Making Changes After a Medicare High-Income Surcharge

Surcharge is based on your last tax return on file.

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I retired this year, so my income next year will be much lower. But I just received notice of a high-income surcharge on my Medicare premiums. Is there a way to use my newer, lower income? --M.S., Yuma, Ariz.


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Yes. Single filers who have more than $85,000 in adjusted gross income plus tax-exempt interest income, and those who are married filing jointly who have more than $170,000, have to pay extra for Medicare Part B and Part D. The surcharge is based on your last tax return on file—generally 2016 income for 2018 premiums.

Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.