Are you one of the lucky ones that could see your Social Security check go down in 2021?

There are two things very likely to happen in 2021.

  • No COLA applied to Social Security benefits
  • An increase in Medicare Part B premiums.

Seventy percent of retirees will see no impact on their SS check because of the hold harmless provision. Simply put, your monthly benefit cannot decrease as a result of an increase in Part B premiums.

But 30% of higher income beneficiaries will not only see a decrease in their benefits, but that decrease will be higher than the actual increase in the part B premium because they must make up for Medicare’s lost revenue caused by the 70% held harmless and thus not paying the Part B premium increase.

For singles earning more than $87,000 and couples filing jointly and earning more than $174,000 there is no protection against a decrease in the Social Security benefit.

Needless to say, in our current economic environment Congress could change all this with special legislation like mandating a COLA.

There have been only three years since 1975 without a COLA.

2 comments

  1. If the hold-harmless provision ends up coming to fruition, is all of the lost revenue made up through Part B premium increases or would they consider increasing the Part B deductible a lot as well? I can’t remember how the Part B deductible is determined each year.

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    1. The lost revenue is made up immediately by those who are not held harmless. Their Part B premium increase is simply higher than it would be if all beneficiaries shared in the increase.

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