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Is It Possible to Reduce My Medicare Part B Premium?

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If you are paying more than $170.10 per month in 2022 for your Medicare Part B, read on!

While most people I speak with who are nearing Medicare age know they must pay certain monthly premiums when they enroll in Medicare, most do not realize that their Medicare premiums can be higher based upon their income.  These potential higher premiums are called IRMAA chargers.

IRMAA stands for Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts and are added to the current Medicare Part B base monthly premium and/or the monthly premium for the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan that you enroll in.

Social Security looks back 2 years when determining if you will be assessed a Medicare Part B and/or Part D IRMAA charge.

If your Modified Adjusted Gross Income, or “MAGI” from 2 years ago was greater than a certain base premium, then you will incur an IRMAA charge.  Calculating your MAGI is beyond the scope of this article, and we suggest consulting with your tax advisor to determine this figure.

For 2022, if you file your taxes individually and your MAGI was greater than $91,000, or if you file your taxes jointly with a spouse and your MAGI was greater than $182,000, then you will be assessed an IRMAA charge in addition to your Medicare Part B and/or Part D premiums.

The following chart shows the various levels of IRMAA charges that you can be assessed in 2022:

The fact that IRMAA charges are based upon income from 2 years prior often generates the question “What if my income when I enroll in Medicare is substantially less than what is was 2 years ago?”

This is a genuine concern, and one that can easily be addressed.

Filing an Appeal

If you are assessed an IRMAA charge and your income is substantially less than it was 2 years ago, you may file an appeal with Social Security by completing Form SSA-44 (https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-44-ext.pdf) and submitting it to your local Social Security office.

When you file an appeal, you are essentially notifying Social Security that you will earn less in the current year than you did 2 years ago, why your earnings will be less, and what you project your current year’s earnings to be.  You may want to consult with your tax advisor for assistance completing the form SSA-44.

If you qualify, Social Security will then adjust or even eliminate your IRMAA charges for the current year, depending upon what your projected earnings will be.

Keep in mind that should you exceed your projected earnings to be assessed an IRMAA charge, Social Security will assess that IRMAA charge retroactively.

If you have additional questions about Medicare IRMAA charges, or any other Medicare questions, please contact your Member Agent.

Don’t have a Member Agent to help you yet?   Click here to use our Agent Finder.

Member Agents are here to help you and their educational services are always free of charge.

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