Even if you qualify for Medicare, you might still be required to pay some money to the program. The government uses your current and past income to determine what premiums you might owe on Medicare Part B and prescription drug plans, and the amount owed increases with higher incomes. In order to determine who owes what, the Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at your reported income from two years earlier.
If you have continued to earn at the same level as two years ago, these premiums, while unwelcome, might not necessarily hurt your finances in a bad way. However, we all know just how much can change in your life over two years, especially if you have retired or faced other financial difficulties.
Luckily, there is a procedure in place to help you. If you meet certain criteria, you can petition the Social Security Administration to recalculate your premiums. These calculations can be a bit complicated, so if you’re unsure of whether or not you could reduce your Medicare premium costs, please get in touch with us here at Safe Harbor Wills & Trusts. Our practice has the experience within this system to help you.
Some of the conditions that could qualify you for a premium recalculation include:
- Your marital status changed. Did you get married or divorced? Were you widowed?
- You and/or your spouse cut back on your work hours or stopped working altogether.
- A disaster or other event that you had no control over caused you to lose property that produced income for you.
- There was a termination, reorganization, or a scheduled cessation of you or your spouse’s pension plan from a current or past employer.
- You received a settlement from an employer (past or present) due to a company reorganization, closure, or bankruptcy.
In order to have the SSA take a look at your case, you’ll need to provide them with the appropriate documents that back up your claims. In some cases, you might need to show them a letter from the employer, a court, tax documents, or a death certificate, in order to satisfy their conditions. One of the best parts of a recalculation is that it takes effect retroactively to the January of the year in which the request was made.
If you are concerned about the amount of Medicare premiums you might owe, or you need help gathering the proper documents to start the recalculation process, we can help you. Contact us today at our Syracuse or Watertown offices for more information.