The Foreward to the New Edition

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Robert Powell, CFP
Retirement Daily,

Plenty of experts know the A, B, C and Ds of Medicare.

But not everyone can help you understand the interaction between Medicare and

your retirement plan.

And that’s what’s different about Jae Oh.

In a world where health care expenses for older American represent on average 15%

of their expenses, Jae understands that Medicare is the “single most valuable

component of retirement planning in the

U.S.” And he knows that understanding Medicare’s rules is the difference between

reaping and optimizing all the benefits Medicare has to offer or getting stuck with

worse benefits and higher costs.

That’s one reason why I started recording video interviews with Jae for TheStreet’s

Retirement Daily a few years ago. In my role as a personal finance journalist focused

on retirement, I talk to hundreds of financial experts. And I’m in a constant state of

searching for subject matter experts who I can quote in my articles. I can’t remember

the exact date, but I recall searching one day for Medicare experts and chancing upon

Jae’s book, Maximize Your Medicare. I reached out to Jae and asked him to

comment on an article.

Now, sometimes, when I ask experts questions – quite frankly – all I get back is

pablum. I get worthless or oversimplified ideas that do nothing to help me inform

and educate my readers. I get nothing that I didn’t already know and certainly

nothing worth quoting.

But that wasn’t the case with Jae.

Jae was the real deal. Yes, he knew how Medicare works, how/when/why to enroll,

what options are available, and how to choose the best Medicare configuration for

you and your family. But, as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

professional, Jae also understood – in ways that most Medicare experts don’t – the

connection between your financial/retirement plan and Medicare.

Consider: In one video, we discussed how Roth IRA conversions could adversely affect Medicare Part B

and Part D premiums. And that’s not something every Medicare expert might know.

What is the relationship between Medicare Part B and Part D premiums and Roth IRA conversions? Well, as

you’ll learn in Jae’s book, the standard Part B premium amount was $148.50 in 2021 and was projected to

be $158.50 in 2022 as of this writing. And most people (about 95% of Medicare beneficiaries) pay that


But if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) as reported on your IRS tax return from two years ago

is above certain threshold amounts, you’ll pay the standard premium amount for your Part B and Part D

premiums plus something called an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount or IRMAA.

And as Jae explained in our video, taxpayers who convert their traditional IRA into a Roth IRA may create

additional income that pushes their MAGI above certain threshold amounts which results in higher-thanstandard

Part B and Part D premiums – at least for one year. And that premium isn’t insignificant. For the

highest income earners Medicare Part B premiums could rise to $504.90 per month (in 2021) because of the

taxable income created by Roth IRA conversions.

Now, in some cases, a Roth IRA account owner might be aware of the

consequences a Roth IRA conversion has on their Medicare Part B and Part D

premiums. But imagine how surprised and perhaps unprepared a Roth IRA

account owner might be if they weren’t forewarned about potentially higher

Medicare Part B and Part D premiums. That’s the kind of knowledge and wisdom

that Jae has to offer. Not just the fact that IRMAA exists. But how one action could

result in budget-busting consequences.

Or consider how we discussed in another video the potentially adverse effect Roth

IRA conversions could have on someone’s advanced premium tax credit or APTC.

When you apply for coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace, you estimate

your expected income for the year. And if you qualify for a premium tax credit

based on your estimate, you can use any amount of the credit in advance to lower

your premium. Then, at the end of the year, if you’ve taken more premium tax

credit in advance than you’re due based on your final income, you’ll have to pay

back the excess when you file your federal tax return. And that’s what might

happen if you do a Roth IRA conversion without understanding its impact on your

APTC. The Roth IRA conversion could create higher income than what you

estimated whey applying for an APTC.

That’s the knowledge and wisdom Jae has to offer in this book, and equally

important – given the constant barrage of changes — on the website, the Maximize Your Medicare Facebook

page, the Maximize Your Medicare podcast, the Maximize Your Medicare YouTube

channel, and Maximize Your Medicare Newsletter.

And make no mistake: Those changes are many and the need for you to stay

informed is critical. In our videos, for instance, Jae and I have discussed many

other topics (most of which are covered in this book), including Medicare’s Annual

Notice of Change (ANOC), Medicare’s Annual Election Period which runs from Oct.

15 to Dec. 7 each year, Medicare’s Plan Finder, what beneficiaries can expect with

respect to Medigap premiums, the interplay between HSAs and Medicare, how to

pick a Medicare Advantage plan, how to switch from a Medicare Advantage plan

to original Medicare with a Medigap plan and vice versa, proposed changes to

Medicare such as adding coverage for hearing, dental and vision, and actual

changes to health insurance laws because of the American Rescue Plan Act or


Yes, in this book, you’ll learn about why it’s so important to become a student of

the subject, especially with respect to topics not covered in the government’s

Medicare & You handbook. For instance, Jae writes about working beyond 65,

retiree benefit plans, special group coverage for veterans, and long-term care


And last, it’s worth noting that Jae’s approach to Medicare is a bit different from

other so-called Medicare experts. Jae, who holds and MBA from the University of

Chicago, also provides an addendum that will satisfy those who want to take a

deeper dive into the world of probabilities (the Black-Scholes formula) and health

insurance. Once again, it’s a chance for Jae to put on display not just his

knowledge of Medicare but his knowledge of the connection between finance and

your retirement plan.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do and as much as I enjoy doing video

interviews with Jae.