Today’s seniors are not only searching for a good Medicare agent nearby, they’re also looking for an advisor who is knowledgable about Medicare costs and the options available – especially when their situation means their Medicare fees are more than the “standard.” You might be surprised by how many of your potential clients are impacted by IRMAA. So here’s your reminder to brush up on IRMAA and the 2021 IRMAA thresholds!
Why Medicare Advisors Should Stay Up-to-date on IRMAA Thresholds
IRMAA, which stands for Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount, is the additional cost Medicare Beneficiaries pay on Medicare Part B and Part D premiums when their modified adjusted gross income is above a certain level. Chances are, no matter who your client is, they’re trying to save money on healthcare costs. So IRMAA can really put a damper on their Medicare expenses.
The real shocker for most beneficiaries, is that IRMAA is calculated based on their earnings reported on their IRS tax return from 2 years ago. A lot can change in 2 years, especially as seniors retire, lose property, and even face the death of a loved one.
So you’ll want to be prepared when a client calls you concerned about their Medicare payments.
2021 IRMAA Thresholds
For a quick overview of IRMAA or to see 2020 IRMAA thresholds, we recommend checking out this post: Sharpen your skills on IRMAA – Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount
What You Can Do About IRMAA
As any broker who has helped a beneficiary understand IRMAA will tell you, sometimes there’s nothing you can do to help your client avoid the surcharge. But it’s always worth learning more about the beneficiary’s situation to determine if they qualify for IRMAA adjustment.
Circumstances That Qualify for IRMAA Appeal
Life-changing events can qualify a beneficiary for IRMAA adjustment or elimination altogether. They’ll have to go through an appeal process with the Social Security Administration to demonstrate a change in income.
Common life-changing events that the SSA will consider for IRMAA appeal, include:
- Death of your spouse
- Work stoppage
- Work reduction
- Loss of Income-Producing Property
- Loss of Pension Income
- Employer Settlement Payment
Ultimately, you might not be able to help them reduce their Medicare Part B premium, but simply helping them understand and supporting them through the appeal process will make you a valuable asset in navigating Medicare.
Of course, this is a simplified overview of IRMAA and the IRMAA appeals process. If you’re a Plan Advisors broker, you can always reach out using our Get Support center for help with questions and issues that may arise.