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Sun Oct 14, 2012, 08:38 AM

Expect small '13 Social Security benefit increase

Source: AP-Excite

By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER

WASHINGTON (AP) - Social Security recipients shouldn't expect a big increase in monthly benefits come January.

Preliminary figures show the annual benefit boost will be between 1 percent and 2 percent, which would be among the lowest since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975. Monthly benefits for retired workers now average $1,237, meaning the typical retiree can expect a raise of between $12 and $24 a month.

The size of the increase will be made official Tuesday, when the government releases inflation figures for September. The announcement is unlikely to please a big block of voters - 56 million people get benefits - just three weeks before elections for president and Congress.

The cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, is tied to a government measure of inflation adopted by Congress in the 1970s. It shows that consumer prices have gone up by less than 2 percent in the past year.

FULL story at link.



Read more: http://apnews.excite.com/article/20121014/DA1TAH9O0.html

25 replies, 3877 views

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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Expect small '13 Social Security benefit increase (Original post)
Omaha Steve Oct 2012 OP
Berlum Oct 2012 #1
Cleita Oct 2012 #2
Lasher Oct 2012 #3
freshwest Oct 2012 #7
marybourg Oct 2012 #10
Cleita Oct 2012 #12
Divernan Oct 2012 #15
Cleita Oct 2012 #17
Divernan Oct 2012 #20
Cleita Oct 2012 #21
DavidL Oct 2012 #4
marybourg Oct 2012 #9
DavidL Oct 2012 #14
Divernan Oct 2012 #16
DavidL Oct 2012 #18
Divernan Oct 2012 #19
marybourg Oct 2012 #23
Divernan Oct 2012 #5
freshwest Oct 2012 #8
alfredo Oct 2012 #6
RebelOne Oct 2012 #11
Yo_Mama Oct 2012 #13
woo me with science Oct 2012 #22
Divernan Oct 2012 #24
durablend Oct 2012 #25

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 09:51 AM

1. "We can cut that COLA even more." - Romney-Ryan Republicans (R)

"In fact, when we TAKE the election, we are going to require a Massive Return on our investment (heh, heh), and so we are going to toss Granny & Gramps under the freaking Republican 1% Bus, to be sure we have ooodles of wiggle room to give more tax breaks to the rich."

- Romney-Ryan Republicans (R)

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 09:55 AM

2. I'm not expecting any. It's been three years now and even the COLA we got last

year was taken away from other benefits. I expect the same this year. They are slowly starving us retirees.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 10:25 AM

3. I'm told that all of the SS COLA is taken away every year

by Medicare premium increases. Is this accurate?

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Response to Lasher (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 01:32 PM

7. Not at all in my case. I'm on basic, which has been the same premium for years.

There have been no changes despite all the stories. Maybe I'm 'grandfathered' in. The new booklet finally listed preventative care I can use. I don't have a supplemental policy, so I can't speak to any increases there
.

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Response to Lasher (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 01:41 PM

10. no. Publican lie.

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Response to Lasher (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 02:49 PM

12. It has been in the past but not the last few years.

However, what ever increase I get in my SS, they deduct from my widow's benefit. Other people have told me that they deduct it from food stamps and other additional benefits they may get. A friend of mine, now deceased, used to get a small veterans of the foreign wars pension so there was a deduction there.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #12)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 05:44 PM

15. The discussion refers to social security COLAs, not other benefits.

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Response to Divernan (Reply #15)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 06:17 PM

17. I'm aware of that. But as someone who has received SS security for ten years, I

can assure you that when your other benefits are reduced because of your SS COLA increase, it doesn't help when you have to buy gas at almost $5 a gallon. Also, what was deducted after my COLA increase last year, was deducted from the SS benefit I receive as a widow. So it is SS anyway you look at it.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #17)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 08:19 PM

20. That does not change the fact that an increase to medicare will not be larger than the COLA

Certainly I agree that it is unfair to reduce pension/or other benefits because of the SS COLA - that's like the colleges reducing the amount of student aid they promise because a student wins a scholarship. What I want to make clear is that the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare has not changed the basic rule that medicare increases cannot exceed COLAs.

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Response to Divernan (Reply #20)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 08:28 PM

21. Technically, you are correct, but it doesn't change the reality of the situation

of those of us who have to live with it.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 10:35 AM

4. Medicare increase is more than that

 

So I lose money! SURPRISE!

