It depends on your situation.
If you have a very high income, your Part B premium will be higher. If you are being charged a high premium, and your current income is lower than what Social Security claims it is, you should go to your local Social Security office and show proof of your income. Social Security may have your income wrong because either they are looking at an older tax return or your circumstances have recently changed.
To find out how much your Part B premium should cost, click on "Will I pay more for Part B if my income is high?"
To find out your local Social Security Office, call the national Social Security Hotline at 800-772-1213 or click on the local Social Security Office Locator in the links box.
Your income may have recently gone down if:
- you have gotten married or divorced, or your spouse has died;
- you or your spouse have stopped working or have reduced your hours;
- you have lost property that you were making money from due to a disaster or other event beyond your control; or
- you or your spouse’s benefits from an insured pension plan stopped or went down
For Social Security to change their records, you must show evidence that your income is lower. You can either bring this evidence in person to a local Social Security office or mail it to Social Security with form SSA-44 (you can request the form by phone or download it from the agency’s website).
To get form SSA-44 online, click on the link in the LINKS box.
There are several documents you could show depending on why your income changed. For example:
- If you filed a tax return for the year in which the income-changing event took place, provide a signed copy of your tax return. If you have not yet filed a tax return, you can submit an estimate of the change in your income.
- If your marital status has changed, provide a marriage or death certificate.
- If your employment status has changed, provide a letter from your employer about your retirement.
- If you have lost income from a property, provide an insurance claim for property damage.
If you send documents with form SSA-44, these must be either original documents or certified copies. Social Security will return your documents once they have been reviewed. If you go to the Social Security office in person, you should bring both your original documents and certified copies to leave with the Social Security officer.
If Social Security is satisfied with the evidence it will update its records and correct your Part B premium payments to the earliest month in the current year that you had Part B (if you had Medicare in 2006, Social Security will correct your payments starting from January 2007).
If Social Security is not satisfied with the evidence and denies your request to lower your Part B premium, you can appeal.
For information on how to appeal Social Security's decision to deny your request to lower your Part B premium, click on the link in the GO TO box.
Note: If you have a one-time increase in your income if, for example, you sold property or cashed in your IRA, you may have to pay a higher Part B premium. However, your Part B premium will only be increased for the year in which your income went up. Social Security reviews your income each year and will adjust your Part B premium to your new income level the next year.
To find out how you may be penalized for delaying enrollment in Part B, click on the link in the GO TO box.