Income Level for Higher|Cost Medicare Frozen

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The income threshold for Medicare enrollees who must pay a higher percentage for health care coverage will remain at the 2010 level until 2019, the Social Security Administration has announced.
     The new regulation applies to enrollees participating in Medicare’s Part B medical insurance program, which provides coverage for physician care, diagnostic services and medical supplies. Part B enrollees pay monthly premiums, deductibles and co-insurance for associated services. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which issues the rules and regulations for the program, determines the premium enrollees pay, according to the action.
     The CMS will use 2010 dollar amounts from modified adjusted gross incomes (MAGI) to determine the percentage of premiums enrollees will pay. Those exceeding the MAGI threshold must take on a higher percentage of the cost for coverage.
     The new regulation, implemented by the CMS under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, freezes the threshold amount at $170,000 for those who are married and filing federal income taxes jointly, and $85,000 for those filing under any other status, according to the action.
     In addition, the regulation has done away with a provision that requires consent before the Social Security Administration can send personal information to other agencies.
     The Affordable Care Act removed the requirement, amending the IRS code “to provide that we may disclose return information to officers and employees of the Department of Health and Human Services to the extent necessary to resolve administrative appeals of premium subsidy adjustments or increased premiums,” the administration SSA said.
     The regulation is effective Sept. 18.

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