Nov. 28, 2017: CMS Releases 2018 Medicare Parts A and B Premiums and Deductibles

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released the 2018 premiums, deductibles and coinsurance amounts for the Medicare Part A and Part B programs. 

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility and some home healthcare services. About 99 percent of Medicare beneficiaries do not have a Part A premium since they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment. 

The Medicare Part A annual inpatient hospital deductible that beneficiaries pay when admitted to the hospital will be $1,340 per benefit period in 2018, an increase of $24 from $1,316 in 2017. The Part A deductible covers beneficiaries’ share of costs for the first 60 days of Medicare-covered inpatient hospital care in a benefit period. Beneficiaries must pay a coinsurance amount of $335 per day for the 61st through 90th day of a hospitalization ($329 in 2017) in a benefit period and $670 per day for lifetime reserve days ($658 in 2017). For beneficiaries in skilled nursing facilities, the daily coinsurance for days 21 through 100 of extended care services in a benefit period will be $167.50 in 2018 ($164.50 in 2017). 

Enrollees age 65 and over who have fewer than 40 quarters of coverage and certain persons with disabilities pay a monthly premium in order to voluntarily enroll in Medicare Part A. Individuals who had at least 30 quarters of coverage or were married to someone with at least 30 quarters of coverage may buy into Part A at a reduced monthly premium rate, which will be $232 in 2018, a $5 increase from 2017. Uninsured aged and certain individuals with disabilities who have exhausted other entitlement and who have less than 30 quarters of coverage will pay the full premium, which will be $422 a month, a $9 increase from 2017. 

Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment and other items. 

The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $134 for 2018, the same amount as in 2017. However, a statutory “hold harmless” provision applies each year to about 70 percent of enrollees. For these enrollees, any increase in Part B premiums must be lower than the increase in their Social Security benefits. After several years of no or very small increases, Social Security benefits will increase by 2 percent in 2018 due to the cost-of-living adjustment. Therefore, some beneficiaries who were held harmless against Part B premiums increases in prior years will have a premium increase in 2018. 

The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries will be $183 in 2018, the same annual deductible in 2017. Premiums and deductibles for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug plans are already finalized and are unaffected by this announcement. 

Additional information on the 2018 Medicare Parts A and B premiums and deductibles can be found in the Federal Register.