DEFINITION of 'Medicare Part B Premiums'

A monthly fee that Medicare participants pay for medical insurance to cover services not covered in Medicare Part A. By contrast, Medicare Part A, or hospital insurance, does not require most people to pay a premium.

BREAKING DOWN 'Medicare Part B Premiums'

Medicare Part B premiums are based on the beneficiary's income. For example, in 2010, the premium was the same for all beneficiaries, up to single taxpayers who had income greater than $85,000 and married taxpayers who had income greater than $170,000. At this income level, the premium payments increased from $110.50 to $154.70 per month. There are three additional income tiers at which premiums increase further. The highest-income tier in 2010 paid a Medicare Part B premium of $353.60 per month for individuals earning above $214,000.

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