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Understanding the cost of medicare BEFORE you start/enroll
posted at December 19, 2011 4:44 PM EST
First: April 22, 2011
Last: December 19, 2011
I recently had a conversation with a couple of friends in their early 60s. The subject was Medicare and what it costs. I explained that I had had quite a shock a year ago (2010) when I stared Medicare and was now required to pay for Part B.
The first bill from Medicare for Part B payments was $110 monthy, then I received a 2nd bill advising it would actually be $200+ monthly, followed by a 3rd request for $300+ monthly! All of this was because of what they saw on my Federal Tax return from the 2008 tax year .
You see Medicare determines your Part B monthly cost based on your tax return TWO YEARS previous to the year you turn 65 years old.
As well, if you file as "married, filing separately" (which I did in error as my pension income comes from another country) you will also PAY MORE than those who file "married, filing jointly" (I've since corrected it to "married, filing jointly").
Additionally, if your income tax return shows a ONE TIME PAYMENT as a retirement benefit when you leave your position to retire - this is NOT used by Medicare to determine your annual taxable income.
I did not know any of this when I first applied for Medicare. I learned it all after I began the Medicare appeal of my increased Part B payment. I wasn't sure I would win my appeal, but figured I should try anyway. I'm happy to report that I did win my appeal and they even refunded me the overpayment.
I now tell everyone I know about all of this so that they are aware of what to expect BEFORE they enroll in Medicare.
If I had known about all of these things - and believe me I did read everything I could get my hands on at the time - both in paper form and online - I could have helped myself a lot IN ADVANCE.
So, in the spirit of "knowledge is power" just thought I'd share this information with all of you too.
Happy Holidays and a joyous Season to all!
Re: Understanding the cost of medicare BEFORE you start/enroll
posted at December 19, 2011 7:00 PM EST
First: November 27, 2011
Last: May 18, 2013
Yes, grandmommy10, they use your last filed IRS return to determine your income bracket for the Part B monthly premium and also your Part D. So if you have some sort of a one-time income windfall, we must plan accordingly. You were lucky that you filed a successful appeal.
This has just been posted on the Social Security Administration website as to the Medicare premiums for Parts A & D for 2012 for each income brackets and all other applicable rules, including appeals.
Medicare Premiums: Rules for Higher Income Beneficiaries 2012
Thanks for posting this valuable information so that others do not get stuck in your sam situation.