Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) – Medicare Part B
As your constituent, I urge you to oppose a provision in the 2021-22 New York State Executive Budget that significantly alters the reimbursement of Medicare Part B premiums for retirees covered by the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP).
This proposal amends the civil service law by freezing the reimbursement of Medicare Part B premiums for all NYSHIP retirees with Medicare primary insurance, regardless of their income. The proposed change will also eliminate the reimbursement of the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) for certain retirees. This means that as the cost of Medicare Part B increases each year, retirees will have an additional out-of-pocket health care cost.
Retirees participating in NYSHIP are required by the state to enroll in Medicare Part B. Based on their income, some NYSHIP retirees are required to pay an additional income-related Part B premium called IRMAA, which has been reimbursed for the last nine years, while other retirees pay a standard premium, which is also reimbursed.
This change would not only affect state retirees for whom Medicare is their primary insurance but also retirees from school districts and local governments who participate in the NYSHIP Empire Plan.
In the past, similar language was proposed in the executive budget but was ultimately rejected by the Legislature. Since many retirees must live on a fixed income, they are unable to bear additional out-of-pocket health care costs. Furthermore, asking people to spend out-of-pocket for medical insurance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, in an economic downturn, is unjustified. Accordingly, I ask that you once again advocate for the removal of any provisions that will freeze the Medicare Part B premium reimbursement and eliminate the reimbursement of the IRMAA for certain retirees. Instead, I ask that you preserve the current reimbursement methodology for NYSHIP retirees.
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. I respectfully ask that you bring up these issues with your conference and your leadership. I look forward to a reply to my email.
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