5 Health Care Costs That Medicare Does Not Cover

1. Premiums

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You may be surprised to find that even federally subsidized health insurance has premiums.

For 2019, the standard monthly premium for Part B — the component of Medicare plans that covers services you receive outside of a hospital — is $135.50 or more, depending on your income. Usually, the Part B premium is deducted from your Social Security benefits check.

Seniors with Medicare Advantage usually pay a premium for their plan in addition to the standard Part B premium.

One bit of good news: A vast majority of seniors do not pay a premium for Medicare Part A, which covers inpatient hospital services, as we reported in “3 Major Medicare Costs That Will Increase in 2019.”

How to lower your costs: The Part B premiums are fixed. There’s nothing you can do about them.

If you have Original Medicare, you have the option to buy a supplemental insurance plan, also known as a Medigap plan, which would pay for some expenses that Original Medicare does not cover.

The catch: The Part B premium isn’t among the costs that Medigap plans cover. So, you will still have to pay it — plus the premium for the supplemental plan.

Is the extra cost of a Medigap plan worth it? In many cases, yes — especially if you were to face big medical bills. To learn more, see “How to Pick the Best Medicare Supplement Plan in 4 Steps.”

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