Knowing what to expect in terms of Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket costs is important – especially for those who are living on a fixed income. The good news is that for 2015, some of Medicare’s costs remained the same, some only went up slightly, and some even decreased.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, due in large part to slower health care cost growth within Medicare since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Medicare Part B $104.90 monthly premium for the majority of enrollees did not increase between 2014 and 2015. Nor did the amount of the Part B $147 annual deductible.
The stabilization of Medicare Part B premiums is seen as an example of how Medicare is containing health care costs in order to provide a more sustainable and affordable health delivery system.
For those who pay a Medicare Part A premium, the monthly amount dropped in 2015 by $19, from $426 to $407. And, for those who have between 30 and 39 quarters of coverage and who buy into Medicare Part A at a reduced monthly premium rate, that amount for 2015 is now $224, as versus $234 in 2014.
Other cost changes took place for 2015 as well. These include the following:
Over the past eight years, Medicare enrollees who have had higher incomes have been required to pay a higher amount of premium for their Medicare Part B coverage. The amount of additional premium is based on one’s income from two years prior, as well as on their tax filing status. These figures will remain unchanged between 2014 and 2015 as shown below.
Medicare Part B Premium Amounts (2015)
|File individual tax return||File joint tax return||File married and separate tax return||Your monthly Medicare Part B premium (in 2015)|
|$85,000 or less||$170,000 or less||$85,000 or less||$104.90|
|Above $85,000 up to $107,000||Above $170,000 up to $214,000||Not applicable||$146.90|
|Above $107,000 up to $160,000||Above $214,000 up to $320,000||Not applicable||$209.80|
|Above $160,000 up to $214,000||Above $320,000 up to $428,000||Above $85,000 and up to $129,000||$272.70|
|Above $214,000||Above $428,000||Above $129,000||$335.70|
|Beneficiaries who are married and lived with their spouse at any time during the year, but file a separate tax return from their spouse||Part B income-related monthly adjustment amount||Total monthly Part B premium amount|
|Less than or equal to $85,000||$0.00||$104.90|
|Greater than $85,000 and less than or equal to $129,000||$167.80||$272.70|
|Greater than $129,000||$230.80||$335.70|