By Helen Donovan
The Cost of Living (COLA) goes up every year, but you’ve had no increase in Social Security(SS) income since 2014 thanks to Republican President Ronald Reagan who changed the COLA formula affecting 66 million SS recipients today. But at last, you’re going to get a 2% raise.
Let’s say your SS income is $1,500 a month and your increase per month is $30. But when you get your New Benefit Amount statement from the Social Security Administration effective in 2018, your increase is $5 a month. What happened?
The premium for Part B medical insurance spiked in 2018, not a few dollars but by $25, going from $109 to $134. The $134 is automatically deducted every month from your check by Social Security Administration for Medicare, leaving you $5. Your monthly income now is $1,505. (Higher earners pay a higher Part B premium.).
About 42 percent of SS recipients will pay the $25 increase, according to the Chicago Tribune’s “Ask Kim.” The hold harmless provision that protects COLA adjustments from being consumed by insurance premium increases did not apply because $25 is lower than your $30 raise. The fear is that this situation could repeat itself indefinitely in the future. [Read more…]