Why Many Retirees Are Due for an $1,800-a-Year Medicare Price Shock

Doctor using scope to look inside man's ear.
Photo by Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

Many folks approaching or entering retirement are in for an expensive surprise: Medicare is not free — and some Medicare costs may be deducted from their Social Security benefits.

Specifically, 53 percent of folks age 50 and older are unaware that Medicare Part B entails costs to the retiree, Money reports, citing the Nationwide Retirement Institute’s latest annual health care survey.

The survey targeted affluent folks, which it defined as those with household incomes of at least $150,000. But you need not be wealthy to learn from this cautionary tale.

While Medicare Part B premiums are higher for folks with higher incomes, they will still cost the typical person $1,608 in 2018. Add in the deductible, and it’s $1,791 — before any out-of-pocket costs.

Medicare Part B

Medicare is the federally subsidized health insurance program primarily for folks ages 65 and older. And like other government programs, it’s an alphabet soup. We detail this in “7 Things You Need to Know About Medicare.”

Medicare Part B, in short, covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies and preventive care services.

Some folks may pay more or less, but the standard premium for Part B is currently $134 per month. That amounts to $1,608 over the course of a year — and, for folks who are receiving Social Security benefits, that cost is deducted from their Social Security payments.

The deductible for Part B is currently an additional $183 per year.

To learn more about Medicare costs, check out “Some Medicare Deductibles and Other Costs to Rise in 2018.”

What it means for you

The Nationwide Retirement Institute study found that 72 percent of folks age 50 and older wish they understood Medicare coverage better.

No amount of wishing will change that, though. The only way to avoid being surprised by expenses like Medicare Part B premiums upon retiring is to educate yourself about them before you reach retirement.

The official source of information about Medicare is Medicare.gov, the federal government’s website for the Medicare program. But it’s full of so much information, often written in sterile language, that it can feel more overwhelming than helpful.

So, know that trustworthy third-party help is out there, too. As we’ve reported before, these options include:

  • The State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP, for your state or territory. Federal grants fund these programs, which offer counseling and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries. To learn more about them, visit the national SHIP website.
  • Services that, for a fee, do the heavy lifting for you when the time comes for you to sign up for Medicare.

For more Medicare news, check out Money Talks News’ Medicare page.

So, did you know Medicare Part B entails costs like premiums and a deductible? Let us know below or on Facebook.

Find the right financial adviser

Finding a financial adviser you can trust doesn't have to be hard. A great place to start is with SmartAsset's free financial adviser matching tool, which connects you with up to three qualified financial advisers in five minutes. Each adviser is vetted by SmartAsset and is legally required to act in your best interests.

If you're ready to be matched with local advisers who will help you reach your financial goals, get started now.

Read Next
7 Gadgets Under $60 That Can Boost Your Health
7 Gadgets Under $60 That Can Boost Your Health

These Amazon finds can help ease foot aches, boost energy and even protect your heart.

How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes
How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes

Here’s how to strengthen your nest egg before or even during your golden years so these missteps don’t ruin your retirement.

13 Small Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better
13 Small Gadgets Under $20 That Make Life Better

These inexpensive electronics will make your day-to-day life a little easier — and happier.

9 Things Anyone Can Get for Free on Amazon
9 Things Anyone Can Get for Free on Amazon

These freebies are available to anyone with an internet connection.

14 Things We Buy and Then Almost Never Use
14 Things We Buy and Then Almost Never Use

Save your money. These items seem alluring but they often end up as coat racks and dust magnets.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?

Two factors determine how much money is coming to you.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on these familiar purchases. Yes, even pregnancy tests

13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon
13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon

Every household should have these products on hand. Buying them in bulk on Amazon saves you cash.

5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus
5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus

You likely already have some of these products at home.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You probably don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise
America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise

Have you heard of this appliance manufacturer?

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

These vaccines may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 40%.

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

8 Things That Are Free in August
8 Things That Are Free in August

As summer enters the home stretch, we’ve rounded up these sizzling freebies.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store

Not everything sold at dollar stores is a great bargain or a safe purchase. Here’s our list of products to avoid.

41 Things You Should Never Buy
41 Things You Should Never Buy

Some purchases are just plain dumb. Give yourself — and your budget — a break. Don’t spend money on this stuff.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.