It Matters When You Enroll
Your initial enrollment period is a seven-month period beginning three months before your 65th birthday month and ending three months after. For example, if your birthday is in October, your initial enrollment period starts July 1 and ends January 31.
If youre already receiving Social Security benefits by age 65, Medicare will notify you regarding your enrollment two months before your Medicare coverage starts. In this case, you should automatically be enrolled for Part A and B, but always verify that is the case.
If you dont sign up by the deadline, youll face a stiff penalty. Your Part B premium will increase by 10 percent for each 12-month period you were eligible for but didnt enroll. This penalty will apply for as long as you have Medicare coverage.
How Much Can You Save
The savings from the Medicare Savings Program can really add up. If you qualify, you could receive:
- Help paying your monthly Medicare premium
- Help paying your annual Medicare Part B deductible
- Up to 20% of the approved costs that you would usually have to pay for care out-of-pocket after reaching your Part B deductible
Medicare Part B Premium Appeals
OMHA handles appeals of the Medicare programs determination of a beneficiarys Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount , which determines a Medicare beneficiarys total monthly Part B insurance premium.
The Social Security Administration notifies a beneficiary of his or her Part B insurance premium and any IRMAA with the beneficiarys annual notice of Social Security benefits . SSA is responsible for issuing all initial and reconsideration determinations. It is important to remember that IRMAAs apply for only one year. A beneficiary will be notified by SSA near the end of the current year if he or she has to pay an IRMAA for the upcoming year.
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How To Lower Your Medicare Premiums: 3 Easy Steps
If you pay a higher Medicare premium because of your high income, there is a way to potentially lower it.
You can request a reduction to your income-related monthly adjustment amount in 3 easy steps.
Calculate Your Medicare Costs Today
Create a Medicare action plan by estimating your total monthly premiums for healthcare and related expenses in retirement.
How To Appeal A Part B Premium Income Adjustment
You may request an appeal if you disagree with a decision regarding your income-related monthly adjustment amount. Complete a Request for Reconsideration or contact your local Social Security office to file an appeal.
You may be able to skip the formal appeal and simply provide documentation if your income changed due to any of the following:
- You married, divorced or became widowed.
- You or your spouse stopped working or reduced your work hours.
- You or your spouse lost income-producing property due to a disaster or other event beyond your control.
- You or your spouse experienced a scheduled cessation, termination or reorganization of an employers pension plan.
- You or your spouse received a settlement from an employer or former employer because of the employers closure, bankruptcy or reorganization.
These methods apply to the Part B premium. Contact the IRS if you disagree with your adjusted gross income amount, which is provided to Medicare by the IRS.
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How To Reduce Medicare Premiums And Save Money
While Medicare Part A is premium-free to most Medicare beneficiaries, Medicare Part B has a monthly premium. Even if you choose a Medicare Advantage plan youll be paying at least your Medicare Part B premium to get coverage, which is $170.10 in 2022.
That can be a lot of money if youre retired, disabled, or struggling with significant health concerns. Are you wondering how to reduce Medicare premiums? There are ways to save money on your Part B premium.
This guide will show you some simple ways to save money on Medicare premiums so youll be better able to manage your budget.
How Can I Reduce My Medicare Premiums
August 30, 2021 By Danielle Kunkle Roberts
Medicare premiums sometimes come as a shock to new Medicare beneficiaries. Maybe you noticed that the federal government has been deducting taxes out of your paychecks for years. And yes, these deductions go toward funding your future Part A Medicare premiums as well as your Social Security income checks.
What those taxes DONT go toward are your Part B Medicare premiums or Medicare Part D premiums. So many people are surprised and unprepared to pay even the base premiums of $170.10 in 2022, let alone more if they have higher incomes which increase those premiums substantially.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to reduce your Medicarepremiums or get Medicare assistance with paying those premiums. If you arehaving trouble paying premiums for Medicare, consider these ways to reduce yourMedicare premiums.
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Use Solas Wealth As A Resource
The financial professionals at Solas Wealth can help you understand Medicare surcharges and work collaboratively with you to choose the best options for avoiding them.
Solas Wealth examines managing surcharges in the context of your overall financial goals and your wealth management portfolio. Our mission is to guide you through life transitions, and Medicare enrollment represents one of those transitions. Schedule a conversation with a Solas Wealth adviser today.
