Why is My First Medicare Bill for 3 Months?

by David Bynon, last updated

If you are drawing Social Security benefits, SSA will deduct your Part B premiums from your benefits each month. You will receive a Medicare Premium Bill (CMS 500) if you are not drawing Social Security benefits.

The CMS 500 form will show how much you owe for Part A and Part B and your Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) for Part B and Part D.

Why is My First Medicare Bill So High?

Social Security bills you for your Part B premiums quarterly. Your bill may also include premiums for past months. This happens if you’re getting your first bill, missed a payment, or your premium changed.

So, if you are wondering, “Why is my first Medicare bill for 5 months,” that’s why.

Medicare Part B Premiums

Medicare consists of different parts, and Part B covers doctor’s visits, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services. While Part A (hospital insurance) is generally premium-free for most beneficiaries, Part B requires a monthly premium.

In 2023, the standard Part B premium is $164.90 per month. However, this premium amount can vary based on income, causing some individuals to pay higher premiums.

IRMAA is an additional charge imposed on higher-income Medicare beneficiaries. If your income exceeds a certain threshold, you may be subject to an income-related surcharge on your Part B and Part D premiums.

These surcharges can significantly increase your Medicare bill, making it appear higher than expected.

Late Enrollment Penalty

Medicare has specific enrollment periods, and failing to enroll on time can lead to a late enrollment penalty. If you didn’t sign up for Part B when you were first eligible and didn’t have other credible coverage, a late enrollment penalty is added to your Part B premium.

This penalty is calculated based on the number of months you were eligible but didn’t enroll. The longer the delay, the higher the penalty, resulting in an increased Medicare bill.

Deductibles and Co-payments

Medicare also involves out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles and copayments. For example, in 2023, the Part B deductible is $233 per year, and beneficiaries typically pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for most services after meeting the deductible.

These costs can accumulate quickly, especially if you require frequent medical attention or specialized treatments. These costs can be mitigated with a Medigap policy (additional coverage).

Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D)

Medicare Part D covers prescription medications. Like Part B, Part D has monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and copayments. The variation in drug costs, different plan options, and coverage gaps (known as the “donut hole”) can contribute to higher prescription costs.

These costs won’t be reflected in your monthly bill. You pay these costs at the pharmacy when you pick up your prescriptions. What you will see on your monthly Medicare bill, if you are a high-income earner, is an IRMAA charge.

Additional Coverage

Many Medicare beneficiaries opt for additional coverage through Medicare Advantage plans or Medigap policies. These supplemental insurance options offer additional benefits and can help offset some of the costs associated with Medicare. However, these plans come with their own premiums, and the cumulative effect of multiple premiums can lead to a higher initial Medicare bill.

Hi there. MedicareWire offers a 100% FREE Medigap Rate Comparison Service. It will arm you with all of the information you need to make an informed decision.

Get Your Free Medicare Supplement Rate Comparison

We are retired seniors, not insurance agents. Our goal is to help folks, just like you, by making sure you have access to rates from all carriers without a sales pitch. No Calls. No Email Spam. No Kidding!


Receiving your first Medicare bill can be an eye-opening experience, especially if the costs appear higher than anticipated. However, understanding the factors contributing to the higher bill can help alleviate concerns and prepare you for the future. Factors such as Part B premiums, IRMAA surcharges, late enrollment penalties, deductibles, co-payments, prescription drug costs, and additional coverage options all play a role in the final amount.

By familiarizing yourself with these aspects, you can make informed decisions, explore cost-saving strategies, and ensure that you have the appropriate coverage to meet your healthcare needs without breaking the bank. Remember, Medicare offers valuable healthcare benefits, and with careful planning, you can navigate the costs effectively and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with comprehensive coverage.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles