Q: What does Original Medicare cost the beneficiary?
A: Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) is free for most seniors. If you or your spouse worked at least 10 years in a job where you paid Medicare taxes, you’re eligible for free Medicare Part A when you turn 65. Medicare A is also free for people under 65 who have been on Social Security disability for at least two years, or who have end stage renal disease. Although most Medicare beneficiaries receive Part A with no premium, if you do have to pay for it, the premium in 2015 is $407 per month if you worked less than 7.5 years, and $224 per month if you worked between 7.5 and 10 years.
Medicare Part B has a monthly premium of $104.90 in 2015, for people who earn up to $85,000 a year ($170,000 for a married couple). The premiums are higher if your income exceeds that amount. For most people receiving Social Security benefits, the premium comes out of their monthly Social Security check automatically. Part B enrollees pay an annual deductible of $147 in 2015.
For about seven million Part B enrollees, the premium is increasing by 52 percent in 2016. Most of this group will pay $159.30/month, but 2.9 million high-income Part B enrollees will pay premiums that range from $223/month to $511/month in 2016. And for all Part B enrollees, the deductible is increasing to $223/month in 2016 (some enrollees have supplemental coverage that pays the Part B deductible though).