Madeline Martinez was widowed several years ago. Her husband worked for many years and contributed into the Medicare system. He also left a substantial estate which provides Madeline with an annual income of approximately $130,000. Madeline, who has only worked part-time for the last three years, will soon turn age 65 and hopes to enroll in Original Medicare. She comes to you for advice. What should you tell her?
b. You should tell Madeline that she will be able to enroll in Medicare Part A without paying monthly premiums due to her husband’s long work record and participation in the Medicare system. You should also tell Madeline that she will pay Part B premiums at more than the standard lowest rate but less than the highest rate due to her substantial income.
Since Madeline’s husband worked and contributed to the Medicare system, she is eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A based on her husband’s work history. However, for Part B, she will need to pay a premium, and the exact amount will depend on her income.
As her annual income is approximately $130,000, Madeline’s Part B premium will be higher than the standard lowest rate, but it will be less than the highest rate because she falls into the income bracket that has a higher premium. This means she will pay an income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA) for her Part B premium, which is based on her income tax return from two years prior. The Social Security Administration will determine the specific premium amount based on her income level.
It’s essential for Madeline to be aware of her Part B premium amount to plan her Medicare coverage effectively.