Despite the Medicare Trustees prediction of a 2.2% COLA, the inflation measures to date do not support that level of increase.
What really counts however is the CPI- W for July, August and September, but inflation at present is quite stable.
Only time will tell.
However, 70% of retirees are unlikely to see any significant net increase in their monthly benefit. That is because making up the previously frozen Medicare Part B premium will consume all or most of the Social Security increase.
Let’s say the average SS benefit of $1300 increases by 1.5% that’s $19.50. Now assume the true Medicare premium for 2018 should not be $134, but $124. However, these retirees are only paying $109 because of the hold harmless provision so if all the assumptions hold up, the average retiree’s premium could increase by as much as $19.50, in this example.
The increase would be $109+$15 to equal $124 which means their net increase in SS benefit is $4.50. ($19.50-$15.00).
Individuals now paying higher (much higher) income based premiums may see a decrease in the Part B premium. However, because in 2018 the points at which higher premiums are required is changing, more higher income people will be in higher premium brackets.
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