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Why Do I Pay Into Medicare

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Medicare Part B Costs In 2021 And 2022

Medicare and your CalPERS Health Benefits

Part B is considered your medical insurance. It covers medical treatments and comes with a monthly premium of $148.50 in 2021 and $170.10 in 2022. A small percentage of people will pay more than this amount if they report income greater than $91,000 as single filers, or more than $182,000 as married joint filers.

Part B also comes with a deductible of $203 per year in 2021 and $233 in 2022. Unlike Part A, your deductible isnt tied to a benefit period or other complicated formulas. Medicare pays 80% of the Medicare-approved amount once you pay your $203 or $233, which is likely to happen after your first or second doctor visit or procedure of the year. That leaves you on the hook for only 20%.

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If youre on a payroll, you may have seen a FICA tax deducted from each paycheck. FICA, or Federal Insurance Contributions Act, is a U.S. federal payroll tax that funds both Social Security and Medicare programs, providing benefits to retirees, the disabled, and children.

A question that comes up often is whether you pay Medicare tax on retirement income. After retirement, your source of income switches to investment income and retirement benefits, and you typically are not required to pay Medicare or FICA tax on most or all of your retirement income.

Who Pays The Medicare Tax

Generally, all employees who work in the U.S. must pay the Medicare tax, regardless of the citizenship or residency status of the employee or employer. In certain limited situations, you may have to pay the Medicare tax on income earned outside of the United States . If Medicare taxes are withheld from your paycheck in error, you should contact your employer to ask for a refund.

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How Can You Reduce Medicare Costs

Make sure that you enroll during your required time to avoid possible penalties, and only elect the coverage that you think youll use. If you take few prescription medications or you take low-cost drugs, you may not want to purchase prescription drug coverage.

Whether you choose a prescription drug plan or not, asking for generic versions of brand-name medications can also save you money.

Some programs through Medicare can also help you pay for your premiums. To qualify for the programs, you must:

  • be eligible for Part A
  • have an income level equal to or less than the maximum amounts per program
  • have limited resources

The five programs currently available are:

  • Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program
  • Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program
  • Qualified Individual Program

Why Do You Have To Pay A Medicare Tax

Why do I pay Medicare tax? : Medicare Insurance

The Medicare tax helps fund the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund. Its one of two trust funds that pay for Medicare.

The HI Trust Fund pays for Medicare Part A benefits including inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, home health care and hospice care. It also pays for administering the Medicare program. It covers the costs of fighting Medicare fraud and abuse, collecting Medicare taxes and paying benefits.

A second, Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust fund receives money from Congress and interest earned on trust fund investments. It pays for Medicare Part B benefits and Part D prescription drug coverage.

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Social Security And Medicare: Do You Get Back What You Pay In

People who pay into Social Security and Medicare their whole working lives are often told by politicians that they’ve ‘earned’ these retirement benefits. Here’s why that’s not necessarily so.


Are Social Security and Medicare earned entitlements, returning benefits for which recipients have already paid?

The question arises because earlier this week House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said they are. Appearing on Laura Ingrahams radio show on Jan. 22, Representative Ryan said President Obama had mischaracterized the GOPs attitude toward the nations big social insurance programs.

No one is suggesting that what we call our earned entitlements entitlements you pay for, like payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security are putting you in a taker category, said Ryan. No one would suggest that whatsoever.

Of course, Ryan is far from the only politician to describe Social Security and Medicare in this manner. The wording may be more common among Democrats, who often imply that these programs are simply keeping folks tax cash warm until they need it so hands off!

Lets quote Mr. Obama himself from an appearance last September before an American Association of Retired Persons audience: I want to emphasize, Medicare and Social Security are not handouts. Youve paid into these programs your whole lives. Youve earned them.

Where Medicare Taxes Go

The remainder of FICA tax money collected from your paycheck and from your employer goes to the Medicare program, which funds healthcare costs for older people and younger Americans with disabilities. The Medicare taxes collected from current wage earners and their employers are used to pay for hospital and medical care costs incurred by current Medicare beneficiaries. Any excess tax revenue is accounted for in a designated Medicare trust fund.

Unlike Social Security, Medicare is also financed through premiums and from the government’s general revenue, so it’s not wholly dependent on the collection of FICA payroll taxes.

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Do I Have To Pay For Medicare

We get this question a lot, and we understand why you may be confused or upset. If you were employed for any extended period of time in your life, youre probably thinking, I already paid for Medicare through taxes! Its true that most people paid Medicare taxes during their working careers, but there are still some costs involved in Medicare for most people.

Those Medicare taxes that you paid all those years certainly helped fund the Medicare program, but its not enough. Healthcare is expensive!

