Life Changing Events

The impact of the coronavirus is being felt in all age groups across our nation, and each age group has its own set of complications.  For those nearing retirement age, we are seeing many people that were still working, instead of filing for unemployment benefits deciding to retire and enroll in Medicare.  In many cases this is not the best scenario for your Social Security benefits nor is it the best-case scenario for Medicare if you were a high-income earner. Although Medicare is not our area of expertise, we wanted our readers to become aware of this rule and regulation.

After enrolling in Medicare, your situation will be assessed and based on your former income status.  You or you and your spouse could become members of the higher-income beneficiary category and have to pay an additional $70-$423.40 a month in Medicare premiums.  This is called the IRMAA or Income-related Monthly Adjustment Amount.  Because of your higher income you are required to pay more for Part B medical insurance and Part D prescription drug coverage.

You are thrown into this category because of past income – usually two years back.  If single and your income total was $87,000 or married and income was over $174,000 this will apply.  There are five different tiers of IRMAA, and it is based on a sliding scale.

A loss of your job means a loss of income.  Although your 2020 tax returns may show a significant drop in income from two years ago, that does nothing to help you in your current Medicare situation.

You should fill out Form SSA-44 if you experience any lifechanging event that reduces your income. Lifechanging events that qualify are marriage, divorce, death of a spouse, work stoppage, work reduction, loss of income-producing property, loss of pension income and employer settlement payment.  You can access this form online. Follow the instructions on pages 5-8 especially the date of the life-changing event, evidence (originals) of your life-changing event, evidence of your modified adjusted gross income (this will be an estimate so be as accurate as you can), and document the specifics of your income reduction.

Pillars LLC is in the Corinth, MS area but service all 50 states.  Roy and Diane are both National Social Security Advisors and Roy is a former CPA of over 40 years.  You may contact them at, on their website at or call at 601-954-0699.  KNOW before you GO!!

Posted on by hgasaway

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