How Much Does Medicare Cost?

Click Here for Current Medicare Rates

Original Medicare is made up of two parts: Medicare Part A (hospital benefits) and Medicare Part B.

Typically, Part A doesn't cost anything, as long as you meet the criteria below:

  • You are already receiving retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board
  • You are eligible to receive Social Security or Railroad benefits but have not yet filed for them
  • You or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment

If you are under 65, you can get Part A without having to pay premiums if:

  • You have received Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefit for 24 months
  • You are a kidney dialysis or kidney transplant patient

The part you do pay for is Part B, which will remain unchanged at $134 in 2018. However, for Part B enrollees who had been paying a lower monthly premium because of the hold harmless rule, their monthly cost will jump in 2018 by as much as $25, from the average of $109 in 2017 — but the premium increase will be offset by an increase in their Social Security benefits next year. The Social Security Administration issued a 2% COLA increase in Social Security benefits for 2018.

Beneficiaries with higher incomes pay higher Part B monthly premiums. To see what you will pay, click here and scroll down to the 2018 chart.

Your Part B deductible is deducted from your Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Civil Service Retirement check. If you do not get any of the above payments, Medicare sends you a bill for your Part B premium every three months.

If you have questions about your eligibility for Medicare Part A or Part B, or if you want to apply for Medicare, call the Social Security Administration. The toll-free telephone number is: 1-800-772-1213. The TTY-TDD number for the hearing and speech impaired is 1-800-325-0778. You can also get information about buying Part A as well as part B if you do not qualify for premium-free part A.