If you receive Social Security retirement benefits and are over age 65, you probably qualify for Medicare medical insurance coverage. The amount of money withheld from your Social Security benefits depends on which Medicare section you use and the number of work history credits you have.
Part A Medicare is hospitalization insurance. Most individuals who receive Social Security have 40 credits of work history and qualify for Medicare hospitalization benefits or Part A at no charge. If you have from 30 to 39 credits of work history, your Part A Medicare benefit cost is $248 a month, at the time of publication. If you have less than 30 credits of work history where you paid Social Security taxes over your employment years and want Medicare Part A, the cost is $450, at the time of publication.
Part B coverage is for medical benefits for doctor visits and diagnostic tests. The cost is $115.40 for new single applicants with an income under $85,000 on their 2009 individual tax return. The Social Security Administration uses modified adjusted gross income from federal income taxes two years prior to the year of coverage.
Your Part B coverage costs $115.40 if your income is below $170,000, at the time of publication. If your income is more than $85,000 and less than $107,000, your Part B coverage is $161.50. Joint filers with income from $170,000 to $214,000 also pay $161.50.
The next tier for single taxpayers is from $107,000 to $160,000, and the income tier for joint taxpayers is from $214,000 to $320,000. The monthly cost for this tier is $230.70. Single filers with income from $160,000 to $214,000, and joint filers with income from $320,000 to $428,000, pay $299.90 a month.
Single taxpayers with an income in excess of $214,000, or joint taxpayers with income in excess of $428,000, pay $369.10 a month. The Social Security Administration takes the cost of your Part B coverage from your Social Security monthly benefit. You also pay the first $162 each year as Part B deductible.
Part D is prescription drug coverage you can elect to have. The cost is on a graduated scale that depends on your income. There is a basic premium for individuals earning less than $85,000 a year or for couples earning less than $170,000 a year. The tiers for Part D coverage are the same dollar amounts as the tiers for Part B coverage.
From $85,000 to $107,000, the single taxpayer adds $12 a month to the Part D basic cost. The joint taxpayer above $170,000 to $214,000 has the $12 surcharge as well. For single taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income from $107,000 to $160,000 and joint taxpayers from $214,000 to $320,000, the surcharge is $31.10.
For single taxpayers with income from $160,000 to $214,000 and joint taxpayers with income from $320,000 to $428,000, the surcharge is $50.10 a month in addition to the plan premium. Single taxpayers earning more than $214,000 and joint taxpayers earning more than $428,000 pay a surcharge of $69.10, at the time of publication. If your Social Security check does not cover the premium costs, Social Security sends you a statement or bill for the balance.
Part C is Medicare Advantage or preferred provider coverage that combines Part A and Part B for individuals who choose to purchase this additional coverage from private insurers. Social Security and Medicare do not collect this premium for Part C from your Social Security check.