Medicare Part B premiums will increase by about $21.60 per month next year, one of the largest increases in the history of the Medicare program. High-income surcharges will also rise in 2022, and the income brackets that trigger those surcharges will increase due to inflation, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Friday.
The standard Medicare Part B premium, which covers doctors visits and other outpatient services, will increase to $170.10 per month in 2022, up $21.60 from this year’s monthly premium of $148.50.
Higher-income Medicare beneficiaries will pay more. In 2022, individuals with modified adjusted gross income of $91,000 or more and married couples with MAGIs of $182,000 or more will pay additional surcharges ranging from $68 per month to $578.30 per month on top of the standard Part B premium. Those income levels increased from $88,000 for singles and $176,000 for couples in 2021. Married couples where both spouses are enrolled in Medicare will pay twice as much.
High-income surcharges for 2022, officially known as income-related monthly adjustment amounts, or IRMAA, are based on income reported on 2020 federal tax returns.
High-income retirees are also subject to monthly surcharges on their Medicare prescription drug plans, ranging from an extra $12.40 per month per person to an extra $77.90 per month per person on top of their monthly premium. Medicare Part D drug plans are run by private insurers, and costs vary widely.
Normally, Medicare Part B premiums and IRMAA surcharges are deducted directly from monthly Social Security benefits, resulting in a smaller net Social Security benefit. But people who aren’t yet claiming Social Security or who aren’t eligible for Social Security are billed directly by Medicare.
The Medicare premium and surcharge announcement from CMS follows last month’s announcement by the Social Security Administration of a 5.9% cost-of-living adjustment for 2022, the largest COLA in 40 years. SSA said the average Social Security benefit for a retired worker will rise by about $90, to $1,657 per month while the average benefit for a retired couple will grow by $144, to $2,753. The higher Medicare Part B premiums will reduce retirees’ net monthly Social Security payments. Most Social Security beneficiaries will still see an increase in monthly benefits next year even after accounting for higher Medicare premiums.
(Questions about Social Security rules? Find the answers in Mary Beth Franklin’s 2021 ebook at MaximizingSocialSecurityBenefits.com.)
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Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.