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What is Medicare IRMAA and who has to pay?

What is IRMAA? The premium cost on each part of Medicare depends on different factors. Part A (Hospital Insurance), is typically free for people who paid into the system while working at least a minimum of 40 quarters. Otherwise, you may be charged a premium to buy in. Part B(Medical Insurance), for the average person, costs $174.70/month (2024) and the cost of Part D is the premium for the specific drug plan that you enroll in. However, if you, based on your tax return of two years ago, made more than $103,000 filing single or $206,000 filing jointly (2024), Social Security can assess an IRMAA, an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount. It is a surcharge on Medicare premiums for Medicare Part B and Part D. You will receive a letter informing you of the Assessment. See the chart below:

Here is some good news. If you will currently earn an income that places you lower than your assessment level, the assessment can be appealed. There is a Form SSA-44. Fill out the form using your current estimated yearly income and what you expect to make next year, especially if you are retiring and expect to earn less than when you were employed. The form is available on the website.

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