In 2020, the Medicare Part B deductible is $198 per year.
The Medicare Part A deductible for 2020 is $1,408 per benefit period.
Unlike the deductible for Part B that operates on an annual basis, the Part A deductible starts and stops with each benefit period.
A benefit period begins the day you are admitted for inpatient care at a hospital or skilled nursing facility, and it ends when you have gone 60 consecutive days without inpatient treatment.
For example, if you are admitted for inpatient hospital care on June 1 and are discharged on June 10, you would still be in the same benefit period if you were admitted again for inpatient care on June 30. You wouldn't have to meet your Part A deductible again if you already met that deductible during your first hospital stay.
If, however, you were discharged on June 10 and were readmitted to the hospital in October of the same year, you would be in a new benefit period. You would need to meet the Part A deductible again before your Medicare Part A coverage would kick in again.
Yes, both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B each come with a deductible.
Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D) may also include deductibles as well, although the costs associated with these plans are not standardized like they are in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Some Part D plans include $0 deductibles before the plan's drug coverage kicks in.
Medicare defines a deductible as:
“The amount you must pay for health care or prescriptions before Original Medicare, your prescription drug plan, or your other insurance begins to pay.”
In other words, a deductible is the amount that you must first pay out of your own pocket for health care before your Medicare insurance coverage kicks in.
Basically, any service or item that is covered by Part B counts toward your Part B deductible.
For example, imagine you fall and break your leg. You are taken to a hospital, treated, and released with a pair of crutches.
The care you receive as a hospital inpatient is covered under Medicare Part A (hospital insurance). But the crutches are covered under Medicare Part B (medical insurance).
The amount that you are charged for the doctor, treatment, and the crutches will count toward your Part B deductible, while the bill for your hospital stay will count toward your Part A deductible.
Each part of Medicare carries its own deductible. The Part A and Part B deductibles are standard for each beneficiary of Original Medicare.
The Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (prescription drug plan) deductibles will vary from plan to plan. Some Part C and Part D plans may have a $0 deductible.
Once you meet the required Medicare Part B deductible, you will typically be charged a 20 percent coinsurance for all Part B-covered services and items for the remainder of the year.
Coinsurance is the amount of the total bill that you must pay. A 20 percent coinsurance means you (the beneficiary) would be responsible for 20 percent of a medical bill, while Medicare would pay the remaining 80 percent.
It’s worth noting that the 20 percent you will pay as coinsurance is 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount.
The Medicare-approved amount is the maximum amount that a health care provider is allowed to charge for a service or item as determined by Medicare.
Let’s use the broken leg scenario from above and say that the cost of the pair of crutches was $80.
In 2019, the Medicare Part B Deductible was $185 per year.
As mentioned above, the 2020 Medicare Part B deductible is $198 per year.
Below is a look at how the Part B deductible has increased (and in one case, decreased) since 2008.
There are two ways you may be able to avoid having to pay the Medicare Part B deductible:
If you have further questions about the Medicare Part B deductible or any other costs associated with Medicare, explore our guide to Medicare costs.
Learn more about your Medicare enrollment options. If you want to have Medicare health coverage without having to pay the Medicare Part B deductible, you may want to consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan.
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