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  • Medicare Experience

Medicare Part B Premium 2021

The standard Part B premium has increased in amount from the previous year.
Medicare Update

For Medicare recipients, Part B coverage is known as your medical insurance.


It helps to cover costs for doctor services, outpatient therapy, durable medical equipment, and other medically necessary services and preventive services not covered by Part A.


To receive your Medicare Part B coverage, you must pay a monthly premium amount, which is adjusted in accordance with the Social Security Act and correlates with your annual income.


The 2021 Medicare Part B monthly premium amount has increased for each income bracket from the 2020 amounts, which we will outline in detail below.




What Is the Part B Premium for 2021?


The standard monthly Part B premium for 2021 is $148.50. This amount has increased by $3.90 from the standard monthly Part B premium for 2020, which was $144.60.


The standard monthly Part B premium amount applies to all enrollees whose annual income does not exceed $88,000 or $176,000 if married and filing jointly.


To determine which income bracket you fall in, Medicare uses the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) from your 2019 tax return.


Most Medicare beneficiaries pay the standard Part B premium amount, but if your annual income exceeds $88,000, then you will pay a higher monthly Part B premium amount.


The Part B premium amounts for higher income brackets are listed below.



Is the Medicare Part B Premium Based on Income?


Yes, monthly Part B premiums are based on your annual income. Medicare determines the amount of your premium from your modified adjusted gross income. It uses your most recently filed tax return for this information.


So, for 2021, your Part B premium will be based on your 2019 modified adjusted gross income (i.e. your most recently filed tax return).


Also, note that as you reach certain income thresholds, your premium amount increases.



Medicare Part B Premiums Based on Income 2021: Individual Tax Return


  • $88,000 or less = $148.50

  • Above $88,000 and up to $111,000 = $207.90

  • Above $111,000 and up to $138,000 = $297.00

  • Above $138,000 and up to $165,000 = $386.10

  • Above $165,000 and less than $500,000 = $475.20

  • $500,000 and above = $504.90


Medicare Part B Premiums Based on Income 2021: Joint Tax Return

  • $176,000 or less = $148.50

  • Above $176,000 and up to $222,000 = $207.90

  • Above $222,000 and up to $276,000 = $297.00

  • Above $276,000 and up to $330,000 = $386.10

  • Above $330,000 and less than $750,000 = $475.20

  • $750,000 and above = $504.90



How Much Has the Medicare Part B Premium Increased for 2021?


The standard Part B monthly premium increased $3.90 from the previous 2020 amount of $144.60.


The standard Part B premium amount applies to those whose income falls below the higher-income threshold ($88,000 individual or $176,000 married).


Graph depicting the change in Medicare Part B premium amount for the past 5 years.

However, if you are above the higher-income threshold, your monthly Part B premium amount has increased by a larger margin. Those 2021 Part B premium increases are listed here:


Medicare Part B Premium Increase Based on Income 2021: Individual Tax Return


  • $88,000 or less = Increased by $3.90

  • Above $88,000 and up to $111,000 = Increased by $5.50

  • Above $111,000 and up to $138,000 = Increased by $7.80

  • Above $138,000 and up to $165,000 = Increased by $10.10

  • Above $165,000 and less than $500,000 = Increased by $12.50

  • $500,000 and above = Increased by $13.30


Medicare Part B Premium Increase Based on Income 2021: Joint Tax Return


  • $176,000 or less = Increased by $3.90

  • Above $176,000 and up to $222,000 = Increased by $5.50

  • Above $222,000 and up to $276,000 = Increased by $7.80

  • Above $276,000 and up to $330,000 = Increased by $10.10

  • Above $330,000 and less than $750,000 = Increased by $12.50

  • $750,000 and above = Increased by $13.30



Can I Get Help Paying My Medicare Part B Premium?


If you have limited income, you may be eligible for help with paying your Part B premium. There are three Medicare Savings Programs that help enrollees pay for their Part B premium:

  1. Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program (QMB)

  2. Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program (SLMB)

  3. Qualifying Individual Program (QI)


Your state’s Medicaid program determines eligibility for Medicare Savings Programs. You can check the income limits of these programs on the Medicare website here.


If you are interested in applying for one of these Medicare Savings Programs, you can look up your state Medicaid program contact information here. Contact your state’s Medicaid program to confirm your eligibility and enroll in a Medicare Savings Program.


If you experience a life-changing event, such as a marriage, divorce, death of a spouse, job loss, or other qualifying life-changing event recognized by Social Security, you can request a reduction in your Part B premium by filing a notice with Social Security.



How to Tell If Part B Covers What You Need


1. Consult with your doctor or health care provider to find out if Medicare covers your needed services or supplies.


In some cases, you may require something that is typically covered by Medicare but your provider isn’t sure if coverage will extend in your specific situation. If this happens, you can sign a notice that says you may be required to pay for the test, item, or service.


2. You can also always search your Medicare coverage by test, item, or service at this Medicare.gov Coverage Page.


Remember: Your Medicare coverage will be based on federal and state laws, national coverage decisions by Medicare, and local coverage decisions made by Medicare claims processors in each state.



To get a fuller understanding of your Medicare Part B costs, coverage, and more, read our Comprehensive Guide to Medicare Part B.




Helpful Resources:

Medicare: Part B Costs

CMS: 2021 Medicare Part B Premiums & Deductibles

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