Medicare Costs

How much Does Medicare Cost?

Medicare costs typically vary based on a number of factors. These factors include which plans you are enrolled in, whether you are part of a Medicare Advantage plan, your personal income levels, the extent of your hospital stays, the amount of deductibles you must pay, and other variables, as well - such as the amount of "quarters" accumulated during your taxed private or government employment years. You can design how much Medicare coverage you wish, and whether you choose to invest extra dollars into a Medicare Advantage (an HMO) for extended benefits.

Medicare Part A Costs

The Medicare costs for Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) typically includes no monthly deductible fee. Most Medicare recipients have accumulated over 40 quarters of Medicare taxed employment, and do not have to pay additional rates into Medicare Part A. However, if you have only accumulated 30-39 quarters you must pay a monthly premium rate of $248. With below 30 quarters, the premium increases to $471. In addition to this, any Medicare Part A recipient who undergoes a medical procedure must always pay a deductible of $1,156.

In addition to these costs, during an extended hospital stay you may have to pay increased fees. The initial deductible covers days 1-60 in a hospital. However, after the 60th day the patient incurs a daily rate of $289 until the 90th day. After the 90th day, this fee increases to a daily rate of $578. Additional financial assistance through your state government may be available to mitigate these high daily rates for patients who must undergo prolonged care after a serious accident or surgery.

Medicare Part B Costs

Medicare Part B extends basic medical insurance, which includes doctor's check-ups and at-home care. The Part B deductible is $140 per year, and the current 2012 monthly premium rate is $99.90. It should be noted that this monthly premium rate is adjustable depending on your level of income. At income levels between $85,000 and over $214,000 your monthly rate will increase, all the way up to $319.70 per month. Keep in mind for beneficiaries who file joint income tax returns, the income prerequisites for higher fees adjusts (it significantly drops). Currently, there is ongoing reform through the Affordable Care Act, and an increasing amount of Medicare Part B expenditures that are being financed through tighter regulation and fees on private pharmaceutical firms.

Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) Costs

If you elect to join a Medicare Advantage program - which contains both A and B coverage - you will be working with a private firm that is sponsored by the Medicare program. This involves paying a monthly premium (in addition to the Part B premium) and a copayment or coinsurance for covered services. This is where your Medicare costs are affected by a number of variables, depending on which company you are using. Companies with high "star value" ratings on the web site, for instance, may offer more "premium" services at higher costs (but higher customer satisfaction). There is more flexibility with prices among private firms, and you can find an HMO that best suits your needs and budget.

Medicare Part D Costs

Medicare Part D is for prescription drug coverage, and it typically involves a monthly premium fee (about $30), and are run by private companies that are approved by Medicare. It's important to note that recent health care reform legislation has actually decreased the prices Medicare beneficiaries must pay for brand-name prescription drugs (a 50% cut that began in 2011), and into 2012 there are additional price-cuts for generic-brand medication, as well. This should significantly decrease your Medicare costs for prescription drugs.

Finally, another factor in determining your Medicare costs is whether you opt for supplemental insurance. Some beneficiaries enroll in supplemental insurance policies (Medigap) by private companies. As with Medicare Advantage programs, these costs can vary based on the company you are using and you may also find similar coverage through certain employers or unions.

As you can see, the Medicare costs are varied. However, with Medicare Plan A and Medicare Plan B - you can expect some level of premium and deductible rates - and potentially high expenditure for extended hospital visits. You can expect significantly higher prices if you do not have the minimal quarters accumulated, while on the other-hand Medicare provides substantial savings for those who do have 40 or more quarters. You should also take note of individualized prices that relate to very specific things; such as kidney dialysis, and high-importance medications such as chemotherapy. So, you should talk to your healthcare provider or conduct research at the official Medicare government web site to figure out any specific variables that relate to your personal Medicare costs.