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December 2019 News from MOAA National

Dateline: 12/14/2019

Here's How Much More You'll Pay in Medicare Part B Premiums in 2020

By: Kevin Lilley


The standard Medicare Part B premium will rise about $9 a month beginning Jan. 1, 2020, but beneficiaries in higher income brackets will see a larger increase.


Beneficiaries in five higher income brackets pay an extra charge, known as an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA), which also goes up at the start of the new year:


·        If your individual tax income was above $87,000 to $109,000, or your joint income was above $174,000 up to $218,000, you’ll pay $202.40 per month.

·        From $109,000 to $136,000 individual or $218,000 to $272,000 joint, you’ll pay $289.20

·        From $136,000 to $163,000 individual or $272,000 to $326,000 joint, you’ll pay $376

·        From $163,000 to $500,000 individual or $326,000 to $750,000 joint, you’ll pay $462.70

·        Above $500,000 individual or above $750,000 joint, you’ll pay $491.60 per month


These premiums are deducted automatically from Social Security, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and/or Railroad Retirement Board benefits. Those who don’t receive benefits from these agencies will receive a bill; regardless of how you file your returns, you and your spouse will have separate Part B premium payments.


The income figures used to determine your Part B premium payment may not reflect your current financial situation, especially in the event of a retirement, a divorce, or other life-changing events. If you’ve undergone one of these events, you can file Form SSA-44, Medicare Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount – Life Changing Event, or visit your local Social Security office to request an adjustment.


MOAA, Others Ask VA to Expand List of Diseases Linked to Agent Orange Exposure

By: Amanda Dolasinksi


MOAA is among 20 veteran and military service organizations asking the VA to add four diseases to the Agent Orange presumption list in an effort to help thousands of affected veterans receive benefits. There are 14 diseases on the VA’s current Agent Orange presumptive exposure list. The designation offers veterans an easier path to qualify for disability benefits.


In a Nov. 15 letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, leaders of the groups requested the immediate addition of hypertension, bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinson’s-like symptoms to the list. Each of the diseases has been linked to exposure to Agent Orange.

An estimated 900,000 veterans have been exposed to Agent Orange, an herbicide sprayed from the air to destroy the vegetation enemy fighters used as cover during the Vietnam War.


During congressional hearings earlier this year, top VA leaders said they were considering adding four diseases, with a decision to be released by summer. No decision was announced.

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