How Much Does Medicare Cost?

Original Medicare is made up of two parts: Medicare Part A (hospital benefits) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance).

Typically, Part A doesn't cost anything, as long as you meet the criteria below:

  • You are already receiving retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board
  • You are eligible to receive Social Security or Railroad benefits but have not yet filed for them
  • You or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment

If you are under 65, you can get Part A without having to pay premiums if:

  • You have received Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefit for 24 months
  • You are a kidney dialysis or kidney transplant patient

The part you do pay for is Part B, which is $96.40 per month in 2010 for most individuals. Those with incomes over $85,000 (single) or $170,000 (married couple) have to pay more. Also, those enrolling in Medicare for the first time in 2010 will pay $110.50 per month.

Your Part B deductible is deducted from your Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Civil Service Retirement check. If you do not get any of the above payments, Medicare sends you a bill for your Part B premium every three months.

If you have questions about your eligibility for Medicare Part A or Part B, or if you want to apply for Medicare, call the Social Security Administration. The toll-free telephone number is: 1-800-772-1213. The TTY-TDD number for the hearing and speech impaired is 1-800-325-0778. You can also get information about buying Part A as well as part B if you do not qualify for premium-free part A.