Of the 63.3 million Medicare beneficiaries, about 7% pay higher monthly premiums because of income-related costs. While the standard monthly premium for Part B is $148.50 this year, CNBC reported that the premium for higher earners could range from $59.40 to $356.40 this year. This means that some Medicare beneficiaries pay monthly premiums ranging from $207.90 to $504.90, thanks to income-related adjustment amounts, or IRMAA.
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“The law requires Medicare components B and D to make premium adjustments based on a person’s income,” according to Medical News Today. “A person’s income cannot be so high that it disqualifies them from Medicare. Even those with very high incomes can enroll. However, people with a higher income pay higher premiums.”
However, beneficiaries may appeal to the IRMAAs.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) makes IRMAA determinations prior to each new year and will typically use the most recent tax return available, which may be from two years earlier.
“For some clients, their income from two years ago is significantly higher than it is now or will be when they retire,” Elizabeth Gavino, founder of Lewin & Gavino and independent broker and general agent for Medicare plans, told CNBC .
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For this tax year, IRMAAs take effect when your modified adjusted gross income exceeds $88,000, or $176,000 for married couples filing jointly. The higher your household income, the higher the allowance. To appeal the determination, you must complete a form and ask the SSA to reconsider their decision, including proof that your current income is lower.
Danielle Roberts, co-founder of insurance company Boomer Benefits, told CNBC that the best way to appeal is to submit your form and provide as much evidence as possible. Evidence may include your most recent tax return, a letter from your former employer stating that you have retired, recent pay stubs, or other evidence that your income is lower.
“Life-changing” events can also count toward a reduction or elimination of IRMAAs, such as marriage, divorce, death of spouse, or loss of retirement.
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You can also submit your appeal to the administrative court; However, CNBC noted that this could take some time and you will still be expected to pay fees pending a decision.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Appealing to the Social Security Administration Can Lower Your Medicare Payments If You’ve Lost Income