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Medicare Part B is outpatient coverage that helps pay for doctor visits and other medical services and supplies. It’s something most seniors rely on and those approaching age 65 look forward to.
But it does come with costs. There are premiums, deductibles, copays and, in some cases, penalties. The more you know what to expect, the better you can plan for your health care costs.
What Medicare Part B will cost you
Most people pay a standard premium for Medicare Part B: $170.10 per month in 2022. That figure rises with income, however. In 2022, beneficiaries whose 2020 income exceeded $91,000 (individual return) or $182,000 (joint return) will pay a premium amount ranging from $238.10 to $578.30, depending on income. See the table below for a breakdown.
2022 Medicare Part B premiums
Individual tax return (2020 income)
Joint tax return (2020 income)
Married & separate tax return (2020 income)
Monthly Medicare Part B premium
$91,000 or less.
$182,000 or less.
$91,000 or less.
Above $91,000 up to $114,000.
Above $182,000 up to $228,000.
Above $114,000 up to $142,000.
Above $228,000 up to $284,000.
Above $142,000 up to $170,000.
Above $284,000 up to $340,000.
Above $170,000 and less than $500,000.
Above $340,000 and less than $750,000.
Above $91,000 and less than $409,000.
$500,000 and above.
$750,000 and above.
$409,000 and above.
The Part B annual deductible is $233 in 2022. This is what you’ll pay before Medicare Part B coverage kicks in. The government usually adjusts the deductible amount each year, so you should expect your deductible to increase yearly.
After you meet your deductible amount for the year, you'll usually pay 20% of the Medicare approved amount of your bill. If your provider charges more than the Medicare-approved amount, your share of the bill may be more.
If you don't sign up for Medicare Part B during your initial enrollment period (the seven-month period starting three months before the month you turn 65) and you don’t have qualified insurance from another source, you’ll pay an extra 10% above the standard premium cost for every 12-month period you delayed. That extra premium can add up to a significant amount over the course of your retirement. (Qualified insurance from another source may include coverage through an employer if you’re still working, or your spouse’s employer. COBRA doesn't count as qualified insurance.)
The parts of Medicare
Read more about the different parts of Medicare and what they cover.
Medigap can help cover some costs
People who enroll in Original Medicare Part A and Part B often purchase Medicare Supplement Insurance, also called Medigap, to help pay for out-of-pocket costs. These policies can cover Part B copays or coinsurance, but they don't cover Part B premiums. Also, Medigap plans issued after Jan. 1, 2020, aren't allowed to cover the Medicare Part B deductible, unless you're exempt.
Private insurers sell an array of standardized Medigap plans, with premiums regulated by the states. Your premiums depend on where you live, what coverage you get, how the insurer prices the plans and how old you are. Medigap plans aren't allowed with Medicare Advantage plans.
The Medicare Advantage alternative
More than a third of people who sign up for Medicare Parts A and B also choose a Medicare Advantage plan, also known as Medicare Part C.
These policies, administered by private insurers, provide the same coverage as Original Medicare. In addition, most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage and other cost-sharing benefits not included in Part A and Part B, such as some amounts toward dental and vision services.
Unlike Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans often use a network of providers that plan members must use. In exchange, Medicare Advantage plans often cost less, with advertised premiums as low as $0 and limits on how much you will pay out-of-pocket. The maximum out-of-pocket limit is $7,550 in 2022. In order to buy a Medicare Advantage plan, you must be enrolled in Parts A and B and paying your Part B premium, plus any income-related monthly adjustment amounts.
Medicare Advantage providers
Get more information below about some of the major Medicare Advantage providers. These insurers offer plans in most states. The plans you can choose from will depend on your ZIP code and county.