Q. In a recent article ("Dig deeper for Medicare premiums"), you said that Medicare premiums are going up, based on income. I’m a consultant and I lost a contract. Do I still have to pay the higher premiums? J.L.T., Greenfield Center, N.Y.
A. Maybe not. The monthly Medicare Part B premiums for 2010 are based on your MAGI for 2008. However, if your income has gone down and this affects your income level for the Medicare premiums, you may show the Social Security Administration (SSA) evidence of the change. If you still disagree with the assessment, you have a right to appeal.
Tip: For more details, read the rules on the SSA web site at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10161.html#income.