CMS Discloses the Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles for 2018

By | November 21, 2017

The CMS Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, and some home health care services. About 99 percent of Medicare beneficiaries do not have a Part A premium since they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment. In 2018, the Medicare Part A annual inpatient hospital deductible which beneficiaries pay when admitted to the hospital will be $1,340 per benefit period. This is an increase of $24 from $1,316 paid in 2017.

The Part A deductible covers beneficiaries’ share of costs for the first 60 days of Medicare-covered inpatient hospital care in a benefit period. In line with this, the beneficiaries are expected to pay a coinsurance amount of $335 per day for the 61st through 90th day of a hospitalization in a benefit period and $670 per day for lifetime reserve days. For beneficiaries in skilled nursing facilities, the daily coinsurance for days 21 through 100 of extended care services in a benefit period will be $167.50 in 2018.

On the other hand, the CMS Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and other items. In 2018, the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $134, the same amount as in 2017. However, a statutory “hold harmless” provision prohibiting an increase to Medicare B premiums applies each year to about 70 percent of enrollees.

For these enrollees, any increase in Part B premiums must be lower than the increase in their Social Security benefits. After several years of no or very small increases, Social Security benefits will increase by 2.0 percent in 2018 due to the Cost of Living adjustment. Therefore, some beneficiaries who were held harmless against Part B premiums increases in prior years will have a premium increase in 2018.

In essence, beneficiaries who do not receive Social Security benefits, those who enroll in Part B for the first time in 2018, those who are directly billed for their Part B premium will pay the $134.00 Part B premium unless their incomes are more than $85,000 (Single) $170,000 (Joint).

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