Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In these times: Check your Medicare premiums

In these times of travail we are all looking for ways to save money.

Today I received a letter from the Social Security Administration discussing a nasty little bit that our exalted legislators have sneaked in: If you make over $85K you have to pay a surcharge on your Medicare premiums that are taken out of your Social Security payments. 

This one outlines the details:

This one tells you how to complain:


Broader guidance is at

For 2012 the standard Part B premium for 2012 is $99.90.

For 2013 it is $104.90
(five dollar increase).

If you make over $85K then there is a graduated surcharge. Per the letter received yesterday here is the table:

By correcting my status with them today I shall pay a $42 surcharge instead of a $230.80 surcharge, e.g., $146.90 total.

Much better.

They say:


I did have a copy of the 2011 IRS-1040 with my dismal lowly AGI and presented it.

They use a figure called the MAGI (Modified AGI) comprising the AGI from IRS Form 1040 plus any tax-free interest (I have none).

The letter is long (seven pages), but clear and comprehensive. I'm impressed:

It turns out you don't need the form.

So I've saved $2265.60 with about four hours of research and communing with the local SSA office.

That's $566.40 an hour.

Not bad work if you can get it...

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