5 Common Medical Expenses That Medicare Won’t Pay For

1. Premiums

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You might be surprised to learn that even federally subsidized health insurance can have premiums, but that is the case with Medicare.

For 2020, the monthly premium for Part B — the component of Medicare plans that primarily covers services you receive outside of a hospital — is $144.60 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 Big Medicare Costs Just Got Bigger.”

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 Medicare health insurance plan, also known as a Medigap plan, which would pay for some expenses that Original Medicare does not cover.

The Part B premium isn’t among the costs that Medigap plans cover, though. So, if you bought a Medigap plan, you will still have to pay the Part B premium — plus the Medigap plan premium.

Still, a Medigap plan is worth the extra cost in some cases — 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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