UNITED STATES—Toni: I am over 73 and began taking my RMDs (required minimum distributions) from my 401K when I turned 72. Could this have had an impact on my Medicare Part B premium increase?

This year my Part B and Part D monthly premiums increased to $340.20 for Part B and an extra IRMAA premium of $32.80 for Part D.

I am married and my wife began a new job in 2020 with a higher salary. Since we are filing jointly, could this have an increased my Medicare premiums. She has recently been laid off and joint income has changed drastically. What can I do? Thank you, James from Tampa, FL.

James: Yes!! Your situations either taking your RMD at 72 and your wife starting a job in 2020 could have raised your Medicare Part B and D premiums for 2022.

The average American does not realize that any increase in your MAGI (modified adjusted gross income) when you are filing jointly can increase your Medicare premiums. Medicare bases your premiums on both you and your spouse’s income whether one is Medicare age or under. Your RMDs combined with your wife’s increased income has raised your Medicare premiums.

The 2022 Part B premium of $ 340.20 and $32.80 for Part D tells me that your joint income in 2020 was from $228,000 to $284,000.

I have good news for you James. Since your wife is no longer employed and not earning the salary, she had in 2020, you can file an appeal with Social Security to have your Medicare Parts B and D reduced.

Do you want to wait 2 years for the IRS to inform Medicare that your income has decreased due a “Life Changing Event” such as you or your spouse being laid off/working part-time, death of a spouse or recently divorced or do you want to let Medicare know now that you have had a “Life Changing Event,” because you or your spouse are no longer earning that amount of income?

People 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 is over $91,000 or married over $182,000; your Medicare Parts B and D premiums will be more. Social Security explains in the letter they mail 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.

James, your MAGI was over $228,000 and the table used in the letter you receive from Social Security shows what the Part B and Part D premium adjustment will be, whether you are filing single or married.

There is a special form SSA-44 available at SSA.gov known as “Life Changing Event” that can lower your “IRMAA” (income related monthly adjusted amount). Examples of life changing events that can make your income go down are:

-You have gotten married or divorced, or your spouse has died.

-You or your spouse have stopped working or have reduced your hours.

Use form SSA-44 and attach the original documents or certified copies to verify your change in income. Call your local Social Security office to discuss the filing of this form.

Once Social Security is satisfied with the evidence, it will update its records and correct Part B and Part D premiums to what your current income is.

Email info@tonisays.com or call 832/519-8664 for help concerning Toni’s stress-free way of enrolling in Medicare. 2022 Medicare Survival Guide® is available at www.tonisays.com.