicare is funded by tax dollars.

The Social Security and Medicare tax rates are withheld from your paycheck and are matched by your employer. Learn more about how your tax dollars contribute to Medicare and what it means for your health care costs.

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How do taxes fund Medicare?

The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) is the law that requires you and your employer to contribute equal amounts to the costs of maintaining Medicare and Social Security.

The 2020 income tax rates you paid to contribute to Social Security and Medicare were:1

  • 1.45% for Medicare
  • 6.2% for Social Security

Medicare Part A benefits

Part A covers some of the costs associated with:

  • Hospital care
  • Care received in skilled nursing facilities
  • Hospice care
  • Limited home health care

If you worked and paid Medicare taxes for 10 years, you will not likely pay a monthly premium for your Medicare Part A benefits.

If you haven’t paid according to these tax rates for at least 10 years, you may be eligible for Part A coverage, but you may have to pay a monthly premium.

Medicare Part B and health care costs

Doctor’s office visits, medical lab work, outpatient health care services and medical supplies are covered under Medicare Part B.

Everyone pays a monthly premium for these services, which is automatically withheld from your Social Security check if you are receiving those benefits.

Medicare Part A and Part B don't typically cover prescription drugs.

If you want Medicare prescription drug coverage, you can consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan that covers prescription drugs, or you can enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

You can compare Part D plans available where you live, learn about their Medicare plan ratings and enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan online when you visit

Medicare Advantage plans may provide additional benefits

While Original Medicare benefits are provided by the federal government itself, some people prefer to get those health care benefits through Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurers and cover all of the Original Medicare health care benefits.

These plans may also offer additional services that can include coverage for: 

  • Dental care
  • Hearing care
  • Vision care
  • Health and wellness programs 

Learn more about how a Medicare Advantage plan could be a good fit for your health care needs. Call today to speak with a licensed insurance agent.


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About the author

Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for 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.

Where you've seen coverage of Christian's research and reports:

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