We all know that Medicare Part A, the government medical insurance program (covering most hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, nursing home care hospice care and home health services) is free if you are 65 and you or your spouse have worked for at least 10 years (40 quarters) and have paid Medicare premiums during that time. If you have not paid into Medicare, the program may still be available to you for an additional premium.
Medicare Part B insurance covers medically necessary services and preventive services and is based upon your income. And, it’s not your current income but your income from two years ago. For instance, if you are applied for Medicare Part B in 2016 the premium is based upon your income in 2014.
There are five tiers for Part B premiums. Here is a comparison of 2016 and 2015 premiums.
The premiums noted above are for each person. There is no such thing as a joint Medicare policy.
Remember – not all of your medical costs are covered by Medicare Parts A and B so it is very important to also have a Medicare Supplemental Plan policy (formerly known as Medigap insurance). For more detail on what is covered and what the limitations are go to www.medicare.gov.
And, for prescription drug coverage you will likely want to pick up a Medicare Part D policy. The premiums for this coverage vary from company to company. Plus, there may be an additional premium over and above due to Medicare based upon your income from two years ago.