Verify: Will an increase in social security be offset by Medicare premiums?

66 million people will soon see a two percent raise on their social security checks due to a cost of living adjustment.

66 million people will soon see a 2 percent raise on their social security checks due to a cost of living adjustment. Two million of those people are in Michigan.

It's the largest COLA raise since 2012. But it’s being met with frustration. Several people on social media say the increase will be offset by an increase in Medicare B premiums. The WZZM 13 watchdog team set out to verify the information.

Our sources are the Social Security Administration, the Senior Citizens League and the Medicare Trustee report.

Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare Policy Consultant with the Senior Citizens League says the speculation is true. "They're going to get an increase in their COLA which will raise their gross amount of Social Security."

The current Medicare Part B premium is $134. It's expected to stay at that amount in 2018. That means those who were protected by what's called the "hold harmless" provision won't be anymore. The average amount people were paying was around $109, and it's putting people into a real bind because the amount of their income is going to be offset by those rising part B premiums," says Johnson.

The new Medicare Premiums have not been announced yet, but the Medicare Trustee report projects the amount will stay the same.

If that happens, we can verify, that for most people, their social security increase will be offset by their Medicare premium. 

TSCL supports a number of bills that would tie the COLA to the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E).  To learn more, visit online at www.SeniorsLeague.org

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