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Social Security’s unique way of lowering Medicare Part B and D premiums

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Dear Toni,

I turned 65 in November and enrolled in Medicare. I received a letter from Social Security stating that I must pay $527.50 for Part B and $70 for Part D totaling $597.50 monthly. The IRS states that my income was $375,000 in 2022.

The high income level is because my husband was working in 2022. Charlie passed away in February and my income now is only my Social Security check of $2,400 a month to pay bills.

How do I inform Social Security that my income has changed because I am no longer receiving my husband’s income? I have heard from friends that you are aware of a unique way I can bring my Medicare premiums to a lower, affordable amount.

--Gwen from Austin, Texas

Hi Gwen:

 

Of course you do not want to wait the usual 2 years for the IRS to inform Medicare that your income has decreased due a “Life Changing Event” (such as death of a spouse, recently married/divorced, retired, laid off/working part-time). You want to let Medicare know NOW that you (or your spouse) are no longer earning that higher income.

Many Americans still believe that everyone pays the same amount for their Medicare Parts B and D premium. Those days are long gone!

If your income as an individual was over $97,000 for 2023 and is over $103,000 in 2024, or if your married/joint income was over $194,000 for 2023 or is over $206,000 for 2024, then your Medicare Parts B and D premiums will be more. Social Security explains in the letter that is mailed to you how they arrived at the Part B and D premiums based on your “Modified Adjusted Gross Income” (MAGI) from your last filed tax return.

Gwen, your MAGI was over $375,000 and the table used in the letter you received from Social Security shows what the Part B and Part D “premium adjustment” will be, whether you are filing single or married.

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