The standard Medicare Part B premium will rise about $9 a month beginning Jan. 1, 2020, but beneficiaries in higher income brackets will see a larger increase.
Individuals whose 2018 modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), as reported on their federal tax return, was $87,000 or less, or was $174,000 in a joint return, will pay $144.60 a month in premium costs, up from $135.50 in 2019. Beneficiaries in five higher income brackets pay an extra charge, known as an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA), which also goes up at the start of the new year:
- If your individual tax income was above $87,000 to $109,000, or your joint income was above $174,000 up to $218,000, you’ll pay $202.40 per month.
- From $109,000 to $136,000 individual or $218,000 to $272,000 joint, you’ll pay $289.20 per month.
- From $136,000 to $163,000 individual or $272,000 to $326,000 joint, you’ll pay $376 per month.
- From $163,000 to $500,000 individual or $326,000 to $750,000 joint, you’ll pay $462.70 per month. If you are married but file a separate tax return with income above $87,000 but less than $413,000, you’ll also pay this rate.
- Above $500,000 individual or above $750,000 joint, you’ll pay $491.60 per month. If you are married but file a separate tax return with income above $413,000, you’ll also pay this rate.
The new figures reflect slight changes to income brackets from 2019. All brackets showed some increase, with the top bracket up more than $30 a month year over year ($460.50 to $491.60).
These premiums are deducted automatically from Social Security, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and/or Railroad Retirement Board benefits. Those who don’t receive benefits from these agencies will receive a bill; regardless of how you file your returns, you and your spouse will have separate Part B premium payments.
The income figures used to determine your Part B premium payment may not reflect your current financial situation, especially in the event of a retirement, a divorce, or other life-changing events. If you’ve undergone one of these events, you can file Form SSA-44, Medicare Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount – Life Changing Event, or visit your local Social Security office to request an adjustment.
Qualifying events include:
- Marriage, divorce/annulment, or death of a spouse.
- Work stoppage or reduction.
- Loss of income-producing property.
- Loss of pension income.
- Employer settlement payment.
MOAA members can email questions about Medicare or other benefits programs to our benefits counselors. More information on Medicare is available here; for more details on Medicare rules for higher-income beneficiaries, including how the premium amounts are calculated, check out a 2019 SSA publication (which does not reflect the premium increases) here.