TONI SAYS: Will a Medicare Advantage plan prevent the “extra” Part D premium? | Lifestyles

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Hello Toni:

I’m turning 65 in October, self-employed and my income is over $250,000. Recently I received a letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) telling me that my monthly Medicare Part B premium of $170.10 could be doubled to $340.20 monthly resulting from 2020 reported income. That was no surprise, but Social Security also said that the monthly adjustment for prescription drug coverage could be a further $51.70. What is that this all about?

I’m in excellent health and take NO prescriptions. What happens if I don’t apply for a Medicare prescription drug plan? Do I still must pay the “extra” $51.70?

What if an individual goes the Medicare Advantage route as an alternative of Original Medicare and a Medicare complement? Do they get to avoid the extra $340.20 monthly for Part B and the $51.70 monthly extra premium for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan?

— Mike from Oklahoma City, Okla.

Mike:

Sorry, Mike, but you can not avoid the extra IRMAA (income related monthly adjusted amount) premiums in case your income is above a certain limit irrespective of should you are enrolled in Original Medicare and a Medicare Complement or a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug. It’s going to occur anyway!

Social Security bases your income on each you and your spouse (should you are married), whether your spouse is Medicare age or not. The MAGI (modified adjusted gross income) amount that’s reported in your yearly income taxes is what triggers the IRMAA increase.

The underside line is in case your income is over these amounts, and you might have your Medicare prescription drug plan from either a Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug Plan (Part C) or Stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug plan (Part D), you pays the extra IRMAA premium, whether you might be deducting your premiums out of your Social Security check or paying direct to Social Security (because you might have not began receiving your Social Security check).

For those who are usually not enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, whether stand alone or with a Medicare Advantage plan, you won’t receive the addition Part D IRMAA (income related monthly adjusted amount) premium. It shouldn’t be a clever decision, nonetheless, to not enroll in a Medicare Part D plan just because you are usually not taking prescriptions on the time you enroll in Medicare.

Remember, should you are usually not enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan at the proper time, not only will you not have prescription drug coverage, but you will even receive a Part D late enrollment penalty should you enroll later.

That’s why on the Toni Says office, we advise everyone to enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan whether you take no prescriptions or loads of prescriptions. Nobody wants a further penalty.

Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan as an alternative of Original Medicare with a Medicare Complement/Medigap and a Medicare Part D plan doesn’t keep Medicare or Social Security from charging the extra IRMAA premium for each Medicare Parts B and D. The IRMAA Medicare rule regarding the Medicare Part D additional IRMAA premiums went into effect on January 1, 2011.

Since the yearly Medicare and You Handbook is usually mailed out before October 1, the prices and premiums for Medicare for that specific 12 months are usually not included. It’s best to search for annual Medicare costs and premiums to be released around November 10.

Toni King is an creator and columnist on Medicare and medical insurance issues. For answers to Medicare questions, email: info@tonisays.com or call 832-519-8664.

Toni King is an creator and columnist on Medicare and medical insurance issues. For answers to Medicare questions, email: info@tonisays.com or call 832-519-8664.

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