Medicare parts A and B are different. If you worked for at least 39 quarters, you may not have to pay a premium for Part A at all. However, anyone who does not qualify for financial assistance will owe a premium for Part B. The Part B premium can change based on income, but the standard in 2020 is $144.60/month.

  • If you worked over 39 quarters , your Part A premium will be $0
  • If you worked 30-39 quarters, your Part A premium will be $252 in 2020
  • IF you worked for less than 30 quarters, your Part A premium will be $458 in 2020.

Retiree Coverage Continuing Past Age 65 You’ll Still Need To Enroll In Medicare A And B

Medicare Explained / Medicare Part B & Medicare Part A (and Supplements)

Some companies will not cut a retiree off completely at the age of 65, but instead continue to offer supplemental retiree benefits, which can be used in conjunction with Medicare . The supplemental retiree health benefits may include prescription drug coverage , doctor visits, and other outpatient health care. Medicare will be your primary coverage if you’re covered under a retiree health plan, with the plan offered by your former employer serving as secondary coverage.

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B Late Enrollment Penalty

If you delay enrollment in Part B and don’t have coverage from a current employer , you’ll be subject to a late penalty when you eventually enroll in Part B. For each 12-month period that you were eligible for Part B but not enrolled, the penalty is an extra 10% added to the Part B premiums. And you’ll pay this penalty for as long as you have Part Bwhich generally means for the rest of your life.

In 2020, most Medicare Part B enrollees pay $144.60/month. So a person who is now enrolled but had delayed their enrollment in Medicare Part B by 40 months would be paying an extra 30% in addition to those premiums . That means they’d be paying roughly an extra $43/month for their Part B coverage, for a total of about $188/month.

Part B premiums generally change each year. Sometimes they stay the same from one year to the next, but the general trend has been upwards over time. So the part B penalty will generally also increase from one year to the next. If you’re paying 10% or 30% or 50% more than the standard rates, the dollar amount of that penalty will increase as the standard premiums increase over time.

How Updating A 135

To this we say, weelllll, not really. The situation is more complicated than that.

Its true that workers fork over Social Security and Medicare taxes every payday. But under current law, over their lifetimes most Americans will get back substantially more from these programs then theyve paid in, even after accounting for inflation and adjusting for interest you might have earned if youd kept the money.

Thats primarily due to the rising value of projected Medicare health benefits. Social Security is a different story. In recent years the raising of the Social Security retirement age, plus other tweaks, have made the big retirement income entitlement less generous. New retirees wont get back quite as much income support as theyve contributed in Social Security taxes.

However, individual tax/benefit ratios for both programs are highly variable, depending on lifetime earnings, longevity, marital status, and health conditions.

Got all that? We werent kidding when we said it was complicated.

Numbers might better illustrate these points. At the Urban Institute, C. Eugene Steuerle and Caleb Quakenbush have been studying these issues for some time. According to their updated 2012 figures, a single male earning the average wage who retired in 2010 will receive total lifetime Social Security and Medicare benefits worth $457,000, following total lifetime tax contributions of $361,000. So hell be $96,000 in the black.

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What If Ive Worked But Not Long Enough

You can still get Medicare Part A coverage, even if you dont fully meet the work requirement of 40 credits. Heres what youll pay in 2022:

  • If you have 30 to 39 credits, your Part A premium will cost $274 per month.
  • If you have fewer than 30 credits, your Part A premium will cost $499 per month.
  • If youre able to continue working and you accumulate 40 work credits, you wont have to pay the monthly premium for Part A coverage.

Part A is the only part of Medicare that requires a specific amount of work history. You can enroll in Medicare parts B, C, and D without a work history.

How And When To Sign Upand Save

Extra Help For Medicare Part D

Meredith Mangan is a senior editor for The Balance, focusing on insurance product reviews. She brings to the job 15 years of experience in finance, media, and financial markets. Prior to her editing career, Meredith was a licensed financial advisor and a licensed insurance agent in accident and health, variable, and life contracts. Meredith also spent five years as the managing editor for Money Crashers.

David J. Rubin is a fact checker for The Balance with more than 30 years in editing and publishing. The majority of his experience lies within the legal and financial spaces. At legal publisher Matthew Bender & Co./LexisNexis, he was a manager of R& D, programmer analyst, and senior copy editor.

When you turn 65, youre eligible to enroll in Medicare. Most people get Part A for free. However, Part B , Part D , and Medigap arent free.

If you or your spouse are covered under another plan, you may be wondering if you have to enroll, when you should, and which parts to enroll in. If you plan to enroll in Parts A and B , you may be wondering if and when you should get a Part D prescription drug plan, a Medigap policy, or if you should bundle your Medicare coverage in a Medicare Advantage plan .

Learn how Medicare late enrollment penalties work, which Medicare parts they apply to, and how to avoid paying them.

