Your Social Security benefits can be used to pay some of your Medicare premiums. You can also pay your Medicare bills online or by mail without a fee.

If you receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits, your Medicare premiums can be automatically deducted. The premium amount will be taken from your check before being sent to you or deposited.

This automatic deduction generally applies to your Part B premium, but you can also set it up for many Part C and Part D plans.

Sometimes, your premiums can be automatically deducted If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Social Security retirement benefits.

However, this doesn’t apply to all Medicare premiums. Each part of Medicare has its own premiums and rules for interacting with Social Security.

Medicare Part A

Most people receive Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) without paying a premium.

You’re eligible to enroll in Medicare Part A and pay nothing for your premium if you’re age 65 or older and one of these situations applies:

  • You’ve earned at least 40 Social Security work credits. You earn 4 work credits each year you work and pay taxes. Most people have earned 40 credits after 10 years of work over their lifetime.
  • You have a spouse of at least one year who has earned 40 work credits and is eligible for SSDI or Social Security retirement benefits.
  • You’re legally single after spending 10 or more years married to your former spouse, who earned at least 40 work credits and is eligible for SSDI or Social Security retirement benefits.
  • You were married for at least 9 months but are now widowed and haven’t remarried. Your deceased spouse must have earned at least 40 work credits and met the SSDI or Social Security retirement benefits criteria.

You can also receive Part A without paying a premium if you qualify because of a disability. You can qualify for Medicare because of a disability at any age.

You’ll receive premium-free Part A if:

You can still get Medicare Part A if none of these situations apply, but you’ll need to pay a premium. Your premium will depend on how many work credits you have.

In 2024, if you have fewer than 30 quarters (also known as “work credits”), you’ll pay $505 per month for Part A. If you have between 30 and 39 credits, you’ll pay $278 per month.

If you need to pay a Part A premium, you’ll get a bill every month. You can pay this bill online or by mail.

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B (medical insurance) premiums are normally deducted from any Social Security or RRB benefits you receive. In this case, your Part B premiums will be automatically deducted from your total benefit check.

The standard Part B premium is $174.70 in 2024. However, depending on your income, you might have a higher or lower premium.

Some people will pay less because the Part B premium increase is larger than the cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits.

If you have a limited income, you might also be eligible to receive Part B at a lower cost — or even for free. In that case, you can apply for a Medicare savings program to help cover your costs.

Conversely, you’ll pay a higher premium with a higher income.

In 2024, you’ll pay more for Part B if you have an individual income of $103,000 or more or a joint income of $206,00 or more. This adjusted amount is called an income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA).

Your Part B IRMAA and premium can be automatically removed from your Social Security or RRB checks.

If you don’t receive Social Security or RRB benefits, you must manually pay your premium. Medicare sends you a bill every three months, which you can pay online or by mail.

Medicare Part C and Part D

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) plans are sold by private companies that contract with Medicare.

Medicare Advantage plans cover everything that Medicare Parts A and B do and often include coverage for extra services. Medicare Part D plans cover prescription drugs.

Part C and Part D plans are optional. If you want either, you’ll have multiple options at various price points. On the Medicare website, you can shop for Part C and Part D plans in your area.

Some plans will have an additional premium, but others will be premium-free.

You can deduct your Part C or Part D plan premiums from Social Security. You’ll need to contact the company that sells your plan to set it up. It might take several months to set up, and for automatic payments to begin.

This means your first payment could be very large since it’ll cover multiple months at once. Your insurer will walk you through the details and let you know how long it will take.

Your premiums will be deducted once per month after everything is set up.

Medicare premiums are tax deductible. However, you can deduct premiums only once your out-of-pocket medical expenses reach a certain limit.

The IRS has set that limit at 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI), which is the amount you make after taxes are deducted from each paycheck.

So, if you have an AGI of $50,000, you could deduct healthcare expenses after you’ve paid $3,750 in medical expenses. Depending on your premiums and other healthcare spending, you might not reach this number.

If your spending is less than 7.5% of your AGI, you can’t deduct any healthcare expenses, including premiums.

Track your out-of-pocket medical expenses carefully throughout the year to make the proper deductions at tax time.

If your Medicare bills aren’t automatically deducted, you can pay them online or by mail. You won’t pay an added fee for parts A, B, or D depending on your payment method.

There are several ways to pay:

  • You can pay online with a credit or debit card using your MyMedicare account.
  • You can set up automatic payments using Medicare Easy Pay and have your premiums deducted from your checking account.
  • You can use your bank’s automatic bill pay feature to have your payments sent to Medicare.
  • You can mail Medicare a check or money order along with the tear-off portion of your Medicare bill.
  • You can use the tear-off portion of your bill to write down your credit or debit card information and mail it back for payment.

What about Part C and Part D?

You’ll pay your Part C or Part D bill directly to the insurance company. Each company has its own preferred methods, and not all companies accept all payment types.

Generally, you should be able to:

  • pay online with a debit or credit card
  • set up automatic payments
  • mail a check
  • use your bank’s automatic bill-pay feature

You might also be able to set up a direct deduction for your retirement or disability payments.

You can contact your plan provider to learn about payment options. They can also tell you about any added fees or time delays associated with each payment type.

Medicare Part B premiums are normally taken out of your Social Security benefits. You can also set up your Part C and Part D premiums to be deducted from your benefits. You can pay Medicare online or by mail if your premiums aren’t automatically deducted.