As most people know, anyone who is either 65 and older or disabled is eligible for Medicare. If you fall under one of these categories and have lived here continuously for 5 years or more, you can apply for Medicare in the United States.

Whether you work for someone else or own your own business, you can apply for Medicare once you are eligible, and for people this is at age 65.

Your work history also helps to determine what you’ll pay for certain parts of Medicare.

The Price for Part A

Part A is $0 per month for most people.  In order for your Part A to cost you nothing, you need to have worked at least 40 quarters in the United States or are married to someone who did.

Throughout your years of working, both you and your employer have been paying into Medicare Part A via FICA taxes that are pulled from your paycheck and forwarded to the federal government. Once you have worked 10 years, you have paid for Part A in full.

If you have not met the minimum amount of quarters worked, you will have to buy Part A. People who have worked 30-39 quarters will pay $232 per month for Part A as of 2018. If you have work less than 30 quarters, your Part A cost will be $421 per month.

These standards are set all based on how much you have paid in taxes. If you haven’t paid into Medicare for at least 10 years, you will pay into Part A now that you have Medicare.

Part A for the Self-Employed

You are considered to be self-employed in the eyes of Social Security if you run a business, trade, or profession, by yourself or with a partner.

For people who are self-employed the rules for Part A are the same as described above. If you paid into Medicare for at least 40 quarters, Part A will be $0 per month for you.

Self-employed people must pay their own Medicare taxes during their working years since there is not an employer who will be paying it for them. Consult your CPA if you have questions about this. If you follow the IRS and Social Security’s rules, you should find that Part A will cost you nothing when it comes time to enroll in Medicare.

Part B and Part D for the Self-Employed

The cost for Medicare Part B all depends on your modified gross income. If you filed individually and made $85,000/year, you will pay the base Part B premium of $134 per month.

From there, there are four other levels of income that determine the price of your Medicare Part B. As of 2018, if you made more than $214,000 as individual, your Medicare Part B monthly premium would be at the highest level, which is $428.60/month.

Medicare Part D premiums work very similarly to Medicare Part B premiums. If you pay more for Part B, you will have to pay more for Part D.

With Medicare Part D, you will pay the drug plan’s premium along with a specified additional amount. For instance, if you made between $85,000 and $107,000, you’d pay your drug plan’s premium plus $13.00 every month. People who earned less than $85,000 would simply pay your drug plan’s monthly premium with no additional fee assessed.

Self-Employed Medicare Taxes

According to the Social Security Administration, if you make at least $400 a year in your business, you have to report your earnings and file certain tax forms. As we mentioned above, because you are both the employer and the employee, you are responsible for the combined employer and employee tax amount.

A self-employed worker must pay 2.9% on their total net earnings for Medicare taxes each year. Individuals who earn more than a certain threshold must also pay an additional 0.9% on income above that if you make more than $200,000 a year.

As long as you pay the right amount in taxes, file correctly each year, and work at least 10 years, self-employed workers shouldn’t have too much trouble getting Part A for $0 per month.