It’s vitally important for thriving retirees to stay abreast of changes affecting the cost of healthcare, especially given the annual adjustments in costs related to Medicare coverage.
Recently the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the 2020 cost schedule for Medicare Part B, the plan that covers costs for outpatient services such as doctor visits, preventative care, and more. Medicare Part A, which covers hospitalization costs, is provided to most seniors at no cost, provided they are 65 years of age or older, that they or their spouse have paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years, and they are receiving or are eligible to receive Social Security benefits.
Premiums for Medicare Part B are determined on a sliding scale according to your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) as reported on your federal income tax return.
Here’s the breakdown for 2020:
|Individual MAGI||Married filing jointly MAGI||Part B premium per month|
|$87,000 or less||$174,000 or less||$144.60|
|$500,000 +||$750,000 +||$491.60|
For those required to pay premiums for Part A, the monthly cost for 2020 could be as much as $458. But even if you qualify to receive Part A coverage at no cost, you’ll still have deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs that must be met if you are hospitalized. For example:
- $1,408 per benefit period for inpatient hospitalization;
- $352 per day Part A coinsurance for days 61–90;
- $704 per “lifetime reserve day” after day 90 (up to lifetime maximum of 60 days);
- $198 Part B annual deductible;
- and $176 per day skilled nursing coinsurance for days 21–100 (each benefit period).
If all these different amounts and calendar periods seem confusing to you, you’re not alone! Fortunately, there are a number of free online resources that can help you wrap your mind around your Medicare choices and the various costs involved.
Medicare.gov is a site maintained by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; this is a good place to start if you want to get a better understanding of the basics. AARP.org also provides easy-to-use guidance for enrolling and getting the most from your Medicare coverage.
And of course, I’m always happy to discuss your particular situation and to provide professional resources and contacts to help you find your way through the “alphabet soup” of services, agencies, and organizations. The main thing is to make sure you have the information you need to plan ahead, for 2020 and beyond.
Stay Diversified, Stay YOUR Course!