Most retirees receive some level of Social Security benefits, depending on age and the amounts paid into this federal system of benefits. In some years, the Social Security Administration opts to institute a cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA), or a raise, to the benefits of the individuals who already are receiving them on a monthly basis. For the year 2017, the more than 65 million Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will see a 0.3% increase in their monthly benefits, which will not translate into much of a raise. To illustrate, SSI recipients will go from receiving $733 per month to $735 per month in 2017. The annual COLA, which is tied to increases in the Consumer Price Index, takes effect in January each year.
Other important increases to note as we steadily approach 2017 include the increases to Medicare Part B premiums, the program that provides standard medical coverage for senior citizens in our country. For the most basic form of Medicare, or Medicare Part B, the monthly premium will increase from $121.80 per month to $134.00 per month in 2017, or higher, depending on your income. However, as per, the official U.S. Government Site for Medicare, those who pay Part B premiums through their monthly Social Security benefits will pay only $109.00 per month, on average, because the Part B premium increased more than the COLA for 2017 Social Security benefits. The Part B deductible also will increase, from $166 per year to $183 per year. Medicare Part D premiums, which cover prescription drugs, also will increase. However, the increase will vary from plan to plan, and higher-income individuals are likely to pay more.
When you reach the age at which you are entitled to Social Security benefits and Medicare coverage, it is up to you to understand the differences in the income and medical coverage that occur from one year to the next. These constantly changing, complex programs can be extremely difficult to navigate on one’s own and make the decisions that are best for you and your family. To find out more information about social security benefits, Medicare Part B, and the many other sources of assistance that may be available to you, contact the Washington asset protection lawyers of Elder Law Group PLLC today.