Some Medicare Beneficiaries Could See Higher Premiums in 2018

Income related monthly adjustments increase the Medicare Part B premiums for some beneficiaries. Here is a summary of when these kick in.

Not that long ago, I wrote an article about IRMA, income related monthly adjustments, which increase the Medicare Part B premium for higher income Medicare beneficiaries. Though the new Medicare Part B premiums will not be set until at least October, the levels at which higher premiums kick in have been lowered in all but the first two tiers.

This change was made as part of the “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act”, which eliminated the annual battle over reimbursements made to physicians.

Ten years ago, the legislation that brought us the Medicare drug benefit provided that, to pay for said benefit, reimbursements to physicians would be lowered. Physician’s groups fought against this change and for many years we had an annual “doc fix” that exempted physicians from the lowered reimbursements. Well, the money to pay for the drug benefit had to come from somewhere, so higher income Medicare beneficiaries were put on the hook.

The following chart shows the new thresholds.

Single filing status Joint filing status

2017 – Less than $85,000

2018 – No change

2017 – Less than $170,000

2018 – no change

2017 – Between $85,000 and $107,000

2018 – no change

2017 – Between $170,000 and $214,000

2018 – no change

2017 – Between $107,000 and $160,000

2018 – Between $107,000 and $133,500

2017 – Between $214,000 and $320,000

2018 – Between $214,000 and $267,000

2017 – Between $160,000 and $214,000

2018 – Between $133,500 and $160,000

2017 – Between $320,000 and $428,000

2018 – Between $267,000 and $320,000

2017 – Over $214,000

2018 – Over $160,000

2017 – Over $428,000

2018 – Over $320,000

This increase in premiums will add another layer of complexity to the decision that many higher income individuals will face when it’s time to make the choice on electing Part B.

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About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a firm that provides pre-retirement training and seminars to a wide variety of federal agencies. FCE’s instructors are all retired federal retirement specialists who educate class participants on the ins and outs of federal retirement and benefits; there is never an attempt to influence participants to invest a certain way, or to purchase any financial products. John and FCE specialize in retirement for special category employees, such as law enforcement officers.