Most Medicare Prescription Drug Plans charge a monthly fee that varies by plan. You pay this in addition to the Medicare Part B premium. If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) or Medicare Cost Plan that includes Medicare prescription drug coverage, the plan's monthly premium may include an amount for drug coverage.
Get your premium automatically deducted
Contact your drug plan (not Social Security) if you want your premium deducted from your monthly Social Security payment. Your first deduction will usually take 3 months to start, and 3 months of premiums will likely be deducted at once.
After that, only one premium will be deducted each month. You may also see a delay in premiums being withheld if you switch plans. If you want to stop premium deductions and get billed directly, contact your drug plan.
How much does Part D cost?
Most people only pay their Part D premium. If you don't sign up for Part D when you're first eligible, you may have to pay a Part D late enrollment penalty.
If your modified adjusted gross income is above a certain amount, you may pay a Part D income-related monthly adjustment amount (Part D-IRMAA). Medicare uses the modified adjusted gross income reported on your IRS tax return from 2 years ago (the most recent tax return information provided to Social Security by the IRS). You'll pay the Part D-IRMAA amount in addition to your monthly plan premium, and this extra amount is paid directly to Medicare, not to your plan. The chart below lists the extra amount costs by income.
Social Security will contact you if you have to pay Part D-IRMAA, based on your income. The amount you pay can change each year. If you have to pay a higher amount for your Part D premium and you disagree (for example, if your income goes down), use this form to contact Social Security [PDF, 125 KB]. If you have questions about your Medicare prescription drug coverage, contact your plan.
The extra amount you have to pay isn’t part of your plan premium. You don’t pay the extra amount to your plan. Most people have the extra amount taken from their Social Security check. If the amount isn’t taken from your check, you’ll get a bill from Medicare or the Railroad Retirement Board. You must pay this amount to keep your Part D coverage.
If Social Security notifies you about paying a higher amount for your Part D coverage, you’re required by law to pay the Part D-Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (Part D-IRMAA). If you don’t pay the Part D-IRMAA, you’ll lose your Part D coverage.
Employer/Union coverage and Part D-IRMAA
You pay your Part D-IRMAA directly to Medicare, not to your plan or employer.
You’re required to pay the Part D-IRMAA, even if your employer or a third party (like a teacher’s union or a retirement system) pays for your Part D plan premiums. If you don’t pay the Part D-IRMAA and get disenrolled, you may also lose your retirement coverage and you may not be able to get it back.
Things to remember
- Pay your Part D-IRMAA bill to Medicare as soon as you get it. Find out how to pay your bill.
- Keep your address current with Social Security, even if you don’t get a Social Security check.
Part D premiums by income
The charts below show your estimated prescription drug plan monthly premium based on your income as reported on your IRS tax return from 2 years ago and last year. If your income is above a certain limit, you'll pay an income-related monthly adjustment amount in addition to your plan premium.
|If your filing status and yearly income in 2015 was|
|File individual tax return||File joint tax return||File married & separate tax return||You pay (in 2017)|
|$85,000 or less||$170,000 or less||$85,000 or less||your plan premium|
|above $85,000 up to $107,000||above $170,000 up to $214,000||not applicable||$13.30 + your plan premium|
|above $107,000 up to $160,000||above $214,000 up to $320,000||not applicable||$34.20 + your plan premium|
|above $160,000 up to $214,000||above $320,000 up to $428,000||above $85,000 up to $129,000||$55.20 + your plan premium|
|above $214,000||above $428,000||above $129,000||$76.20 + your plan premium|