Robert Powell Special to USA TODAY

published December 22, 2019 -updated January 3, 2020

“The higher your taxable income, the more likely it is you’ll pay Medicare Parts B and D surcharges,” says Katy Votava, president of Goodcare, a firm that helps people plan for and manage health care costs in retirement and author of “Making the Most of Medicare: A Guide for Baby Boomers.”

You likely don’t have to worry about paying more than the base or standard rate for your Medicare Part B and Part D premiums in 2020.

But if you’re a single taxpayer and had modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) in 2018 of more than $87,000, or if you’re a married couple and made more than $174,000 that year, you’ll pay the standard premium amount ($144.60 in 2020) plus an extra charge added to your premium: the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). Medicare uses your MAGI from two years earlier to determine if you’ll pay that extra charge in 2020.

“I hear of so many people who are caught by surprise by the IRMAA,” says Elaine Floyd, director of retirement and life planning at Horsesmouth. “This is really an essential part of tax and retirement planning because it can add thousands of dollars to a person’s or couple’s annual Medicare premiums.”  read more

By Lori Konish


  • As 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, they become eligible for Medicare.
  • One of the biggest questions clients face: Should I switch to Medicare or stay on my private insurance plan?
  • As financial advisors help them identify the best choices for them, they might want to loop in third-parties who specialize in Medicare planning.

For most people, signing up for Medicare is a retirement rite of passage.

But as they turn 65 and sort through their Medicare Part A, B, C, and D choices, many individuals can also be vulnerable to costly mistakes.

Even done the right way, it’s a high-stakes choice. Medicare beneficiaries will need as much as $400,000 for health expenses per couple, according to 2018 research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. That is up from $370,000 in 2017.

“People do feel overwhelmed and baffled by Medicare,” said Katy Votava, president of “But there are some basic things that an advisor can do.”

read the rest of the article

Financial Advisor Magazine, May 21, 2019

It’s not free and it’s not necessarily cheap. Higher-income people will pay more, although advisors may be able to help lessen the bite, says Katy Votava, founder and president of