Did Your Medicare Costs Increase?

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Did Your Medicare Costs Increase?

For Mark Roberts’ Use: As retirement planners, we always remind our clients to anticipate potential rising costs throughout retirement. That way, you can adjust your budget and withdrawal schedule accordingly.

The cost of healthcare is one of those fluctuating expenses. While Medicare and supplemental insurance plans can help you keep your expenses more predictable, their premiums can and do change at times.

In 2019, many Medicare beneficiaries will indeed be paying slightly higher premiums. If you’re enrolled in Original Medicare (not Medicare Part C, or Advantage Plans), your premiums will be adjusted as following:

  • Part B standard premiums were raised just slightly, from $134 to $135.50, for most people (see below for exceptions)
  • The Part B annual deductible has been raised from $183 to $185
  • The Part A inpatient hospital deductible increased from $1,340 to $1,364 per benefit period

Most people on Original Medicare don’t have to pay a premium for Part A benefits, assuming the length of your career met certain requirements. That’s because we all pay taxes into Medicare during our working years. You do, however, still need to meet a deductible each year.

The above figures apply to standard Part B premiums only, and apply to individuals with taxable income of $85,000 or less, or to married couples with joint incomes of $170,000 or less. If your income falls above those limits, your Medicare premiums are already higher ($189.60 to $450.60), and your adjustment will differ from those listed above.

These increases are comparatively small, but the point to remember is that they are adjusted periodically. Over the length of your retirement (often 20 years or more, these days) you will find that your budget does need to change in order to accommodate gradually increasing premiums and deductibles. This issue perfectly illustrates the reasons behind planning for a retirement income that can gradually increase over time, as needed. Give us a call, and we’ll discuss that idea in more detail.

By |2019-01-09T21:48:27+00:00January 28th, 2019|Financial tips, Retirement|0 Comments

About the Author:

In addition to managing clients’ money and giving investment and diversification advice, Mark offers something that “the other guys” don’t - a unique approach to Retirement Tax Strategies and distribution. Time and time again, Mark meets with new clients who tell him they have a great relationship with their financial advisor but have never been offered information on this kind of approach to securing their financial futures. Mark has taken this feedback to heart and works tirelessly to ensure that his strategies focus on taxes and distribution. Mark started selling insurance for a major insurance company right out of high school to help put himself through college. After graduating with a degree in finance, he dove into estate planning on the financial side to set himself apart from other financial advisors. However, as changes were made to estate tax laws over time, Mark shifted his focus to income tax strategies. Mark’s philosophy is “the blue prints are more important than the wall paper or carpet.” The wall paper and carpet represent products like investments and insurance policies, whereas the blue prints represent the strategies. Once strategies that truly fit the client’s needs are put in place, our focus can shift to providing you with the right products. According to Mark, “It doesn’t matter what carpet we use if the walls are not in the right place.” Our approach to money management is designed to generate the largest alpha (quality) with the lowest standard deviation and beta (risk). By doing this, we help provide clients with the highest return on the lowest risk. Generating income for our retirees is also very important. Because withdrawing money from your portfolio hurts the account rather than helping it, our goal is to design income strategies to harm the portfolio the least making the money last longer.