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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

What Does Medicare Cost?

Medicare is a health insurance program for people 65 and older. People younger than 65 who are disabled or who have end-stage kidney disease can also get health care through Medicare.

What you pay for Medicare depends on how much you earn each year and how much care you need. You pay a separate amount for each part of Medicare.

Medicare Part A

Part A is your hospital coverage.

Premium costs. If you or your spouse worked for at least 10 years and paid Medicare taxes, you won't pay any monthly fee, called a premium, for Part A. Most people don’t pay a premium.

If you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for less than 10 years total, you will have to pay a monthly fee for Part A coverage. In 2013, the cost was as much as $441 a month.

Deductible costs. If you stay overnight in the hospital or use other Part A services, you'll pay a deductible. The deductible is the amount you must pay before Medicare pays anything for your care. 

For 2013, the deductible for a hospital stay is $1,184.

Copay costs. You also pay copays for Part A. It's a set amount you pay for specific types of care. If you're in the hospital for more than 60 days, your copay is $296 a day for days 61 to 90. After that, your copay is $592 a day.

Medicare Part B

Part B is for your doctor visits, tests, and other services.

Premium costs: Each month you pay a premium of $104.90. If your income is higher than $85,000, you have to pay a higher premium. How much you make determines how much you pay, ranging from $146.90 to $335.70.

Deductible costs: You also pay a $147 deductible each year. After you pay it, you pay coinsurance, which is 20% of your medical costs.

Penalties: If you don't sign up for Part B when you first become eligible, you may have to pay a penalty if you did not have health insurance through an employer or union.

Medicare Part D

Part D is your prescription drug coverage

Premium costs. The monthly fee you pay varies by the plan you choose. The average premium for the last 3 years has been $30, and in 2014, it's predicted the average will be $31. If you have a higher income, you may pay more each month. In 2013, households with income of more than $170,000 or individuals with income greater than $85,000 will pay between $11.60 and $66.60 more per month.

Deductible costs: Each year you pay a deductible before Medicare starts sharing the cost for your medicines. Although the deductible may vary from plan to plan, no plan may charge more than $325 in 2013. In 2014, the maximum will be $310.

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