Medicare Part B Premiums – Why Do They Differ

From time to time we do get questions from individuals asking why their Medicare

Part B premium differs from the premium a neighbor or friend pays. On average, most people pay the standard premium amount, $104.90 for 2013, however there are some individuals that pay a higher amount based on their Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI).

If an individual/couple has a higher MAGI, then the law requires that person or couple to pay a higher Part B premium. To determine the amount of premium one pays, Social Security uses the most recent Federal income tax return that is filed to the IRS. The income levels and Medicare Part B premium amounts for 2013 are shown in the table below.

Part B Premiums by Income


If Your Yearly Income Was

You Pay

File Individual Tax Return

File Joint Tax Return

$85,000 or below

$170,000 or below


$85,001 – $107,000

$170,001 – $214,000


$107,001 – $160,000

$214,001 – $320,000


$160,001 – $214,000

$320,001 – $428,000


Above $214,000

Above $428,000



If your MAGI is above $85,000 for an individual return or $170,000 for a joint return, then Social Security is required to send you a letter explaining the amount and how that amount was obtained; this letter is usually sent in the latter part of the preceding year. If you filed an amended return and this changes your MAGI or if your current income has decreased due to certain situations, make sure you contact Social Security to determine if your premium amount needs to be recalculated.

For more information on this topic or if you have any other questions, please call our office to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff.