Medicare is a government health-care program for people over the age of 65, as well as some younger adults with specified medical conditions. While some components of Medicare, such as Part A, are free of charge, the majority are not.
Fortunately, Medicare has made it possible to pay your premiums in a variety of ways. Continue reading to find out how much different portions of Medicare cost and whether you can pay with a credit card or other authorized payment option.
When enrolling in a Medicare plan, double-check your payment options—some private insurance plans won’t let you pay your bill with a credit card.
Medicare may bill you monthly or quarterly, depending on the plan you’re registered for.
If your premiums are withdrawn automatically from your Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, Medicare will not bill you.
Which Medicare Parts Do You Pay For?
Medicare Part A
If you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years, you won’t have to pay monthly premiums for Medicare Part A (also known as “premium-free Part A”) (40 quarters). If you need to buy Part A, your monthly premium for 2021 is either $259 (if you paid Medicare taxes for 30–39 quarters) or $471 (if you didn’t pay Medicare taxes for 30–39 quarters) (if you paid Medicare taxes for less than quarters).
Premiums for Medicare Part A are expected to range between $274 and $499 per month in 2022, depending on how long you paid into Medicare while working.
Medicare Part B
You’ll have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B, but it’ll be collected automatically from your Social Security, Railroad Retirement Board, or Office of Personnel Management benefits.
If you don’t get these benefits, Medicare will issue you a bill every three months.
In 2021, the Medicare Part B premium will be $148.50, but it might be more if your yearly income is beyond $88,000 if you file an individual return, or $176,00 if you file jointly. This additional payment is known as an IRMAA (income-related monthly adjustment amount) and is also known as Medicare surcharges.
The average monthly Medicare Part B premium in 2022 is expected to be $158.50.
Medicare Part C
Part C, often known as Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, allows you to get your Part A and Part B benefits through private insurance companies. If your MA plan has a premium (as many do), you can have it withdrawn from your Social Security check or pay the insurance company directly.
In 2022, the average monthly Part C premium will be $19.
Medicare Part D
Private insurance companies offer Medicare Part D (drug coverage) policies, and the monthly premium varies per plan. To enroll in a Medicare prescription medication plan, you must have either Part A or Part B. If you want your premium withdrawn from your monthly Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board payment, or if you’d rather be invoiced directly, contact your plan provider.
You’ll have to pay an IRMAA in addition to your premium if your individual income exceeds $88,000—or $176,000 if you file jointly with your spouse.
Part D coverage will cost an average of $33 per month in 2022.
How Often Do You Need to Make Payments?
If you pay Medicare directly, you’ll receive a bill from Medicare that includes Form CMS-500, which you’ll use to pay your Part A, Part B, and any Part D or Part B IRMAA payments.
If you purchase Medicare Part B on its own, you will be billed every three months by Medicare. Medicare invoices you monthly if you purchase Part A or are obliged to pay for a Part B or Part D IRMAA. If you’re invoiced quarterly, your payment covers the next month’s coverage or the next three months’ coverage.
If it’s your first bill, if your premium amount changed, or if you skipped a payment, your Medicare bill may include premiums from previous months.
If your yearly income is over $88,000 and you file an individual return, or $176,00 if you’re married and file jointly, you’ll have to pay an additional sum for Part D or Part B prescription coverage.
Medicare Payment Methods
You can pay your premiums using a debit or credit card, an automatic deduction from your Social Security benefit, an electronic bank transfer, or by submitting a monthly check to Medicare. Remember that you’ll pay Medicare directly for your Part A (if applicable) and Part B premiums, as well as any IRMAA payments.
However, payment arrangements for Part D medication plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medigap plans supplied by private insurance firms may differ. Check with the insurance company to determine if credit card payments are accepted.
Paying Medicare With a Credit Card
You’ll get Form CMS-500 to pay your Part A, Part B, and Part B, and Part D IRMAA payments (if you’re obliged to make them) directly to Medicare. By connecting to your protected Medicare account, you can pay your premium with a credit card online. You’ll need to establish an account if you don’t already have one. Select “My Premiums” and then “Pay Now” after logging in. Select a payment option (in this case, a credit card) and enter the payment amount. To complete the payment, you’ll be transferred to the US Treasury’s Pay.gov website.
Credit card payments to Medicare can also be mailed. You’ll need to fill out the payment coupon that came with your premium bill in this scenario. Make sure to include your credit card number and expiration date, as well as your billing zip code and signature on the coupon. Payment coupon and payment should be sent to: P.O. BOX 790355 St. Louis, MO 63179-0355 Medicare Premium Collection Center
You can’t use a credit or debit card to set up automatic monthly Medicare payments; instead, you’ll need to link it to a checking or savings account.
Pay Using a Debit Card
Using a debit card to pay your Medicare premium is virtually the same as using a credit card. To pay by debit card online, you must have a Medicare account. If you’re sending your bill by mail, you’ll need to include your debit card number, expiration date, and billing zip code. If the payment is successful, a payment to CMS Medicare will appear on your debit card account.
Pay by Check
Payments by check should be made out to “CMS Medicare Insurance.” By paying with a check, you authorize the Medicare Premium Collection Center to process the payment as a check transaction or perform a one-time electronic funds transfer from your bank account using the information on the check. The check should be mailed to the address on your Medicare bill. 12 Remember to attach your payment voucher as well.
Pay With Your Bank’s Bill Pay
To pay your bill straight from your bank account, contact your bank or go to their website and sign up for their online bill pay option. This service isn’t offered by every bank, and some will charge you for it. Make sure the payment is put up correctly; otherwise, the erroneous information could cause it to be delayed.
To the Medicare Premium Collection Center, you’ll need to supply your 11-character Medicare number, payee name (CMS Medicare Insurance), and address:
P.O. BOX 790355 St. Louis, MO 63179-0355 Medicare Premium Collection Center
You must inform your bank of the amount that will be deducted from your account.
Generally, banks will allow you to set up recurring payments, but you must alter the payment amount if your premium changes.
Pay Using Medicare Easy Pay
You can enroll in Medicare Easy Pay to have your regular monthly premium payments deducted automatically from your checking or savings account. Fill out a form on your online Medicare account to sign up for this service.
Because automatic payments can take up to eight weeks to begin, you may still receive a statement for your premium payment.
Because the automated payments appear on your online payment history, Medicare won’t send you a monthly bill; instead, you’ll get monthly statements.
If your monthly premium increases and you pay with Medicare Easy Pay, the new amount will be deducted from your bank account automatically.
Pay With a Money Order
Payments can also be mailed to the Medicare Premium Collection Center using a money order (above, and on the front page of your Medicare premium bill). Make your money order out to “CMS Medicare Insurance.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What happens if my Medicare payment is late?
Your payment is late if Medicare receives it after the date indicated on your Form CMS-500, the 25th of the month. You may lose coverage if a payment is late by 90 days.
What happens if my coverage lapses due to late payment?
If your coverage lapses due to a late payment, you must wait for the next available enrollment period to join another plan. You’ll automatically switch to Original Medicare if you lose your Medicare Advantage plan coverage.