While the nation was mesmerized with election returns late last week, Medicare announced modest increases in premiums and cost-sharing figures that will take effect next year.
The standard monthly premium for Part B of Medicare will be $148.50, up by $3.90 (2.7 percent) from $144.60 this year. About 7 percent of Medicare enrollees earn incomes high enough to trigger monthly surcharges.
The annual out-of-pocket deductible for Part B expenses will rise $5 (2.5 percent) to $203 from $198. Part B covers doctors, outpatient expenses, and durable medical equipment.
About 7 percent of Medicare enrollees earn incomes high enough to trigger the program’s income-related monthly adjustment amount, or IRMAA for short. These charges vary by income and tax-filing status. IRMAA charges in 2021 will, for most people, be based on their 2019 tax returns. People whose 2020 incomes fell sharply, due to retirement or another important life change, can appeal for lower IRMAA charges.
Here are the IRMAA charges:
|Beneficiaries who file individual tax returns with income:||Beneficiaries who file joint tax returns with income:||Income-related monthly adjustment amount||Total monthly premium amount|
|Less than or equal to $88,000||Less than or equal to $176,000||$0.00||$148.50|
|Greater than $88,000 and less than or equal to $111,000||Greater than $176,000 and less than or equal to $222,000||59.40||207.90|
|Greater than $111,000 and less than or equal to $138,000||Greater than $222,000 and less than or equal to $276,000||148.50||297.00|
|Greater than $138,000 and less than or equal to $165,000||Greater than $276,000 and less than or equal to $330,000||237.60||386.10|
|Greater than $165,000 and less than $500,000||Greater than $330,000 and less than $750,000||326.70||475.20|
|Greater than or equal to $500,000||Greater than or equal to $750,000||356.40||504.90|
|Beneficiaries who are married and lived with their spouses at any time during the year, but who file separate tax returns from their spouses:||Income-related monthly adjustment amount||Total monthly premium amount|
|Less than or equal to $88,000||$0.00||$148.50|
|Greater than $88,000 and less than $412,000||326.70||475.20|
|Greater than or equal to $412,000||356.40||504.90|
Part A of Medicare covers hospital, nursing home, and hospice expenses. Part A charges no premium to people who’ve worked enough to qualify for Social Security. It does charge deductibles and co-insurance charges.
Here are 2021 and comparable 2020 amounts:
|Part A Deductible and Coinsurance Amounts for Calendar Years 2020 and 2021
by Type of Cost Sharing
|Inpatient hospital deductible||$1,408||$1,484|
|Daily coinsurance for 61st-90th Day||$352||$371|
|Daily coinsurance for lifetime reserve days||$704||$742|
|Skilled Nursing Facility coinsurance||$176.00||$185.50|
People with private Medicare Advantage insurance plans generally must pay monthly Part B premiums in addition to any Medicare Advantage premiums. They also usually pay the annual deductibles and Part A charges. Some plans have different expense structures, so check with your plan for its 2021 charges.
Medicare’s annual open enrollment period for selecting 2021 plans began Oct. 15 and extends through December 7.