How to Reduce Your Medicare Premiums (aka IRMAA)
If you are a high-income earner on Medicare, you are probably all too familiar with the dreaded IRMAA—otherwise known as the Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount. This surcharge is added onto your monthly Medicare premiums if your income is above a certain threshold. In 2023, that threshold is $97,000 for an individual and $194,000 for a couple.
How is IRMAA Calculated?
The IRMAA surcharge is calculated based on the individual’s Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) from two years prior. For example, for the 2023 plan year their Medicare IRMAA would be calculated using their 2021 MAGI. The amount is based on a sliding scale, or in other words, the more you make the more your Medicare premiums will be.
But what if I told you that there’s a way you could reduce or eliminate your IRMAA?
There are certain life circumstances that may allow you to have your IRMAA lowered. Examples of such events include, but are not limited to:
- Getting married or divorced
- Becoming a widow or widower
- Starting or stopping work
- Having a change in your income from work
- Having a change in your tax filing status
How Do I File Form SSA-44?
Filing Form SSA-44 is a relatively simple process that can be completed either via mail or in person. The first step is to ensure that you have completed the form in its entirety and signed it. Next, you will need to gather the required documentation of reduced income and documentation of your life-changing event. This can be done by requesting copies of relevant financial records from your employer or financial institution. Once you have gathered all of the necessary documentation, you can file Form SSA-44 either in person or by mail. If you choose to file in person, you will not have to be without your original documents. However, if you choose to mail in your documents, the Social Security Administration will return your original documents to you once they have completed their reconsideration process. Either way, once your form is filed, the Social Security Administration will review your application and determine whether you are eligible for an IRMAA reduction or elimination.
Where can I download the Form SSA-44?
You can find a pdf version of the Form SSA-44 at this web address: https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-44.pdf
Where can I find the most updated IRMAA brackets?
You can find the 2023 Medicare Premiums and IRMAA Brackets at this web address: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/2023-medicare-parts-b-premiums-and-deductibles-2023-medicare-part-d-income-related-monthly