What are Medicare Part D-IRMAA and Part B-IRMAA?

Pamela Cannaday by Pamela Cannaday | Licensed since 2011

This article was updated on: 06/12/2019

If you’re covered by the Medicare program or about to be eligible for Medicare benefits, you may have heard about the Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount, or IRMAA. These new premium adjustments were created under the Affordable Care Act and first went into effect in 2011. They apply to people with higher incomes who are enrolled in Part B or covered under a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. Here’s what you need to know about IRMAA Part B and IRMAA Part D.

Do I have to pay the IRMAA Part B or IRMAA Part D adjustment?

IRMAA Part B and IRMAA Part D premium adjustments are calculated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) based on information you submit to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with your yearly income tax return. IRMAA is based on income data you reported two years ago; in 2019, for example, the SSA uses your 2017 income.

In 2019, if you earned less than $85,000, or you and your spouse filing jointly earned less than $170,000, you will not have to pay IRMAA adjustments with your monthly plan premium. According to the SSA, fewer than 5% of Medicare beneficiaries are subject to IRMAA Part B and IRMAA Part D premium adjustments.

Does IRMAA Part B and IRMAA Part D apply if I have a Medicare Advantage plan?

IRMAA stands for the Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts. IRMAA can apply to Medicare Part B (medical insurance) and Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage).

The IRMAA amounts may apply if your income is higher than a certain level. The government looks at your income as reported on your taxes two years ago.

How much are the IRMAA amounts for Part D and Part B?

This table lays out how much the IRMAA adjustments are for Medicare Part D and Part B as of 2019. It’s based on your 2017 income taxes. The government looks at your modified adjusted gross income from two years before the current year.

Modified adjusted gross income/ tax filing category    
Individual Married, filing jointly Married, filing separately Your monthly Medicare Part B premium may be The amount added to your monthly Medicare Part D premium may be
$85,000 or less $170,000 or less $85,000 or less $135.50 $0
$85,001 – $107,000 $170,001 – $214,000 N/A $189.60 $12.40
$107,001 -$133,500 $214,001 – $267,000 N/A $270.90 $31.90
$133,501 – $160,000 $267,001 – $320,000 N/A $352.20 $51.40
$160,001 to less than $500,000 $320,001 to less than $750,000 $85,001 to less than $415,000 $433.40 $70.90
$500,000 or above $750,000 and above $415,000 and above $460.50 $77.40

How will I know if I have to pay an IRMAA adjustment for Part D and Part B?

If you’re required to pay an IRMAA amount, you’ll get a notice from Social Security. The notice is called an “initial IRMAA determination.”

Generally, you don’t have to do anything, although it would be a good idea to review the notice to make sure it’s correct and keep it for your records. For most people, the Medicare Part B IRMAA amount is added to your premium and automatically deducted from their Social Security benefits. The Medicare Part D IRMAA, if it applies to you, will be added to your Part D premium.

If your income level drops, you can file an appeal with Social Security. The instructions for filing an appeal are on your IRMAA determination letter.

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Pamela Cannaday |
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