As with all things Medicare, the answer is “it depends.” There are several scenarios that we need to cover to give you the correct information.

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Original Medicare Beneficiaries

Suppose you have only original Medicare and enrolled during your average enrollment period and have at least 40 quarters of covered employment. In that case, you pay nothing for Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) and the premium you have to pay for Part B.

The Part B premium is deducted from your Social Security check if you receive one. However, if you do not receive Social Security, either because you have not enrolled or are not eligible, you are billed for the Medicare B premium monthly, and you have to pay it monthly.

Can I Buy Part A? What About Part B?

If you were not eligible for Part A based on employment, you could still buy it if:

  • You paid Medicare taxes for less than 30 quarters.
  • You worked 30-39 quarters.
  • If you don’t get premium-free Part A, you pay $274 or $49 each month in 2022. 

(source)

As you will not be eligible for Social Security in this scenario, you will pay the Part A premium monthly. In the vast majority of cases, you will be required to buy Part B also. The monthly premium for Part B was $170.10 each month (or higher depending on your income). (source)

What About Part C?

If you have Medicare Parts A and B, regardless of whether you are paying for Medicare Part A (everyone pays for Medicare Part B), you are eligible for Part C.

Part C is for Medicare Advantage plans. These plans replace parts A and B and D and usually offer more benefits. They also have an out-of-pocket limit, which varies by plan, which Medicare Parts A and B do not have.

Everyone pays for Part C monthly; the premium (if any) is not deducted from your Social Security check. Some Part C plans have no premium. Starting in 2021, people with ESRD are eligible to enroll in a range of Medicare Advantage plans.

What About Part D? What’s the Bottom Line?

Everyone who has worked at least 30 quarters is eligible for Part A, B, C, and D. Whether there is a monthly premium for Part A depends on whether you worked 40 quarters or more. Parts B, C, and D always have a premium, which is paid monthly. Only Part B premiums are deducted from your Social Security checks. All other premiums are paid monthly. Remember that if you have a chronic condition or high medical expenses, the out-of-pocket limits in Part C plans may be a lifesaver.

Regardless of which combinations of Parts A, B, C, and D you choose, it is essential to have qualified advice.

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