Medicare mysteries untangled – Baltimore Sun

Q: How high must my income be to get snagged by the Medicare high-income surcharge?

A: If the total of your adjusted gross income plus tax-exempt interest income is more than $85,000 if you’re single or $170,000 if you’re married and filing jointly, you have to pay extra for Part B, with monthly premiums of $187.50 to $428.60 in 2017, depending on your income. You’ll also have to pay an extra $13.30 to $76.20 each month for Part D drug coverage.

The high-income surcharge is based on your last tax return on file — for 2017 premiums, that’s your 2015 return. If your income has dropped since then because of certain life-changing events, such as divorce or retirement, you can ask the Social Security Administration to base premiums on your more-recent income by filing Form SSA-44 and providing documentation.

Q: My doctor prescribed an expensive drug and even with my Part D coverage, I have to pay a lot of the cost out of pocket. What can I do to pay less?

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