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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Monday, October 22, 2018

Small Increases Expected in Medicare Part B Premiums for Most People

For the vast majority of recipients, there’s good news when it comes to Medicare Part B premiums for 2019.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced recently that Medicare Part B premiums will see a modest increase only, with the base premium for the majority of individuals going up from $134 to $135.50 a month. But even with no change, millions of Social Security recipients will pay sharply higher Part B premiums that will eat up all or most of next year’s two-percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security that was announced a day earlier by the Social Security Administration.

However, for high earners the news is even worse. They will be dealing with a significant bump in income-related charges that began this year. The very highest earners will see another big increase for 2019. What that means is the wealthiest senior couples will be paying over $11,000 a year in Medicare Part B premiums.

The result is the average Social Security benefit for a retired worker will rise by $39 a month to $1,461 in 2019. The small increase in Part B premiums means most retirees will get the benefit of the Social Security COLA as well.

A small percentage of Medicare recipients will see a smaller increase in premiums from the current $134 a month because of a hold-harmless provision that limits the increase so it is no greater than the increase in their Social Security benefits.

But for the five percent of Medicare recipients who have to pay income-related surcharges, their new Part B premiums are going up to $189.60, including a $54.10 surcharge.

And for the wealthiest retirees – singles with $500,000 of income and couples with $750,000 of income – there will be a 10.3 percent increase in their income-related surcharge from $294.60 in 2018.


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