In 2015, most references claim that Medicare Part B premiums cost $104.90 a month. While it is true that the majority of people pay this amount, there are really 5 different levels of payment for people of different incomes. These range from $42 to $203.80, depending mostly upon income. However, it is not just income that might impact Part B premiums: social security could also raise premiums for some higher income beneficiaries.
How the Way You Claim Your Social Security Could Impact Part B Premiums
Delaying social security is more common than delaying Medicare. Really, only people with major medical from a job can delay Medicare past age 65 without a penalty. However, many people decide to delay social security in order to enjoy larger payments later. The problem is that this could actually increase Part B premiums in certain situations for people with higher incomes.
This issue is illustrated in this article from Investment News. Since inflation has been practically nothing in 2015, there might not be a COLA (cost of living adjustment) in social security. However, no overall inflation doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been medical inflation, so Part B premiums and other health insurance premiums are expected to increase.
Because there is a “hold harmless” provision for Medicare, people who don’t get a COLA won’t have a Part B premium increase. However, this won’t help high-income individuals who don’t have their premiums taken from social security. Because of this, those folks who don’t qualify for “hold harmless” will have to accept a higher increase in Part B premiums because there won’t be as many people to spread the increase over.
In any case, this increase could cancel out any benefits from delaying social security, so that is one topic to discuss with a financial advisor.
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