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Info Seeker

Re: Social Security Cost of Living

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Message 1 of 41

I am doing my part, for keeping Medicare costs down , I have never used mine for anything while still paying $7,000 in Medicare premiums and $11,500 in suplement premiums for a total of $18,500 in the last 5 years....do you know how much $18,500 could help me right now, to live on.....?

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Re: Social Security Cost of Living

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Message 2 of 41

in the new bulletin we received today you said that there was a law that prevents medicare premiums from cutting into Social Security Benefits.  What is that law and how do we go from here?  They raised my premiums from $109 to $124

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Re: Social Security Cost of Living

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Message 3 of 41

I thank you for your hepl......I delt with Medicade when I was caring for my mother...they wanted to control everything...they would not help me, but they did help her a little, after she died, they sent me letters saying I may qualify for this or that, but when I sent them all the info they wanted, they just said I did not qualify ...the reason ? I have a 31 year old motorcycle with 100,000 miles on it and a car with 162,000 miles on it, and I plan on keeping them, it is the only way I can get out once in a while to see other people, I still ride the motorcycle with the Patiot Guard Riders to Veteran,s funnerals and the car for shopping and getting around in the winter..less than 2.000 miles a year these days........I just got tired of asking for help and being turned down........so I just stopped asking.....When I signed up for Medicare, they sent me a letter, telling me I did not qualify for help on part D, and I couldn't afford anymore health insurance payments, so no part D.......I havent been to a doctor for myself for almost 20 years and I only take a very few over the counter medicens , I don't belive in running to the doctor, everytime I get the sniffels ..........Thank you again for the help !

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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Social Security Cost of Living

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Message 4 of 41

bruceb158421 wrote:

My raise was $25, they gave the whole thing to Medicare, which brought it up to $134 a month,last year the raise was $4, that also went straight to Medicare, they should call it the cost of Medicare raise, because my cost of living is still going up with no increase in my SS check,

 

I am living on about $1,000 a month.........

 

  . . . . I learned to be quite frugal with my money, and I tend to keep what I have,as long as I can, I am over 70 years old now, healthy..thank God...but think every day, about how much longer, before the bills surpass the SS check, . . . . I am all alone now so nobody will miss me anyways...........


You just listed more reasons why you should check your eligibility for the MEDICARE SAVINGS PROGRAMS in your state.

 

I gave you the links to find the contacts in your state so that you could check your eligibility.

 

I gave you a Medicare.gov link giving you general details of each of the Medicare Savings Programs and what general eligibility requirements are required.

 

Depending upon which program you might qualify - it could save you money.

It could save you a good bit of money.  It could save you that $134 per month because if you are eligible, the state would pay your Part B premium of $134 per month.

 

If you qualify for dual eligibility - Medicare/Medicaid - you will not even need your supplemental plan because those two government program would cover your health care needs.

 

As far as your medication coverage (Medicare Part D) - The Social Security Administration should send you a letter stating that you MIGHT qualify for Extra Help with your Part D premiums and cost of medications.  If you have not seen the letter or if you have discarded it - check with the Social Security office on the program called "Extra Help".

 

Can you do this on your own?  If not, contact your State's Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Counselors there should be able to help you.

Medicare.gov - Contact State SHIP

 

These programs have been put in place for those who are eligible and have needs.  But they aren't mind readers - you have to take action or have somebody help you with the process of checking it out and if eligible making application for the help.

 

Medicare Part B cost will probably continue to rise - your premium of $134 per month is your part of the 25% charged in premiums for the total cost of the program - the other 75% is paid by taxpayers.  But if you are eligible for one or several of these help programs because of your income and assets, why not at least see if you are eligible.

 

 

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Info Seeker

Re: Social Security Cost of Living

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Message 5 of 41

My raise was $25, they gave the whole thing to Medicare, which brought it up to $134 a month,last year the raise was $4, that also went straight to Medicare, they should call it the cost of Medicare raise, because my cost of living is still going up with no increase in my SS check, I am living on about $1,000 a month.........For over 15 years I took care of my parents, in 1998 my step father died of cancer,he had no life insurance, and my mother was in a wheel chair at that time, I lost my job in the spring of 2000, and had to take money out of my savings and then finaly out of my retirement account ,to take care of her, she died 4 years ago, at 95 years old,  I learned to be quite frugal with my money, and I tend to keep what I have,as long as I can, I am over 70 years old now, healthy..thank God...but think every day, about how much longer, before the bills surpass the SS check, and I have to join her, I am all alone now so nobody will miss me anyways...........

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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Social Security Cost of Living

192 Views
Message 6 of 41

rg9672 wrote:

So much for the biggest raise in 6 years. They took all they needed to raise the premium from $109 to $134 and gave me the rest. Less than half is what I was left with.


$ 134 per month is your share of paying for the 25% of Medicare PART B cost.

You have been protected from the cost increase for the last couple of years because of the hold harmless part of the Social Security law which says that your SS benefit cannot be any lower than it was in the previous year.  Thus if the COLA isn't large enough, the Part B premium cannot go up any further that what the COLA calculates out to be.

 

Many people have been paying higher than $ 109 per month for Part B for several years, in fact many people began paying $ 134 per month for'2017.  if the COLA had been greater for 2017, you would have paid more maybe even the calculated 2017 rate of $ 134 dependent on the COLA amount.  Remember in 2017, the COLA was only .3% (.003).

 

If Medicare B cost are held down for 2019 and the COLA is decent, you may see a rise in you SS benefit.

 

 

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Info Seeker

Re: Social Security Cost of Living

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Message 7 of 41

So much for the biggest raise in 6 years. They took all they needed to raise the premium from $109 to $134 and gave me the rest. Less than half is what I was left with.

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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Social Security Cost of Living

222 Views
Message 8 of 41

easyed598 wrote:

From what I understand there is a maximum what a Medicare premium can be . If those that  aren`t paying the Max then any increases in SS will be absorbed by medicare until maxed is reached . For example-my wife pays $10.00 less in medicare premium than I do . I think that the 2017 premium max was $124/month. If you aren`t paying that much or  the 2018 increase then your SS cost of living increase won`t be as much or none at all. Perhaps an expert on this subject can shed more light on this subject.


For everybody other than those high income seniors where IRMMA is appled, the max Part B premium for 2017 and 2018 was/is $ 134 per month. 

 

If you are already on the Part B program and your premiums are deducted from your SS benefit and you are not a high income designated beneficiary, then in NO year will your Part B premium, whatever it may be calculated to be, reduce your SS benefit to a figure less than the previous year.

That's the hold-harmless clause in the SS law.

 

You are right that with each COLA, there will be a catch up period to get beneficiaries to the maxium (normal) Part B premium.

 

People who went on Medicare in 2017 or those who actually directly pay their Part B premiums because they are on Medicare but not SS started paying $ 134 per month in 2017 but because those already in Medicare Part B (with premiums deducted from their SS check) only got a .3% (.003) COLA in 2017 - their Part B premium for 2017 was limited to the amount of this increase - with many people paying less than the 2017 standard premium of $ 134 per month.

 

Yes, depending upon any COLA, it may take a year or two or more for everybody to catch up to the total standard premium amount, because of the hold harmless clause and because the Part B program cost keep rising.  But in 2018, there was NO increase in the actual Part B premium amount - any increase is purely from the catch up based on the amount of the COLA and the hold-harmless clause.

 

Now in 2019, if the standard premium still computes to $ 134 per month, and we get another 2% COLA based on the CPI computation, then those already paying $ 134 per month for Part B will realize a COLA increase - but for those paying less than $ 134 per month, they will still have some catching up to do to that amount, like your wife..

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Valued Social Butterfly

Re: Social Security Cost of Living

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Message 9 of 41

bruceb158421 wrote:

I haven't had a raise in my SS for many years now, I have been sighned up for Medicare for five years now and have never used it..every time they say SS is getting a cost of living raise, it goes directly to Medicare, I don't get the raise ...over 30% of my income goes to health insurance now, just Medicare and a suplament to cover what they don't cover, taxes are going up, and every thing else I need to live is going up, but we get no cost of living raise like we were promised..........There is no cost of living raise anymore....................


bruceb158421

 

I have explained numerous times how Medicare Part B fits into the whole COLA thing including the hold harmless clause of the Social Security Act so I won't go through that again. 

 

Instead I would like to offer you some direct help if you are eligible.

If as you say . . . . "over 30% of my income goes to health insurance now, just Medicare and a suplament to cover what they don't cover,"

You might be able to get help in your state for paying your Part B premiums and maybe do away with your supplemental all together if you qualify.

 

If you have limited income and few resources, your state may pay your Medicare premiums and, in some cases, other out-of-pocket medical expenses, such as deductibles and coinsurance.

 

ONLY your state can decide whether you qualify for help under this program -

For more information, contact your state's Medicaid, social services or health or human services.

Visit   Medicare.gov/contacts - Medicare Savings Program resources, or call 1 800 Medicare (TTY:  1 877 486 2048) to get to your state's direct number.

 

You can also read more about Medicare's State supplied help programs at this Medicare website - they are call The Medicare Savings Programs and each is a little different in scope and help.

Medicare.gov - Medicare Savings Programs

 

It is good to familiarize yourself with programs offered by Medicare and Medicaid based on low income - that's the reason they are there - but they aren't mind readers, you have to determine if you might qualify and then take action.

 

Hope this might offer you some help with your Medicare cost.

 

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Trusted Social Butterfly

Re: Social Security Cost of Living

229 Views
Message 10 of 41

From what I understand there is a maximum what a Medicare premium can be . If those that  aren`t paying the Max then any increases in SS will be absorbed by medicare until maxed is reached . For example-my wife pays $10.00 less in medicare premium than I do . I think that the 2017 premium max was $124/month. If you aren`t paying that much or  the 2018 increase then your SS cost of living increase won`t be as much or none at all. Perhaps an expert on this subject can shed more light on this subject.

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