Income-Related Premiums in Medicare: Who Pays, and How Much Do They Pay?
Since 2007, seniors with incomes greater than $85,000 have had to pay higher premiums for Medicare than their counterparts with lower incomes. Six percent of Medicare Part B enrollees are expected to pay higher monthly premiums in 2015, ranging from $147 to $336, depending on their income. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are considering whether to increase these income-related premiums to help offset the federal cost of repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) payment formula, a move that would prevent scheduled cuts in Medicare payments to physicians from taking effect on April 1. A new data note from the Kaiser Family Foundation explains how Medicare premium levels are tied to beneficiaries’ income under current law [see chart], and presents new data on the roughly 3 million people who pay these higher premiums for Part B, as well as trends over time.