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Response to DavidL (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 01:40 PM

9. Untrue. Someone's been drinking the publican cool aid.

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Response to marybourg (Reply #9)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 05:28 PM

14. I got my 2013 rates for Medicare the other day

 

A $27 increase. (It depends upon your state, your provider, your plan, and your previous year's taxable income).

My SS payment would have to go up MORE than 1,75% to give me more take home dollars in SS payments, not likely.

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Response to DavidL (Reply #14)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 05:57 PM

16. No, what you got was a bogus email debunked by Snopes - what next, buying the Brooklyn Bridge?

The premium for 2013 will be set in the fall. But according to Page 229 of the 2012 report from the board of trustees on Medicare, the estimated standard monthly premium will be about $109.10 a month (an increase of $10) not $120.20. In 2014 it will be about $3 more, not $127 more as the e-mail claims.
https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/ReportsTrustFunds/downloads/tr2012.pdf

Your claim is as bogus as a $3 bill.

Fact-checkers everywhere have debunked it, including PolitiFact National and our friends at FactCheck.org and Snopes.com.
http://www.politifact.com/rhode-island/statements/2012/aug/07/chain-email/blue-cross-logo-gives-new-fuel-bogus-e-mail-claimi/

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Response to Divernan (Reply #16)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 06:33 PM

18. If you want, I'll send you a letter from my provider.

 

The rate of monthly payment is stated in it, and the letter is addressed to me.

You might be right about bogus claims, but I have not been paying $99 a month, I have been paying $72.50 a month, and it will go to $99.50 the letter states.

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Response to DavidL (Reply #18)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 08:14 PM

19. By "provider" do you mean your secondary health insurance provider?

I've found no reference to anyone paying less than the $99.50 per month for 2012 for basic Medicare coverage - which is what we're talking about here. Are you getting secondary/supplementary insurance and/or Part D/drug prescription coverage for an additional $72?

Basic info from Kiplinger for 2012:
It includes mention of the fact that high income beneficiaries ($85,000 single; $170,000 couple) will be charged higher amounts.
High-Income Seniors Hit With Medicare Surcharge
Year-End Moves to Avoid the Medicare High-Income Surcharge
Future of Medicare Up for Debate
"Part B premiums will actually decline for some retirees who first enrolled in Medicare in 2010 and 2011. They, too, will pay $99.90 per month in 2012, down from the $110.50 or more they had paid each month since becoming eligible for benefits."


But high-income beneficiaries -- individuals with modified adjusted gross income of more than $85,000 and married couples with joint income of more than $170,000 -- will continue to pay extra for Medicare coverage. The monthly Part B premium, including the surcharge, will range from $139.90 per person to $319.70 per person. High-income retirees will also pay more for Part D prescription-drug coverage, ranging from $11.60 to $66.40 per person per month on top of regular Part D premiums.

Read more: http://www.kiplinger.com/magazine/archives/new-rates-for-social-security-benefits-medicare.html#ixzz29JwfN76m

Going to the Medicare website, you will see reference to the fact that some people with higher incomes will pay MORE than the $99.90 per month, but no reference to anyone paying LESS than $99.90.
http://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/part-b-costs/part-b-costs.html
You pay a premium each month for Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). Most people will pay the standard premium amount. However, if your modified adjusted gross income as reported on your IRS tax return from 2 years ago is above a certain amount, you may pay more.
How much does Part B cost?

Most people pay the Part B premium of $99.90 each month.

You pay $140 per year for your Part B deductible.

Some people automatically get Part B. Learn how and when you can sign up for Part B.

If you don't sign up for Part B when you're first eligible, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty.

If your modified adjusted gross income as reported on your IRS tax return from 2 years ago (the most recent tax return information provided to Social Security by the IRS) is above a certain amount, you may pay more.

Social Security will contact some people who have to pay more depending on their income. The amount you pay can change each year depending on your income. If you have to pay a higher amount for your Part B premium and you disagree (for example, if your income goes down), use this form to contact Social Security.

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Response to DavidL (Reply #14)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 09:38 PM

23. I think you must be talking about your Medicare Advantage

plan. That's not what people are talking about when they say "Medicare". Medicare Advantage is a publican plan to privatize Medicare. The pubs said private insurance companies could provide medical care better and cheaper, but they needed to be paid more than the government was paying for regular medicare, just for "a little while" until they got up and running. Well it's been about 16 years now and they're STILL getting more money from the taxpayers, so now this President is cutting their excess and insureds are having to pay more. But that's not MEDICRE going up.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 01:10 PM

5. By law, the medicare increase can never be more than the COLA.

I cannot believe the blatantly inaccurate claims made by some other posters. Their math is about as good as Romney/Ryan's. It is very disheartening that people would post such inaccurate crap on DU!

