Medicare Part B Premium Costs Likely To Cut Into Social Security’s Increase
Social Security benefits will increase by 3.6 percent, but many consumers won't feel more weight in their wallets because of an expected boost in Medicare costs.
The New York Times: U.S. Benefits For Retirees To Rise 3.6% Next Year
Nancy LeaMond, an executive vice president of AARP, the lobby for middle-aged and older Americans, said the increase in benefits would provide some relief for people whose finances had been battered by a "decline in housing values, deep losses to retirement and savings accounts and skyrocketing health and prescription drug costs" in the last few years. The Social Security Administration pointed out on Wednesday that for some beneficiaries, the increase in Social Security benefits next year "may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums" (Pear, 10/19).
The Wall Street Journal: Prices Rise 0.3%, Prompting Boost In Government Benefits
The climb in prices means millions of Americans who rely on government programs such as Social Security will receive their first cost-of-living increase since 2009. It also will raise taxes on close to 10 million of the 161 million workers who pay Social Security taxes. That's because in 2012, Americans will have to pay the payroll tax on their first $110,100 in earnings, up from the $106,800 in earnings in 2011. … Nearly 55 million Social Security beneficiaries will see their checks rise by 3.6 percent beginning in January. … The 3.6 percent increase could be partially or completely offset by a bump in the premiums that seniors pay for Medicare Part B benefits, which have been held flat for many beneficiaries because of low inflation in the last two years. … The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services could announce their premiums and copayments for 2012 as soon as next week. Because Medicare premiums are deducted directly from Social Security checks, many Americans may never see an increase (Paletta and Murray, 10/20).
Reuters: Social Security Benefits To Rise 3.6 Percent
Social Security retirement benefits for about 55 million people will go up by 3.6 percent next year, the first cost-of-living increase since 2009, the U.S. Social Security Administration said on Wednesday. ... Some or all of the Social Security retirement benefit increase could be eaten up by a rise in premiums for the Medicare federal health insurance program for the elderly. Medicare premium adjustments are expected to be announced later this month (10/19).
The Associated Press: Medicare Costs To Reduce Social Security Increase
That didn't last long. About 55 million Social Security recipients will get their first increase in benefits next year since 2009 — a 3.6 percent raise. But higher Medicare premiums could erase a big chunk of it. For some, higher Medicare Part B premiums could wipe out as much as a fourth of their raise from Social Security, according to projections by the trustees who oversee the programs. Medicare is expected to announce 2012 Part B premiums as early as next week. The premiums, which cover doctor visits, are deducted automatically from monthly Social Security payments (Ohlemacher, 10/2).
McClatchy: Social Security Sets 3.6 Percent Costs Of Living Increase
Using slightly different numbers, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare praised the [cost of living adjustments] hike, but warned it could be offset by expected increases in Medicare, the health care program for the elderly. The new Medicare premiums are to be announced this month. "Today's COLA announcement lets them know there's some relief around the corner," the advocacy group's president Max Richtman said in a prepared statement. "It may be cold comfort, however, once they see just how high next year's Medicare premiums will go. While health care costs continue to erode seniors' ability to keep up with inflation, Congress has yet to adopt a COLA formula that reflects the spending habits of seniors" (Muskal, 10/19).
Reuters: Retirement Confidence Falls, Especially In Social Security: Poll
Talk about a race to the bottom: Which institution do you think is losing the trust of Americans to provide future retirement benefits most quickly – government, or private employers? The winner is ... private employers, but not by much. A new national poll on retirement sentiment by Sun Life Financial Inc. finds worker confidence in the future value of employer-provided benefits plunged 32 percent in the past year. Meanwhile, confidence in the government’s ability to provide Social Security and Medicare benefits fell 22 percent (Miller, 10/19).
San Francisco Chronicle: Medicare Premiums May Offset Social Security Hike
Seniors receiving Social Security retirement benefits will get a 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment in 2012, their first increase since 2009. … But some retirees could see their Social Security increase partially or fully offset by higher Medicare Part B premiums. The government is expected to announce Medicare Part B premiums for 2012 as early as next week (Pender, 10/20).