Medicare Trustees predict no Part B premium increase in 2018 2.2% Social Security COLA

The Trustees project that the 2018 Part B premium will remain at the 2017 levels and that the Social Security cost of living adjustment would be 2.2 percent. 

Due to low trend increases and Medicare’s “hold harmless” protection, about 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have experienced very modest increases in their Part B premium rates since 2013. Finally, the report also noted that the Supplementary Medical Insurance program (Part B and Prescription Drug Coverage) continue to grow faster than GDP in part due to prescription drug costs rising somewhat more quickly than other medical services.


3 replies »

  1. Most are have been under the hold-harmless provision for the past years and their Medicare B premiums could not rise much. This means most now pay a lot less than the current $134. So if there is a large COLA and the Medicare B premium remains at $134 most of the former hold-harmless group’s COLA will go to their Medicare B premium increase. But since there will be no hold-harmless group in 2018, it seems to me the premium be reduced from $134. Anyone here know how that Medicare B premium formula is calculated ??


    • Yes, the premium is likely to be lower than $134 because that rate is artificially high because of the reasons you say. My estimate is around $124.


      • The news article saying Medicare B premiums will remain at $134 certainly doesn’t tell the whole story, does it. It is much more complicated.

        If 70 percent who are held-harmless now, finally get a decent COLA in 2018 only to have most or all of it go to an increased $134 Medicare B premium in 2018, there will be a lot of irate people.

        As for me, I began paying the high $134 Medicare B premium this year which reduced my SS by 10%. No hold-harmless provision for me or anyone else already on SS the first year of Medicare. So I hope the Medicare B premium is reduced in 2018.


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