Some Medicare Beneficiaries Could See Higher Premiums in 2018

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By on August 10, 2017 in Retirement with 0 Comments

Medicare news headline, inside of torn dollar bill

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 consulting firm that specializes in federal retirement and career transition issues. He is also affiliated with TSP Safety Net. John retired from federal service after 25 years of progressively more responsible human resources positions. He is the author of Understanding the Federal Retirement Systems and Career Transition: A Guide for Federal Employees, both published by the Federal Management Institute. Federal Career Experts provides pre-retirement seminars for a wide variety of federal agencies.

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