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What is a life-changing event?

A life-changing event is connected with the Income-related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). A major event can significantly decrease a person’s income and that can affect the premium he or she will pay for Medicare Part B, medical insurance, and Part D, prescription drug coverage. 

Social Security (the government agency in charge of IRMAA determinations) recognizes the following life-changing events:

  • marriage
  • divorce or annulment
  • death of a spouse
  • work stoppage
  • work reduction
  • loss of income-producing property (beyond the beneficiary’s control), and
  • loss or reduction of pension income (plan failure or termination, or scheduled cessation)
  • employer settlement payment (as a result of an employer or former employer’s closure, bankruptcy, or reorganization)

If such an event significantly reduces income, the beneficiary can file a notice with the Social Security Administration to seek a reduction in the Part B and Part D premiums.

In 2020, Henry Henderson was a highly paid executive. His annual income when he enrolled in Medicare was over $200,000. He was subject to IRMAA. However, he lost his job in 2021 and his income dropped considerably in 2022. 

For more information on life-changing events, check the Social Security website.

Last updated: 10-01-2022