Are you in Medicare, receiving Social Security and the Social Security Administration (SSA) just sent you an IRMAA Letter?
The first thing you should know is that you are no alone. Roughly 6 to 8 million retirees will be receiving the exact same letter from the SSA each year.
The next thing you may want to know is that this came your way because the IRS is telling the to the SSA that you are earning too much income right now.
Yes you are reading that right – you have too much income so you are going to pay more for your Medicare Part B and D Premiums.
The harsh reality is that IRMAA is simply another tax on your income through Medicare.
The last thing you have to know is that you will be receiving a few more of these IRMAA Letters and you should probably know what to do with them.
The Types of IRMAA Letters you will be receiving:
1st IRMAA Letter: T2R Notice (only for new enrollees into Medicare who are receiving Social Security benefits)
This is your initial welcoming letter to Medicare from the SSA and for many of you it will be your first introduction to IRMAA.
The T2R Notice provides information about your:
- Enrollment into Medicare and when your coverage begins.
- Part B premium withholdings from your Social Security benefit.
- The possibility of you being subject to IRMAA and if you are that you will receive another letter from the SSA with more information.
What you should do with the 1st IRMAA Letter:
With this letter there is nothing you need to do, except prepare for enrolling into Medicare and possibly gather documentation to address IRMAA if you think it may be an issue.
2nd IRMAA Letter: Predetermination Notice
Predetermination Notices are the official letter informing you that you may be in IRMAA for the upcoming year.
These notices are sent to anyone who may be subject to to IRMAA for the upcoming year
This IRMAA Letter is not an “actionable event” or a definite ruling. It is an indication from the SSA that current information the IRS is providing about your income may place you into IRMAA.
Ultimately, the SSA believes you may have too much income and now they are going to recheck the work to finalize their decision, unless of course you can prove otherwise.
This Social Security Predetermination Notice will explain:
- That IRMAA will apply,
- What information the SSA is using to determine IRMAA,
- What you can do if the tax information the IRS is using is wrong,
- What you can do if the SSA is using tax information from 3 years ago instead of 2 years or the most recent,
- What you can do if your tax status is “Married, Filing Separately” and you are apart from your spouse for the entire year, and
- What you can do if you have a Life Changing Event that will reduce their income.
For more information on how calculate your income for IRMAA please click here.
Because this is not an actionable event your rights to appeal are not provided in this letter, but you are strongly encouraged to contact your local Social Security office field agent with in 10 days of receiving it.
What you should do with this 2nd IRMAA Letter:
With the Predetermination Notice you have 10 days from receiving this letter to contact the SSA and request a New Initial Determination if you believe there is a mistake with your income from the IRS.
You can make your request for a New Initial Determination either at your local Social Security office or by phone.
Pro tip: going in person to your local office may be quicker as your field agent has the ability to make a decision on the spot. If you do go to your local office, please bring adequate identification any income information that you believe may pertain to this ruling.
We highly recommend that anyone who is new to IRMAA contact an IRMAA Certified Professional as they will be able to help with the process as well as help you appeal the decision properly.
The 3rd IRMAA Letter: Initial Determination Notice
If you do not contact the SSA within 20 days following the Predetermination Notice you will receive an Initial Determination Notice in the mail from the SSA.
This notice provides your appeal rights and will inform you to contact the SSA if one of the following situations apply:
- You have a Life Changing Event resulting in you having less income than before (like retiring and no longer working).
- You realize that the SSA is not using the most recent tax return information.
- Your tax return has been amended and accepted by the IRS and the income is much lower,
- There was an error in the information provided to SSA by IRS and you can provide proof from IRS acknowledging the error and the correction, or
- You are filing you taxes as “Married, Filing Separately” and can provide proof that you are living apart your spouse at all times during that tax year.
What you should with this 3rd IRMAA Letter
Unfortunately, this is your last warning informing you about IRMAA. At this point if you do not formerly file an appeal the decision will be final.
We strongly recommend that if you are new to Medicare, no longer working and will be in IRMAA that you file an appeal. According to regulations the SSA accepts certain “Life Changing Events” (no longer working) as reasons to waive IRMAA for the year.
To officially appeal any IRMAA decision you must fill out an SSA-44 form which you can find here.
For more information on the appeals process of IRMAA please click here.
4. IRMAA BRI notice
This is the final notice that you will receive if you are going to be in IRMAA.
This IRMAA Letter “contains most of the information” from your original notice as well what your Medicare Part B premiums plus any IRMAA surcharges will be for the year.
What you should with this 4th IRMAA Letter:
You still have 60 days from receiving this letter to file an appeal. Any time past the 60 days may result in a decision that you keep in you in IRMAA for the year regardless of the information. The SSA does not have to accept appeals after 60 days of this notice, but historically they have.
If you find yourself receiving correspondence from the Social Security Administration about your Medicare premiums, you are most likely going to be in IRMAA unless you appeal the decision.
The IRMAA letters that you will receive (they will not have a title) are:
- T2R – only for new enrollees to Medicare
- Predetermination Letter – not an actionable event and more like a warning.
- Initial Determination Notice – your last warning before the decision is made final.
- IRMAA BRI Notice – provides the amount of what you will be paying for your Medicare Part B premiums and IRMAA surcharges for the upcoming year. Keep in mind that you still have 60 days to file an appeal.