Updated: Feb 16, 2020
Extra Medicare Charges for Part B are associated with HIGHER INCOMES in 2020
For most people, Part A of Medicare is "free". That is, you paid into it during your career and there is no direct cost associated with it once you start on Medicare. Part A covers hospital costs, once a $1420 deductible is satisfied. This deductible is assessed every "benefit period", which typically lasts 60 days. So, it's possible to be charged the deductible multiple times a year.
There's a charge for Part B, the part that covers physicians and associated expenses in addition to an annual deductible of $198. For those already on Part B, the monthly charge can vary, but those taking it for the first time in 2020, the charge is $144.60 In recent years, the Part B premium has become "means tested", that is, the more you make annually the more your monthly charge. The deductibles mentioned are covered by some Medicare Supplement (Medigap) and/or Medicare Advantage plans. This chart features the income benchmarks:
So if your annual income exceeded $87,000 ($174,000 jointly) in 2018 (the IRS will look back two years) you should pay close attention to this chart to predict your monthly charges. Part D is also means tested , but that's a subject for another blog. Stay tuned... (see BLOG #5)