- Your Medicare Part B premiums will be automatically deducted from your Social Security benefits.
- Most people receive Part A without paying a premium.
- You can choose to have your Part C and Part D premiums deducted from your benefits.
- Medicare allows you to pay 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 out of your check before it’s either 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.
Your Social Security benefits can be used to pay some of your Medicare premiums.
In some cases, 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.
We’ll discuss how this works for each part next.
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 1 year who’s earned 40 work credits and is eligible for SSDI or Social Security retirement benefits.
- You have a former spouse (and you were married for at least 10 years) who earned at least 40 work credits and is eligible for SSDI or Social Security retirement benefits if you haven’t remarried.
- You were married for at least 9 months but are now widowed and haven’t remarried. Your deceased spouse needs to have earned at least 40 work credits and met the criteria for SSDI or Social Security retirement benefits.
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’ve been receiving SSDI payments for at least 24 months.
- You’ve been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
- You’ve been diagnosed with end stage renal disease and qualify for Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits.
You can still get Medicare Part A if none of these situations apply to you, but you’ll need to pay a premium. Your premium will depend on how many work credits you do have.
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. Your Part B premiums will be automatically deducted from your total benefit check in this case.
You’ll typically pay the standard Part B premium, which is $148.50 in 2021. However, you might have a higher or lower premium amount than the standard cost.
Some people will pay less because the cost increase of the Part B premium is larger than the cost-of-living increase to Social Security benefits.
You might also be eligible to receive Part B at a lower cost — or even for free — if you have a limited income. In that case, you can apply for a Medicare savings program to help cover your costs.
Conversely, you’ll pay a higher premium if you have a higher income.
In 2021, if you have an individual income of $88,000 or more or joint income of $176,00 or more, you’ll pay more for Part B. This adjusted amount is called an income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA).
Both your Part B IRMAA and premium can be automatically taken out of your Social Security or RRB checks.
You’ll need to manually pay your premium if you don’t receive Social Security or RRB benefits. You’ll get a bill from Medicare every 3 months, which you can pay online or by mail.
Medicare Part C and Part D
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 do want either part, you’ll also have multiple options at various price points. You can shop for Part C and Part D plans in your area on the Medicare website.
Some plans will have an additional premium but others will be premium-free.
You can have your Part C or Part D plan premiums deducted 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 end up being very large since it’ll cover multiple months at once. Your plan 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 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Your AGI is the money you make after taxes are taken out of each paycheck.
The IRS allows you to deduct any out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, including premiums, that are more than 7.5 percent of your AGI.
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 percent of your AGI, you can’t deduct any healthcare expenses, including premiums. However, if your healthcare spending is more than 7.5 percent of your income, you can deduct it.
Keep careful track of your out-of-pocket medical expenses throughout the year so you can make the proper deductions at tax time.
You can pay your Medicare bills online or by mail if they aren’t automatically deducted. You won’t pay an added fee for parts A, B, or D, based on your payment method.
There are several ways to pay:
- You can make online payments 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 use a credit or debit card by using 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 their 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 find out what payment options are available. They can also let you know if there’s anything you should be aware of with each payment type, such as added fees or time delays.
- 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.