Social Security Payments To Rise But Medicare Premiums May Offset Boost
The average senior will get about $21 more per month, but federal officials note that some of that will be needed to cover the increase in Medicare premiums, which will be announced soon.
The Wall Street Journal: Benefits To Get A Small Bump
More than 56 million Social Security beneficiaries will see their checks increase 1.7 percent starting in January, under an annual cost-of-living adjustment that is tied to how much certain prices climb in July through September compared with a year earlier. Eight million people who receive Supplemental Security Income -- mainly the poor and disabled -- will get the boost starting in December, the agency said. This means the average monthly Social Security check will rise by $21 to $1,261, the agency said. However, the increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums -- the portion of a retiree's check that the government deducts to cover health-care expenses. The premiums for 2013 haven't been announced yet (Mitchell, 10/16).
Los Angeles Times: Social Security Checks To Increase, But It May Be Hard To Notice
Seniors receive an average of $1,237 a month, meaning the increase will add about $21 a month to their checks, according to the agency. However, the Social Security Administration warned that "for some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums." The Medicare Part B premium is now about $100 a month and the government is projecting an expected increase of about $7 a month when new rate schedules are announced soon. The Part B premium covers doctor's visits (Muskal, 10/16).
In other Medicare news --
The Hill: Analysis: Medicare Plans Saw Quality Increase
Several Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans improved their star ratings from 2012 and 2013, according to a new analysis from Avalere Health. The boosts make the plans eligible for bonuses from Medicare, according to Avalere. The firm found that from 2012 to 2013, 28 percent of Medicare Advantage plans and 49 percent of stand-alone Part D plans gained at least half a star on a scale of two to 5 stars. Ninety-nine plans that improved will see a higher bonus payment applied to their benchmarks for 2014, according to Avalere (Viebeck, 10/16).