Most retired Arkansas residents, like the majority of their peers across the country, have probably never seen the acronym IRMAA.

But if they know what it is, that likely means they have been affected by it. And that means they are concerned.

That jumble of letters is a shorthand form for the Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount. Government regulators use the IRMAA as the measuring stick for various income levels that determine how much money an individual or family will pay in premiums each month for Medicare.

Most retirees in Arkansas and nationally have an annual income level safely below the threshold that might bring a sharp upward adjustment in what they pay each month.

But for so-called “high-income retirees,” though, the IMRAA has brought sudden and unwanted changes in many instances. The government has changed its income tiers, which is resulting in increased monthly deductions in Social Security checks to pay for Medicare premiums.

What especially bothers some people is that their premiums are going up dramatically even when their income has remained static. As a recent article on income tiers and Medicare payments notes, regulators’ adjustment of the tiers means that “some retirees will pay even more for Medicare Part B and D next year even if their income remained the same.”

Some retirees might want to be paying close attention to that. And while they do, it is important for them to note that estate planning is best carried out in a way that fully considers and integrates every aspect of their wealth, assets and income.

An experienced estate administration attorney can address that and provide candid guidance on planning strategies that promote positive outcomes for an individual or family in a given case.