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How Medicare Coverage Usually Works

For most Medicare participants, paying for coverage works as follows:

  • As long as you or a spouse had a long enough work history, then there’s no monthly premium for hospital insurance coverage under Medicare Part A. Instead, there are deductibles and copayment amounts if you end up needing to use that coverage.
  • Medicare Part B typically comes with monthly premiums. For 2019, the base amount that most people pay is $135.50 per month.
  • Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage isn’t mandatory, but if you participate, then you’ll pay a monthly premium to your plan provider. The amount can vary widely and depends on the drugs covered and the amount of coverage you get.

Medicare Premiums Deducted From Social Security Payments

If you have low income and receive Social Security assistance, you may receive premium-free Medicare.

Depending on your income, some people with Social Security benefits may still have to pay for Medicare. However, you can have your Medicare payments automatically deducted from your Social Security benefits.

You will receive a bill in the mail for your Medicare payments, unless one of the following applies to you:

  • If you receive Social Security benefits, your payments may be automatically deducted from your benefits.
  • If you receive Railroad Retirement benefits, your payments may be automatically deducted from your benefits.
  • If you retire from civil services, your payments may be automatically deducted from your annuities

Once you receive your bill, there are a few ways you can pay it. You can pay directly through your bank , you can send in a check or money order, you can pay by debit or credit card by filling in the card information on your bill slip and mailing it back in, or you can sign up for Medicare Easy Pay, a free service which will automatically deduct the premium from your bank account.

Keep in mind that aside from your premiums, you may still have to pay copayments when you visit a doctor or other provider.

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Enrollment Windows Are Limited

If you’re thinking about delaying your enrollment in Medicare, keep in mind that there are enrollment windows that apply. After your initial enrollment window ends, you can only sign up for Medicare Part A and B during the general annual enrollment period from January 1March 31, with coverage effective July 1.

And you can sign up for Part D during the annual enrollment period from October 15December 7, with coverage effective January 1 of the coming year.

So if you delay your enrollment, you could be paying higher premiums when you eventually do enroll, and you’ll have to wait until an open enrollment period in order to have access to coverage. If you’re only enrolled in Part A, for example, and you get diagnosed with a serious illness in April, you’ll have to wait until the following January to have Part D coverage, and until the following Julymore than a year in the futureto have Part B coverage.

Keep all of this in mind when you’re deciding whether to enroll in the parts of Medicare that have premiums.

Already Enrolled In Medicare

Medicare Part B & Medicare Part A (Explained)

If you have Medicare, you can get information and services online. Find out how to .

If you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and you want to enroll in Part B, please complete form CMS-40B, Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B . If you are applying for Medicare Part B due to a loss of employment or group health coverage, you will also need to complete form CMS-L564, Request for Employment Information.

You can use one of the following options to submit your enrollment request under the Special Enrollment Period:

  • Fax or mail your CMS-40B, CMS-L564, and secondary evidence to your local Social Security office .
  • Note: When completing the forms CMS-40B and CMS-L564

    • State I want Part B coverage to begin in the remarks section of the CMS-40B form or online application.
    • If possible, your employer should complete Section B.
    • If your employer is unable to complete Section B, please complete that portion as best as you can on behalf of your employer without your employers signature and submit one of the following forms of secondary evidence:
      • Income tax form that shows health insurance premiums paid.
      • W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions.
      • Pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions.
      • Health insurance cards with a policy effective date.
      • Explanations of benefits paid by the GHP or LGHP.
      • Statements or receipts that reflect payment of health insurance premiums.

    Some people with limited resources and income may also be able to get .

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    Things You Should Know

    How to find out whether or not you are eligible for Medicare Part A and Part B benefits if you are retired and under age 65 and your spouse or you are disabled

    If you or your spouse is disabled and receiving Social Security disability benefits, contact Social Security about Medicare-eligibility. If eligible, contact the GIC at 617.727.2310 to request a Medicare Plan enrollment form.

    If you have been a state employee and have never contributed to Social Security

    You may still be eligible for Medicare benefits through your spouse. When you turn age 65, visit Social Securitys website or call Social Security to apply to see if you are eligible.

    What happens to your spouse’s coverage if you enroll in a GIC Medicare Supplemental Plan

    Your spouse will continue to be covered under in a GIC non-Medicare plan if he/she is under age 65 until he or she becomes eligible for Medicare. See the Benefit Decision Guide for under and over age 65 health insurance products. If your spouse is over age 65, he/she must enroll in the same Medicare supplemental plan that you have joined.

    What you need to do at age 65 if your spouse or yourself was not eligible for Medicare Part A for free, but now, you and your spouse have subsequently become eligible for Medicare Part A for free

    You or your spouse must notify the GIC in writing when you become eligible for Medicare Part A. The GIC will notify you of your coverage options. Failure to do this may result in loss of GIC coverage.

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