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Medicare Part B 2020 costs are out, and the increases are outpacing Social Security

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the 2020 premiums and deductibles for Medicare Part A and Part B plans.

Part B monthly premiums will rise about 7% for 2020. This news comes after we learned that the Social Security cost-of-living increase for next year will only raise benefits by 1.6%.

2020 Medicare Part B costs

Medicare Part B is the medical insurance piece of Original Medicare. Part B covers things like doctors’ visits, outpatient care, ambulance services, and more.

Monthly premium: Medicare Part B requires you to pay a monthly premium of $144.60 in 2020 (up $9.10 from $135.50 in 2019) if you make less than $87,000 a year. If your income is higher, you’ll pay more — up to $491.60 a month for the highest earners.

Annual deductible: $198 (up $13 from $185 in 2019)

The Breakdown

The monthly Medicare Part B premium, which covers doctor visits, lab tests, and some preventative services, will go up about 7% to $144.60. The annual deductible is $198. Once your deductible is met, Part B generally pays 80% of the Medicare-approved amount for covered services.

You are responsible for the remaining 20% — and there is no maximum amount for out-of-pocket expenses. That means you could end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you need medical care. Also keep in mind that Medicare Part B does not pay for dental services, hearing, and vision.

A Medicare Supplement Plan can fill in the 20% gap.

Who’s eligible for Medicare Part B?

Most people are automatically eligible for Medicare Part B when they turn 65. However, you must be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident who has been living continuously in the U.S. for at least 5 years.

If you’re under 65, you may also be eligible for Part B if you have end-stage renal disease or ALS.

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