Nearing age 65? What you need to know about Medicare

Some people assume Medicare is free, Roberts said. Far from it, actually. And, there’s no out-of-pocket maximum.

As long as you have at least a 10-year work history, you pay no premiums for Medicare Part A, which covers hospital stays, skilled nursing, hospice and some home health services. However, it has a deductible of $1,364 per benefit period, along with some caps on benefits.

Part B — which covers outpatient care and medical supplies — has a standard monthly premium of $135.50 this year, although higher earners pay more (see chart below). It also comes with a $185 deductible (for 2019). After it’s met, you typically pay 20 percent of covered services.

Cost of Medicare Part B premiums


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