By Toni King
I just want to say thanks. We get your column in West University (Houston) in one of our local papers. From you, I learned about Social Security’s “Life Changing Event” form (SSA-44) and the ability to appeal the extra IRMMA premium we are charged.
I had an unusual stock sale in 2015 that put us in the highest bracket. That is not likely to happen again. As soon as I filed me 2016 tax, I used it as evidence to support my Medicare Part B/D premium appeal.
Much to my surprise and delight, we just received confirmation from Social Security that our appeal was granted, and our monthly Medicare premiums for both me and my wife will decrease by over $300 a month.
I am sure you have helped other confused Americans as well. Know that you are appreciated and keep up the good work,
Jim from Houston, TX
Thank you, Jim:
You are so right, you can file form SSA-44 titled “Medicare Part B Income-Related Premium – Life-Changing Event” to appeal your Part B/D premium increase if you think your income is lower or not correct. Social Security uses your tax information from two (2) years prior (2015) to establish your 2017 Part B and D IRMAA premiums.
If your income was more than $85,000 for an individual or $170,000 for a couple, then your Part B/D premiums will be higher than $134 for 2018.
Once Social Security is satisfied with the evidence, it will update its records as it did you for Jim and your wife Ginger. Social Security will lower Part B/D premiums to what your current income is if the modified adjusted gross income(MAGI) is lower.
Keep filing the Life-Changing Event form yearly until your income lowers to the basic amount. Email email@example.com or call 832/519-8664 for the Life-Changing Event form or visit ssa.gov for the SSA-44 form.
Don’t forget a onetime increase in your income such as property that is sold, cashing in your IRA, an unusual stock sale such as yours Jim or even winning the lottery can change your monthly adjusted gross income (MAGI) that may cause you to pay a higher Part B or Part D premiums when reported to Social Security from the IRS.
Visit www.ABBS4U.com (American Baby Boomers Society) to receive your free copy of the 2018 Medicare costs to know what income level your MAGI is.
A life changing event that can change your income can be:
- you have gotten married or divorced, or your spouse has died;
- you or your spouse have stopped working or have reduced your hours;
- you have lost property that you were making money from due to a disaster or other event beyond your control; or
- you or your spouse’s benefits from an insured pension plan stopped or went down
Life Changing Event documents to show why your income changed are listed below:
(You must give the original or a certified copy documents with form SSA-44)
- If you filed a tax return for the year in which the income-changing event took place, provide a signed copy of your tax return. If you have not yet filed a tax return, you can submit an estimate of the change in your income.
- If your marital status has changed, provide a marriage or death certificate.
- If your employment status has changed, provide a letter from your employer about your retirement.
- If you have lost income from a property, provide an insurance claim for property
Toni King, Medicare Advocate, Founder/CEO of American Baby Boomers Society and author of the 2018 Medicare Survival Guide® Advanced edition which is available at the ABBS4U.com or ToniSays.com . If you have any Medicare questions, please feel free to reach out at www.abbs4u.com office for Toni at 844-250-8664 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.