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Dear Matt,

I turn 65 soon and am considering buying a Medicare Advantage Plan.

I understand IRMAA impacts both my Medicare Part B premiums, as well as my Medicare Part D costs.

If I buy a Medicare Part C plan (Medicare Advantage), can I avoid an IRMAA charge?

Thanks,

Harshad J.


Harshad,

No, you can’t avoid IRMAA if you buy a Medicare Advantage plan.

That’s also true, even if you buy a $0 premium Medicare Advantage plan.  If you have a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage (MAPD), you will still get charged a Medicare Part B and a Medicare Part D IRMAA charge.

That’s because Medicare Part C is actually a combination of Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D plan.  Since IRMAA applies to both Part B and Part D premiums, you’ll get charged extra for both.

What is IRMAA for Medicare?

IRMAA stands for Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) determines who pays an IRMAA.  They look back at your IRS-reported income (MAGI) two years to figure out whether you’ll pay more premium for your Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D premiums. Sometimes, they’ll look back three years if the most recent year isn’t available from the IRS.  Yes, that absolutely happens and when it does, you may want to appeal their IRMAA determination.

I wrote an article on How to Appeal IRMAA which might be helpful, too.

I also wrote a long blog post on 2022 IRMAA brackets which you can find here. The article also lists the payment amounts by income.

IRMAA is calculated every year. That means if your income is higher or lower year after year, your IRMAA status can change. If the Social Security Administration (SAA) determines you owe more money to Medicare because of that determination, they’ll send you a letter.

How Do I Pay IRMAA?

If you have to pay IRMAA charges, even if you’re on a Medicare Advantage plan, it will automatically be be withheld from your Social Security check, Railroad Retirement Board check, or Office of Personnel Management benefit checks.

If you’re not drawing Social Security yet, or the monthly payment isn’t enough to cover the entire amount owed, you’ll get a bill from Medicare.

This is what your bill will look like.

To your wealth, wisdom, and wellness!

-Matt Feret

 

I love answering Medicare questions. Send me yours by clicking here and I’ll pick a few for a future blog post!

Related Articles:

IRMAA Thresholds and What Counts Towards IRMAA

IRMAA Appeals for High Income Retirees

Author Bio: Matt Feret is the author of the Prepare for Medicare book series and launched prepareformedicare.com to help people get objective answers to questions about Medicare. He’s also the host of The Matt Feret Show.

He’s held leadership roles at numerous Fortune 500 Medicare health insurers in sales, marketing, operations, product development and strategy for over 20 years.  Matt holds a BA from Virginia Tech and an MHA from Washington University in St. Louis.

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