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What Are Medicare Part D IRMAA and Part B IRMAA?

IRMAA is an amount of money you might have to pay for certain parts of Medicare coverage. It stands for Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount. Typically IRMAA only affects people with higher incomes. IRMAA can affect your Medicare Part D and/or Part B premiums.

IRMAA Part D and Part B- first, some quick definitions

  • Medicare Part B is part of Original Medicare, along with Medicare Part A. Part B is medical insurance (for doctor visits and other services) and Part A is hospital insurance. Check your red, white, and blue Medicare card if you’re not sure you have Part B.
  • Medicare Part D is optional Medicare prescription drug coverage. It’s available through private insurance companies approved by Medicare.
  • IRMAA is the Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount that may be added to your monthly Part B and/or Part D premium. It typically applies only to higher-income beneficiaries.

How much are the IRMAA Part B and IRMAA Part D adjustments?

The 2019 IRMAA for Part B and Part D, if you have to pay it at all, is spelled out for you in the table below.

You’ll find that the Part B IRMAA went up in 2019, while the Part D IRMAA went down.

Who has to pay IRMAA Part B and IRMAA Part D?

This table lays out your monthly Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) adjustments for 2019 based on your tax returns from 2017. The government looks at your income two years ago to calculate your IRMAA payment.

Your tax filing status in 2017 The amount you’ll pay in addition to your Part B monthly premium (your monthly IRMAA Part B) The amount you’ll pay in addition to your Part B monthly premium (your monthly IRMAA Part D)
Single Married filing jointly Married filing separately
$85,000 or less $170,000 or less $85,000 or less $0 $0
$85,001 to $107,000 $170,001 to $214,000 Not applicable $54.10 $12.40
$107,001 to $133,500 $214,001 to $267,000 Not applicable $135.40 $ 31.90
$133,501

to

$160,000

$267,001 to $320,000  Not applicable $216.70 $ 51.40
$160,001

to less than $500,000

$320,001 to less than
$750,000
$85,001
to less than $415,000
$297.90 $ 70.90
$500,000 or higher $750,000 or higher $415,000 or higher $325.00 $77.40

How will I know if I have to pay the IRMAA Part B or IRMAA Part D adjustment?

Social Security will let you know if Part B and/or Part D IRMAA apply to you, based on your income. You’ll get an Initial IRMAA Determination in the mail. This notice tells you how much you owe, and explains your right to appeal the determination.

If you think IRMAA shouldn’t apply to you – perhaps your income has decreased, for example – you can file an appeal using a Social Security form called “Medicare Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount Life-Changing Event” at https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-44.pdf.

IRMAA Part B and Part D and Medicare Advantage plans

What if you have a Medicare Advantage plan – could IRMAA still apply?

Yes, IRMAA may still apply if you’re in certain income bracket. This is because you still have Medicare Part B with a Medicare Advantage plan. You still need to pay your Part B premium, as well as any premium the Medicare Advantage plan may charge. You also have Part D, if your plan includes prescription drug coverage.

What’s the difference between IRMAA and the Part B and Part D late enrollment penalties?

IRMAA Part B and IRMAA Part D are different from the late enrollment penalties. Both get added to your monthly premium. And it’s possible to pay both at the same time. Here are the differences:

IRMAA adjustments

  • Are income-based
  • Are in effect only when your income is over a certain amount

Medicare late enrollment penalties

  • Are based on when you enrolled in Part B or Part D. If you didn’t sign up for Medicare Part B or Part D when you were first eligible, and you enroll at a later time, a penalty could be added to your premium. The penalty is calculated based on how long you went without Part B or prescription drug coverage after you were eligible for Medicare.
  • Vary depending on the “part” of Medicare involved. The Part B penalty is added to your premium every month as long as you have Part B. Read more about Medicare late enrollment penalties.

What else should I know about IRMAA Part B and IRMAA Part D?

Be sure to pay your IRMAA adjustment(s) and your Medicare premiums on time each month to keep your Medicare coverage. You might risk losing your Medicare coverage permanently otherwise.

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