Medicare Part B premiums for 2014 hold steady

By Nancy MetcalfConsumer Reports

The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B will be the same in 2014 as it is this year—$104.90 a month—the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced today.

Part B is the part of Medicare that covers doctor bills and most types of outpatient services. You must pay Part B premiums whether you you get your Medicare benefits through Original Medicare or a private Medicare Advantage plan.

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The premiums charged to high-income people are also holding steady. Premiums for those people will range from $146.90 for single filers earning between $85,000 and $107,000 a year, to $335.70 for single filers earning more than $214,000.

The Part B annual deductible of $147 is also unchanged.

The other major part of original Medicare, Part A, covers hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and some home health care. It's free for everyone, except those who don't have at least 40 quarters of work credits either on their own record or through their spouses. The monthly premiums for this small group will drop from $441 in 2013 to $426 in 2014.

But the Part A deductible for hospital stays is going up slightly, from $1,184 in 2013 to $1,216* in 2014.

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—Nancy Metcalf

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An earlier version of this article had an incorrect figure for the 2014 Part A deductible. Thanks to the many alert readers who caught this typo.

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