Medicare Part A. Very few people pay a Part A premium. As long as you worked for 40 quarters or 10 years or are married to someone who did, you're entitled to this coverage at no additional charge. Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care and some home health care. (Don't be confused. Part A doesn't cover nursing home care.) If you're part of the 1 percent required to pay, the 2013 Part A premium is decreasing to $441, down from $451 in 2012.
Medicare Part A deductible, which everybody is responsible for, is rising 2.4 percent to $1,184. You'll be charged this every time you're admitted to the hospital. Many people have a Medigap insurance policy or are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage insurance plan that pays this fee.
Medicare Part B premium, which is automatically deducted monthly from everyone's Social Security payments, is rising $5 per month from $99.90 to $104.90. The Medicare Part B deductible will rise to $147 in 2013, from $140. Part B covers doctors' services, outpatient care, medical supplies and preventive services. Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans cover the Part B deductible.
If you have very low income, you may qualify through your state Medicaid program for help paying Part B premiums and the Part A deductible. There is also a Medicare-managed program known as Extra Help that will help you pay Part D prescription drug expenses. Whether you qualify for all or part of this assistance depends on your income.
If your 2011 income was above $85,000 a year ($170,000 filing jointly) you'll be charged more for Part B. These premium adjustments range from $42 to $230.80 per month, depending on how much you make. If your income has changed since you paid your 2011 taxes, you can ask the government to recalculate.