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No COLA Triggers Some Medicare Increases
Posted On: Jan 05, 2016

No COLA Triggers Some Medicare Increases

As we predicted, there will be no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase for Social Security recipients and federal retirees in 2016. As a result, if you are a federal retiree enrolled in Medicare Part B and you make your premium payments by any method other than through your Social Security check, or if you are a new enrollee to Medicare benefits, your premium payment for 2016 will be $120.70.

The increase could have been much higher, however. President Barack Obama and congressional leaders softened the blow by setting a cap in the two-year budget deal, which prevented the increase from escalating to $159.30. In addition, for the next five years, there will also be a $3 surcharge for those affected by the premium increase.

Will retirees who are currently paying their Medicare Part B premiums through Social Security be required to pay more in 2016?

No. The “hold harmless” provision of the Social Security Act prevents the government from reducing payments to recipients who pay their Medicare Part B premiums from their Social Security checks simply because there was no COLA increase by preventing a hike in the premiums for Medicare Part B. The premiums will remain at $104.90 for those covered by the “hold harmless” provision.

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