Medicare Part B premiums


Q. I just turned 65 and retired from the federal government two years ago, with Federal Employees Health Benefits standard option  Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance. I am teaching at a local university and have declined their health insurance policy because of my FEHB plan. Were I to enroll in Medicare Part B today, my pension plus university salary would require that I pay the highest premium rates for Medicare Part B. If I defer enrollment, I understand the 10 percent-per-deferred-year penalty I would pay. To avoid that, it might be worthwhile to enroll in Part B today. But if I enroll today and quit my job later, will my Part B premiums be adjusted downward to reflect my lower income. Or, are future premiums never adjusted downward despite the drop in my income?

A. Premiums are adjusted annually based on your modified adjusted gross income as reported on your IRS tax return from two years ago.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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