If you can discipline yourselves to read the following, you will learn that the 2012 COLA increased Social Security checks by 3.6%, which averaged out to $43 per month, and more than offset modest Part B premium increases for prior retirees.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505146_162-39945614/medicare-premiums-and-deductibles-lower-than-expected-for-2012/

"The U.S Department of Health and Human Services announced that premiums for Medicare Part B coverage for physician and outpatient services will increase less than projected next year, and that the deductible will actually decrease. Premiums will go up $3.50, to $99.90 per month for 2012. The Medicare Trustees report had previously projected an increase of $10.20, to $106.60 for 2012.

Premiums have not increased for retirees since 2009, thanks to a "hold-harmless" provision -- since there were no cost of living increases in the Social Security income benefit for 2010 and 2011, Medicare premiums could not rise without effectively reducing seniors' Social Security income. Typically Medicare Part B premiums are deducted from Social Security income checks.

The premium for new retirees in 2011 was $115.40; this group of retirees will now pay the standard premium of $99.90 per month, for a reduction of $15.50 in their monthly premium. New and prior retirees will receive a net increase in their Social Security check, given the recently announced cost-of-living increase (COLA) for 2012 of 3.6 percent. The 2012 COLA will increase Social Security monthly checks by an average of $43 per month, more than offsetting the modest Part B premium increase for prior retirees.

The good news didn't stop there -- the Medicare Part B deductible actually decreased by $22, from $162 last year to $140 for 2012. The deductible for Part A Hospital coverage increased from $1,132 in 2011 to $1,156 in 2012, a lower-than-expected increase, below increases in prior years and below the rate of inflation. This comes on top of news this summer that premiums for Medicare's Part D, the prescription drug program, would decline ever-so slightly this year too."
_____________________________________________________________________________

Health and Human Services credited the ACA (Affordable Care Act/Obamacare) for the good news, citing crackdowns on Medicare fraud and improvements in the way people receive care.

Yes, I understand that the coming COLA will be smaller, but however much it is, it places a limit on any increase for Medicare deductions from your Social Security checks. In other words, the SS checks will NOT be reduced from this year's amount.

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Response to Divernan (Reply #5)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 01:33 PM

8. Thanks for the data to refute the RW spin. I already know it to be true from experience, but not #'s

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 01:31 PM

6. Is there still a hold on VA COLA's?

I'm a disabled Vet and would like to know.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 02:49 PM

11. What do they mean that the average monthly benefit is only $1,237?

I have been receiving monthly benefits of $1,400 minus my medicare payment of $100. Even a $12 or $24 increase will be a help.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #11)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 04:33 PM

13. The mathematical average of all SS benefits is $1,237

Add all the monthly SS benefit checks and divide by the number of checks, and that's the answer.

You receive more than the mathematical average.

Actually that's slightly too high. Here is the monthly stats page for August:
http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/quickfacts/stat_snapshot/

As you can see, the average monthly benefit for retired workers was $1,235. For widows/widowers, it was $1,162. For spouses, it was $611.

The average SS Disability check was $1,111.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Oct 14, 2012, 08:29 PM

22. Wait 'til the bipartisan chained CPI kicks in.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2012, 06:54 AM

24. Medicare has NOT yet announced it's 2013 rate increase.

Despite various comments on this thread, here is the bottom line, as spelled out this morning in Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette.

AS TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY COLA:
Preliminary figures show the annual benefit boost will be between 1 percent and 2 percent, which would be among the lowest since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975. Monthly benefits for retired workers now average $1,237, meaning the typical retiree can expect a raise of between $12 and $24 a month. The size of the increase will be made official Tuesday, when the government releases inflation figures for September.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/us/social-security-benefits-will-grow-a-little-657610/#ixzz29MbdNeLr

AS TO THE MEDICARE PART B PREMIUM:
Some of next year's raise could be wiped out by higher Medicare premiums, which are deducted from Social Security payments. The Medicare Part B premium, which covers doctor visits, is expected to rise by about $7 per month for 2013, according to government projectionsThe premium is currently $99.90 a month for most seniors. Medicare is expected to announce the premium for 2013 in the coming weeks.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/us/social-security-benefits-will-grow-a-little-657610/#ixzz29MaDQ8CK

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Oct 15, 2012, 08:05 AM

25. Likely going to cost us some votes

Have to be honest here, even though he had nothing to do with it, seniors will likely blame the president for the middling COLA and may vote accordingly.

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