The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that monthly premiums for Medicare will be increasing next year. Seventy percent of Medicare beneficiaries are protected by the “hold harmless” provision, which says benefit checks cannot decrease due to Medicare increases. The provision was triggered by the small 0.3% cost of living increase to Social Security for 2017. If you are covered by the hold harmless provision and you are currently paying $104.90/month, your premium will increase to $109/month.

Unfortunately, 30% of beneficiaries are not covered by the hold harmless provision, and they must bear the costs for all beneficiaries. Their premiums will increase by 10% in 2017, which, while large, is less than the projected 22% increase. Those not protected include:

  • people enrolling in Medicare for the first time in 2017.

  • people enrolled in Medicare but pay premiums directly because they are not receiving Social Security benefits.

  • people with a modified adjusted gross income over certain threshold levels that pay a surcharge called the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). IRMAA is calculated using the last filed tax return, so 2017 premiums are calculated using 2015 income.

The table below shows the premiums for those subject to the increase and IRMAA:

Individual

Married filing jointly

Married filing separately

2016 monthly premiums

2017 monthly premiums

$85,000 or less

$170,000 or less

$85,000 or less

$121.80

$134.00

Above $85,000 up to $107,000

Above $170,000 up to $214,000

N/A

$170.50

$187.50

Above $107,000 up to $160,000

Above $214,000 up to $320,000

N/A

$243.60

$267.90

Above $160,000 up to $214,000

Above $320,000 up to $428,000

Above $85,000 up to $129,000

$316.70

$348.30

Above $214,000

Above $428,000

Above $129,000

$389.80

$428.60

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