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Medicare rise can affect Social Security



Published: Mon, March 28, 2011 @ 12:03 a.m.

Rising Medicare premiums threaten to wipe out increases in Social Security payments next year, leaving millions of retired and disabled Americans without a raise for the third- straight year. How a typical Social Security recipient would be affected, using projections from the trustees who oversee both programs.

2011

Average monthly Social Security benefit: $1,077.

Monthly Medicare Part B premium: $96.40*

Monthly payment: $980.60.

2012

Monthly Social Security benefit: $1,090, based on a 1.2 percent increase.

Monthly Medicare Part B premium: $113.80.

Monthly payment without hold-harmless: $976.20.

Actual monthly payment: $980.60, based on a provision that prevents Part B premiums from reducing Social Security payments for most beneficiaries.

  • Medicare Part B premiums have been frozen at the 2009 level of $96.40 for about 75 percent of beneficiaries because there has been no increase in Social Security payments.

Sources: 2010 trustee reports for Medicare and Social Security; Social Security Administration

Associated Press

WASHINGTON

Millions of retired and disabled people in the United States had better brace for another year with no increase in Social Security payments.

The government is projecting a slight cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits next year, the first increase since 2009. But for most beneficiaries, rising Medicare premiums threaten to wipe out any increase in payments, leaving them without a raise for a third-straight year.

About 45 million people — one in seven in the country — receive both Medicare and Social Security. By law, beneficiaries have their Medicare Part B premiums, which cover doctor visits, deducted from their Social Security payments each month.

When Medicare premiums rise more than Social Security payments, millions of people living on fixed incomes don’t get raises. On the other hand, most don’t get pay cuts, either, because a hold-harmless provision prevents higher Part B premiums from reducing Social Security payments for most people.

David Certner of AARP estimates that as many as three-fourths of beneficiaries will have their entire Social Security increase -swallowed by rising Medicare premiums next year.

It’s a tough development for retirees who lost much of their savings when the stock market collapsed, who lost value in their homes when the housing market crashed and who can’t find work because the job market is weak or they are in poor health.

Medicare premiums are absorbing a growing share of Social Security benefits, leaving retired and disabled people with less money for other expenses, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.

Social Security recipients spend, on average, 9 percent of their benefits on Medicare Part B premiums, plus 3 percent on premiums for the Medicare prescription drug program.


Comments

1commoncitizen(961 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

So the retirees will not see an increase BUT the Congress can give their people raises??? How is that any different then Gaines giving raises to his people?

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2arteesto(22 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Another flaw in the ointment created by the new TEA PARTY members of congress.
Have you had enough of this TEA PARTY yet middle class america? Please wake up in future elections!

Suggest removal:

3commoncitizen(961 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

HOW is the TEA party responsable for this? How many in Congress gave their people raises and how many were Tea party people? Is Ryan a Tea party member? Don't just try to blame one segment of politics when they are all responsible.

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