Senior citizen writing a check while look on computer
November 13, 2020
Written By:
Brian Goldman
Retirement Specialist, Financial Adviser

Appealing a Higher Medicare Part B Premium

In 2020 most people paid $144.60 for their Medicare Part B premium. The Medicare Part B premium is going up in 2021 to $148.50 per month.

However, this cost is based off of your income tax return from the previous year. Medicare beneficiaries with income over $88,000 for an individual or $176,000 for a couple are charged a higher Medicare Part B premium that can be well over $300/month.

The higher premium amount is based on income reported to the IRS from the most recent tax information the IRS has.  The higher premium is called Income-Related Monthly Adjusted Amount, or IRMAA.  

But your income for 2021 may be much lower than your income was in 2019, for instance if you just retired or maybe a spouse passed away.

You may not have to pay the IRMAA at all.  

So what can you do?  If you have to pay an IRMAA the Social Security Administration should send you a letter telling you the extra premium amount.  The notice from SSA will explain that you can request a new initial determination based on a life-changing event such as retiring or losing a spouse.  You can file a life-changing event form that explains why you think SSA used incorrect information.  You should include an amended tax return or proof that you experienced a life changing event. You can get a copy of the SSA form at

You can also file an appeal, or reconsideration, with SSA, instead of requesting a new initial determination.  You would have to get in touch with SSA to get a reconsideration form.  There is no set time frame by which SSA has to respond to your request for a reconsideration   If the reconsideration is denied, you then can appeal.

As always, make sure you speak to a Medicare expert who can help guide you through all of your options.

Brian Goldman
Retirement Specialist, Financial Adviser