A: Most Medicare beneficiaries will continue to pay the same Part B premium in 2011 that they’ve paid in previous years – either $96.40 or $110.50. Beneficiaries who currently have the Social Security Administration withhold their Part B premium and have incomes of $85,000 or less ($170,000 or less for joint filers) will not have an increase in their Part B premium for 2011.
For everyone else, Part B premiums will be $115.40 in 2011, which is a 4.4 percent increase over the 2010 amount. The Medicare Part B premium is increasing in 2011 as a result of possible increases in Part B costs. If a beneficiaries’ income is higher than $85,000 (for those filing singly) or $170,000 (filing jointly), then the premium may be higher than $115.40.
Social Security will use the income reported two years ago on the beneficiary’s tax return to determine their premium. If the beneficiary’s income has decreased since 2009, they can request that the income from a more recent tax year be used as long as they meet certain criteria.