If My Wife And I File A Joint Tax Return Will We Both Be Required To Pay Higher Premiums For Medicare?


Both my wife and I collect Social Security. I am still working full time and I earn military retirement pay. My wife works 1 day per week and has very low income. I am 67 and already on Medicare. My wife will turn 65 in may 2020. Our AGI on our joint tax return has required me to pay an IRMAA each year, taken directly out of my Social Security payment. I earn about 90% of the income in our AGI on our tax return. I have been unable to find an answer to my very simple question elsewhere: If my wife and I continue to file a joint tax return, will we BOTH be required to pay an IRMAA out of our Social Security, or does just one of us pay an IRMAA? I'm trying to decide if I should investigate the increased costs of filing separately compared to both paying an IRMAA, if that's how it is applied.


Yes, if you and your wife file a joint tax return and your modified adjusted gross income exceeds $170,000 then both you and your wife would be required to pay the higher IRMAA premium rates (https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0601101020). Note, however, that if you file separately the income threshold at which point IRMAA rates kick in is lower (i.e. $85,000).

Best, Jerry