Medicare Announces 2020 Part A and Part B Costs

The Medicare program recently announced the 2020 costs for Medicare Part A and Part B. These costs take effect January 1, 2020.

Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital care, care in a skilled nursing facility (up to 100 days), some home health care, and hospice services. The costs for 2020 will be:

  • Premium: Most people get Part A for free because they, or their spouse, have paid Medicare tax-es while working. However, for those who must buy Part A, the monthly premium in 2019 can be as much as $458.
  • Hospital Stay: The inpatient deductible is $1,408 per benefit period. If someone is in the hospital longer than 60 days, their cost-sharing will be: $352/day for days 61-90 and $704/day for days 91-150.
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Stay: Medicare can cover up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility when someone meets the criteria for Medicare to pay for this care. There is no cost for care for the first 20 days. For days 21-100, the beneficiary will have a daily co-pay of $176.

Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B is the medical benefit of Medicare that covers outpatient care such as doctor visits, outpatient hospital services, diagnostic tests, ambulance services, durable medical equipment and mental health services. The costs for 2020 will be:

  • Premium:  ​​​​​​​Everyone on Medicare is subject to a monthly Part B premium. In 2020, the standard premium will be $144.60/month. Most people will pay this amount. People with higher incomes pay a higher premium. A small percentage of Medicare beneficiaries will pay a slightly lower amount because of Medi-care's hold-harmless provision. This rule protects people who have their Part B premium de-ducted from their monthly Social Security check from a Part B premium increase that would ex-ceed their Social Security benefits increase, to avoid leaving these beneficiaries with a lower net Social Security benefit in 2020 than they received in 2019. More information is available here. As a reminder, people with limited incomes and resources can qualify for Medicaid to pay their Part B premium through the Medicare Savings Programs or “Medicare Buy-In”.
  • Other Part B Costs in 2020: The annual deductible will be $198. That is the amount Medicare beneficiaries must pay for services before their Part B coverage kicks in. After that, Original Med-icare covers outpatient physical and mental health services at 80% and the beneficiary pays the remaining 20%.

As a reminder, Medicare beneficiaries are responsible for paying the monthly Part A (if any) and Part B premiums regardless of how they get their Medicare – whether through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan. Individuals with Original Medicare (who use the red, white, and blue card when getting care) and no additional insurance are subject to the Part A and B deductibles and co-insurance amounts described above. Those in a Medicare Advantage plan pay the deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays set by their plan. Dual eligibles with Medicare and Medicaid insurance use their Medicaid coverage to pay their Part A and B deductibles, co-insurance, and co-pays and should only be charged the small Medicaid co-pay that applies to the service they get

More information about Medicare Part A and B costs in 2020 can be found here.