Medicare premiums are means tested. The higher your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), the higher your monthly premium costs. If you have a higher MAGI, you will pay a surcharge, known as the income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA).
In the case of IRMAA for Medicare, your MAGI is generally your adjusted gross income, which includes all taxable income (e.g., retirement account distributions, capital gains, and interest), plus dividends from tax-free bonds, interest from savings bonds used to pay higher education tuition and fees, and foreign earned income excluded from gross income. For 2021, the premium cost will be based on your 2019 MAGI.
Hold harmless rule. This rule protects current social security beneficiaries from increasing Medicare costs in a year when there is no or a very low cost-of-living adjustment. When this rule applies, the cost of any increase in premiums for Medicare are absorbed by a smaller group of recipients: new enrollees and current beneficiaries subject to IRMAA.
• In 2021, the standard Part B cost is $148.50 per person per month. The top Part B IRMAA threshold for a married couple filing jointly is a MAGI of $750,000 or greater. The monthly premium, including the IRMAA surcharge per person, for these enrollees is estimated to be $504.90 per month.
• In 2021, the top Part D IRMAA threshold for a married couple filing jointly is a MAGI of $750,000 or greater. In addition to the monthly premium, an IRMAA surcharge per person for enrollees is $77.10 per month.
You can appeal the IRMAA surcharge amount for specific life-changing events, which include death, divorce, loss of pension, loss of income-producing property, work stoppage, or an error in the determination records. Further information on the appeal process is available on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website.