Defer Income To Avoid A Premium Surcharge
The standard premium for Medicare Part B is $170.10 per month in 2022 but that assumes youre not a higher earner. Those with higher income levels are subject to higher premium costs. For 2022 heres what youre looking at:
|2022 Medicare Part B premium costs by income level|
|Income level: individual tax filer||Income level: joint tax filer||Total monthly premium|
|$750,000 and above||$578.30|
If youre able to defer income strategically to future tax years so that you can report a lower total on your tax return, you might save yourself a higher premium charge for at least a year, since those surcharges are based on previous tax returns. For example, your 2020 tax return will determine whether you pay a surcharge in 2022 .
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Who Gets Extra Help Automatically
You’ll get Extra Help automatically if you get:
- Full Medicaid coverage
- Supplemental Security Income benefits from Social Security
You’ll get a letter about your Extra Help. It tells you things like how much you’ll pay, and your new Medicare drug plan, if you don’t have one already.
If you dont automatically get Extra Help, you can apply for it:
Or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.
Give Yourself Time To Learn About Medicares Rules And Proceduresand Make A Plan
Medicare and Social Security are beneficial programs while also complex. Be sure to allow yourself enough time to learn about their rules and procedures. Hasty decisions can have a life-long monetary impact that is not in your best interest. If you need additional assistance to walk through this process, reach out to a professional. This could be your financial advisor, accountant, or attorney.
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Do You Think You’re Paying The Wrong Amount For Your Prescription
If you qualify for Extra Help and think youre paying the wrong amount, heres what you can do:
- Contact your drug plan. Your plan may ask for proof that you get Extra Help so they can correct your costs. Examples of proof you get Extra Help.
You may may be able to get some money back if you:
- Paid for prescriptions after you qualified for Extra Help
- Arent in a Medicare drug plan
Keep your receipts with your prescription drug prices, and call Medicare’s Limited Income Newly Eligible Transition Program at1-800-783-1307. TTY users can call 711.
Appealing Your Part B Premium
First, you must request a reconsideration of the initial determination from the Social Security Administration.writing to SSA
Below are the situations which may qualify a beneficiary for a new Part B determination:
|Tax return inaccurate or out of date||
|Life-changing event that affects the beneficiarys modified adjusted gross income||
There are 7 qualifying life-changing events:
Events that result in the loss of dividend income or affect a beneficiary’s expenses, but do not affect the beneficiary’s modified adjusted gross income are not considered qualifying life-changing events.
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Understand What Creditable Coverage Is
You can sign up for Medicare and a prescription plan without a penalty after your Initial Enrollment Period if you have from another source.
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Find the most affordable Medicare Plan in your area
Typically, this means you have insurance from your own or your spouses employer-sponsored plan. Some people delay enrolling in Medicare because they have other insurance thats cheaper or has other advantages. Those advantages wont matter if your plan doesnt count as creditable coverage and you have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
A Biotech’s Bad News Is Good News For Medicare Part B
You might wonder how Medicare Part B premiums could possibly decline. After all, inflation is higher than it’s been in four decades. Nearly everything you buy these days is more expensive.
To answer that question, we first need to understand why Medicare Part B premiums jumped so much in 2022. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services identified several reasons for the steep increase in November 2021. The one that got the most attention, though, was that the agency anticipated potentially significant cost increases related to Biogen‘s Alzheimer’s disease drug Aduhelm.
Biogen won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for Aduhelm in June 2021. The biotech company set an initial price tag for the drug at $56,000. An estimated 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease. The increased cost to CMS to pay for Aduhelm would have been enormous.
However, the wheels fell off the cart for Aduhelm. In April 2022, CMS announced that it was effectively limiting coverage for the drug only to Medicare patients in authorized clinical trials. Less than a month later, Biogen slashed its sales efforts for Aduhelm, all but relegating it to the trash heap in the U.S.
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Your Medicare Part B Premiums Are Based On Your Income From 2 Years Back
What I am referring to is how Medicare Part B premiums are determined. Part B is often referred to as Medical Insurance. These premiums are determined by your modified adjusted gross income or MAGI from two years ago. Your modified adjusted gross income is determined from data on your tax return. In this case, MAGI is your adjusted gross income plus your tax-exempt interest.
These premiums are determined by yourmodified adjusted gross income from two years ago.
Use Hsa Funds To Pay Your Medicare Premium
A Health Savings Account is a savings account that can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses. The funds in the account are not subject to federal income tax, and they can be used to pay for Medicare premiums.
