The Social Security Administration (SSA) is changing the rules governing charges for the Medicare program component that pays for doctors’ services, diagnostic services and medical supplies.
The SSA made the changes in a Medicare Part B interim final rule published today in the Federal Register.
The changes, which take effect today, could help cut Medicare Part B costs for some Medicare enrollees affected by disasters such as the loss of an income-producing property due to fraud or the failure of a pension plan.
The SSA charges higher-income enrollees extra for Medicare Part B coverage.
The government usually uses income and tax filing status information from 2 years earlier to adjust the Part B rates.
Enrollees affected by specific types of “major life-changing events” can ask SSA officials to use newer income information.
Before the new rule came out, the official list of life-exchanging events included only marriage, divorce, death of spouse, the annulment of a marriage, a work stoppage, reduced hours at work, reductions in income due to certain losses of income-producing property, a scheduled cessation of a pension, and a reduction in or loss of income from an insured pension plan due to termination or reorganization of the plan.