Medicare provides coverage for a variety of health care services. But it includes a number of different out-of-pocket expenses from beneficiaries, including premiums, deductibles, copayments and more. We’ll help you understand how to pay your Medicare expenses and provide you with some cost-saving tips.
The premium is the monthly amount you pay for your Medicare benefits. Medicare Part A is premium-free for most people (if they paid Medicare taxes for 10 years while working), while Part B comes with a premium that may increase based on your income. Part C and Part D costs vary by the plan and private insurance company that sells them.
One option you have for paying your Medicare Part A and Part B premiums is Medicare Easy Pay (MEP). Medicare Easy Pay is the electronic payment option that allows Medicare beneficiaries to have their premium payments automatically deducted from a checking or savings account each month.
Each Part C and Part D plan will come with its own costs, coverages, terms and ways in which they can be paid for. To determine how you can pay for a Part C or Part D plan, you’ll need to talk with a licensed insurance agent.
Of course, the monthly premium won’t be your only Medicare expense. You may need to pay out of pocket toward deductibles. Also, you’ll likely incur some copayment or coinsurance expenses along the way.
The same applies to Medicare Advantage. Where out-of-pocket costs for Original Medicare are standardized, Medicare Advantage costs can vary by plan. You may be able to find a Medicare Advantage plans with lower out-of-pocket costs, depending on what plans are available in your area.
The average American enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) in 2017 could expect to spend more than $7,000 annually in out-of-pocket expenses.** That cost can vary depending on a number of factors.
If you think you may have trouble paying for Medicare expenses, there are a few options available.
A Medicare Savings Program is designed to help people with lower incomes save money on Medicare expenses. There are four types of Medicare Savings Programs that can help pay for Part A and Part B premiums, deductibles, copayments and coinsurance.
There is also the Extra Help program (also known as the Low Income Subsidy, or LIS). This program helps patients pay for their Medicare Part D prescription drug plan and assists with premiums, deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. Those enrolled in the Extra Help program are also exempt from coverage gap, or “donut hole” found in Part D plans.
In addition to the available discount programs, there are a number of things you can do to save money on your Medicare expenses.
Get in touch with a licensed insurance agent today to discuss your options and find a Medicare Advantage plan in your area. Call TTY Users: 711.
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**The Motley Fool, “Here’s the Average American’s Annual Medicare Bill.” Published February 5, 2017. https://www.fool.com/retirement/2017/02/05/heres-the-average-americans-annual-medicare-bill.aspx
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