2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates
Medicare, the national healthcare insurer, provides premiums for each of the parts under the Medicare program. If you are enrolled in the Medicare program, then you will need to carefully follow Medicare premiums and how they change yearly to know how they will affect you. Medicare premium rates are reviewed around September each year and the changes effected later on. If you are not too sure about Medicare premiums, here is some simple information that may be of use to you.
If you are enrolled for the Medicare Part A plan, then you may have to pay a premium. As of 2012, the Medicare premium for this part was $451. It should be noted that most people may not pay a premium for Part A as they or their spouse has Medicare-covered employment that stretches for 40 or more quarters. The above mentioned premium rate is for people who have less than 30 quarters and may not be eligible for hospital insurance that is premium-free. For individuals who have between 30-39 quarters of Medicare covered employment, the premium rate is $240.
Individuals who are enrolled for Part B or the Medical Insurance program will have to pay $99.99 as a premium every month. However, individuals with a higher income i.e greater than $85,000 may pay higher premium rates for this part as stipulated by the new law.
If you are new to Medicare, then you probably won't understand terms such as Medicare deductibles and coinsurance and how they affect your Medicare premiums. For part A, Medicare will pay for all the costs covered by it except for the part A Medicare deductible which as of 2011 was $1,132 for the first 60 days. Moreover, it will also cater to coinsurance amounts due to hospital stays that last longer than 60 days but no longer than 150 days. As the term suggests, coinsurance means that this cost will be split between you and Medicare.
In part B, Medicare will pay for all covered costs aside from the $162 deductible. After meeting this deductible, you will pay the 20% for services covered under this plan which have been approved by the Medicare program.
Part C or the Medical Advantages Plan has premiums which vary by plan. This part covers the plans offered by Medicare-approved private companies. As the different companies offer different plans, it is only logical that the premiums will differ. If you have signed up for Part C of the Medicare program, you will need to search for your plan and check how you are affected. Plan D, which provides prescription drugs will also have premiums that vary by plan. A search for your specific plan will allow you to check how much you will pay in terms of Medicare premiums.
When choosing Medicare plans, it is worth looking at the premiums to ensure that you are not biting off more than you can chew. Premiums as well as out-of-pocket expenses such as coinsurance and deductibles may raise your monthly costs to the point where they are just frustrating. So choose wisely. Many choose to take out a Medicare supplement plan called Medigap. It is low cost and government regulated.