With the rising cost of health care, many seniors are looking for ways to save on their Medicare premiums. An HSA can be a great way to do this. The funds in the account can be used to pay for Medicare Part B and Part D premiums, as well as other qualified medical expenses. There are no age limits on HSAs, so anyone can open an account and start saving for their future health care needs.
Many employers offer the option to contribute to a health savings account. The IRS allows you to contribute to these HSAs with pretax dollars while working if you have a high-deductible health insurance plan. The money you contribute to an HSA remains yours even after you retire. You can use it to pay your Medicare premiums without incurring taxes on the money, as well.
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Learn More About How To Save On Medicare Premiums
Through this guide, weve provided some answers to the question, How can I reduce my Medicare premiums? Taking these steps can make a big difference in how much you pay for Medicare over the course of your life.
If you have other questions about Medicare premiums or are interested in talking to a licensed agent about your plan options, were here to help. Contact us today!
Ways To Reduce Your Medicare Premiums
There are many ways you can reduce your Medicare premiums. Almost everyone pays a premium for Part B, Part D, Medigap, vision, dental, and hearing. All those premiums can add up, but there are ways to save money, whether youre already on Medicare or signing up for the first time. Below, well share five ways you can reduce your Medicare premiums.
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Find the most affordable Medicare Plan in your area
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What Happens To My Extra Help Next Year
|If you:||Then you’ll:|
|Dont automatically qualify for Extra Help next year.||Get a letter on grey paper by the end of September. You may still qualify for Extra Help, but you need to apply to find out.|
|Will have to pay more when you fill prescriptions next year.||Get a letter on orange paper in early October. The letter will tell you how much youll pay when you fill your prescriptions next year.|
|Get moved to another plan for next year.||Get a letter on blue paper in late October. The letter tells you about your new plan for next year.|
|Will have to pay a portion of your plans premium next year.||Get a letter on tan paper in early November. Youll pay a portion of your plans monthly premium next year unless you join a new $0 premium plan.|
|Dont get a letter from Medicare or Social Security.||Keep the same level of Extra Help and same plan for next year.|
Bad News For Biogen Could Translate To Lower Medicare Part B Premiums For Seniors
Millions of Americans are eagerly waiting to find out how much their Social Security cost-of-living adjustment will be for 2023. However, even the most optimistic estimates of the size of the increase probably aren’t high enough to offset the actual higher costs that seniors are incurring.
One big reason why that’s the case is that Social Security’s COLA calculation doesn’t include Medicare Part B premiums. And those premiums jumped 14.5% in 2022. But there’s potentially some good news for retirees: Lower Medicare Part B premiums could be on the way.
Want To Lower Your Medicare Premiums
If youre nearing retirement age, health insurance and Medicare are probably on your mind as well. Do you understand how Medicare works and how the monthly premium is determined? You need to be in the know to avoid making costly mistakes. Here are some tips for potentially lowering your Medicare premiums.
Pay Your Premiums Directly From Your Social Security Benefits
Seniors who are enrolled in Medicare and Social Security simultaneously have their Part B premiums deducted directly from their Social Security benefits. Doing so isnt just a convenience, though in some cases, it can save you from rising premium costs thanks to Medicares hold-harmless provision.
This provision protects you from losing out on Social Security income when Part B premium increases surpass the cost-of-living adjustments that are applied to benefits each year. This means that if Part B increases by $30 a month in a given year, but your COLA only raises your monthly benefits by $24, you save yourself the extra $6 by not having to pay it.
In recent years, the COLA has been more than adequate to cover the full cost of the standard Part B increases, so the hold harmless provision hasnt been applicable. But its always there, just in case the Part B premium increase is more than a beneficiarys COLA for a given year.
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How To Reduce Medicare Premiums Across Other Plans
Aside from Part A Medicare coverage, all the other plans and packages come equipped with Premiums and these are generally determined by your income and expenses, taking into account the sum of your wage income, capital gains, investment dividends, Social Security, and your pension. Thus, the more you earn and the more money you have, it follows that you can expect to pay more in terms of your Medicare Premiums.
Understanding exactly what you are going to be expected to pay, and knowing how to keep costs down, can turn into a minefield of information if you dont know where to look. Our team at Bobby Brock Insurance are happy to help at any time, with our website packed full of information designed to assist you in making your decision.