Five ways to get the most from Medicare

“It’s important to understand that the MAGI definition has a two-year lag time, so your 2016 W-2 form drives your 2018 premium. Let’s say you have retired since 2016 and the government claims you owe a large surcharge. You can file an exception request.” (You can find the exemption request form here.)

In some cases, avoiding the surcharges can fit into a broader plan for efficient drawdown of retirement income. The plan would take into account timing of your Social Security claim and when income is taken from taxable and tax-deferred accounts.

5. Check and Recheck

Once you’re enrolled in Medicare, look for annual mailings from any private plan provider you use indicating changes in coverage. This is critical for Part D and Medicare Advantage enrollees; if coverage changes for the coming year will have an adverse effect on you, consider changing plans during the enrollment period.

What about saving and investing to pay for healthcare? I thought you’d never ask. That will be the subject of my next column.


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