Ask Terry Questions Part D IRMAA premium – first time billed for this

Part D IRMAA premium – first time billed for this

By Terry Savage on June 17, 2024 | Insurance & Annuities

This is a follow-up to a question I asked on WGN regarding Medicae Part D IRMAA premium charge of $233.10 for July coverage. Terry suggested it may be a provision of my retiree insurance. I did talk to the company that manages the retiree benefits and I also spoke with Medicare and they had no answers. I then spoke with social security. They explained that my monthly IRMAA is $33.30 and the $233.10 is the result of $33.10 X 7 months for the current year (which is based on my 2022 tax return – they look back 2 years to calculate premiums). I was told that this was a “catch up” for the year. No explanation as to why they waited until now to assess the IRMA for Part D when Part B IRMA has been collected all year. Social Security said that I only have to pay 6 months premium as the “catch up” ($199.80) since I will be getting my first social security check next month, it will be deducted from my check. Once my income is below the threshhold, and it is two years later, the IRMAA will be removed.
I still don’t know why the Part D IRMAA wasn’t collected starting in January, since they knew to take it for Part B, so I will try to dig into that further. I also need to research why there is IRMAA for Part D since I pay for my own prescription insurance and it was my understanding that Medicare did not cover any prescription expenses, but perhaps my understanding is not correct. I would welcome any suggestions you may have for researching these two topics.
Thank you for your direction, I now know what I have to pay this month and what will come out of my first social security paycheck. I wanted to let you know the results of my quest to find out why I now have this premium to pay to Medicare.

Terry Says

Far be it from me to question the logic of SS!  But thank you for writing to explain the results of your search.

Importantly, IRMAA is adjusted with a 2-year look-back.  BUT, if your income drops sharply  in retirement you can request an immediate adjustment.  Read this at

IRMAA: What is IRMAA in Medicare? | MedicareFAQ

Regarding Part D, I suggest that when you applied for Medicare, you likely signed up automatically for Part D — to avoid a permanent late-enrollment penalty when you stop having private insurance.  Yes, if you can demonstrate that you are covered by a qualifying drug insurance plan, there will be no penalty.  But it’s probably easier to just sign up for Part D –unless you have some especially good private coverage.



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