Medicare isn’t free. However, for most people, Medicare Part A is premium-free. Meanwhile, some Medicare Advantage plans are zero-premium, and Medicare Part B and Part D premiums can be reduced with cost assistance.
It works like this:
- Most people qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A based on income.
- Medicare Part B is rarely ever free, but costs can be reduced based on income and assets.
- Medicare Part C offers zero-premium options in many regions.
- Medicare Part D plans can be reduced to $0 if you qualify for enough “extra help.”
This means that while Medicare isn’t free, especially if one considers out-of-pocket costs like coinsurance and copays, Medicare can end up being free or low-cost for people who need assistance.
TIP: Some people will qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare. This can help further reduce costs due to Medicaid paying for some services that would otherwise have coinsurance, copays, and other cost-sharing. Often someone who qualifies for one form of assistance will qualify for another, so make sure to check out your cost assistance options.
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