Medicare Social Security

No Social Security increase in 2016 at substantial cost to most older adults

Written by Diane Archer

Every year but two for the last 40 years, people have seen a cost-of-living increase in their Social Security checks, an inflation adjustment. But, they will see no increase at all in their Social Security benefit in 2016. To make matters worse, a new report from the Center for Retirement Research, reveals that, unless there is a work-around, some people with Medicare will see almost a 50 percent increase in their Medicare Part B monthly premium. And, most people with Medicare will have less disposable income for non-health care related expenses.

Significant Medicare premium increase for about 15 million people: About three in ten people with Medicare will have to absorb the full 25 percent of Medicare Part B program costs in their premiums that the other 70 percent of people with Medicare will be exempt from paying. Under the law, Medicare premiums cannot increase for most older adults and people with disabilities if their Social Security benefits do not also increase.

However, people who are just joining Medicare, or who have an income-adjusted Medicare premium, or who have Medicare and Medicaid, can face premium increases. And, because the law requires Medicare Part B premiums to cover 25 percent of program costs, the 30 percent of people with Medicare for whom premiums can rise will have monthly premiums of at least $159.30, up from premiums as low as $104.90. Couples with incomes of more than $428,000 will have monthly premiums of $509.80.

Less disposable income for non-health-related expenses for most people receiving Social Security benefits: Because health care costs are rising faster than non-medical costs, people with Medicare who rely on Social Security for some or all of their income, receive lower net Social Security benefits after health care expenses each year. (People with Medicare spend an average of $5,000 on health care costs Medicare does not pay for.) Also, Medicare premiums have been rising more than twice as fast as the Social Security benefit, even with the cost-of-living adjustment. As a result, each year, people with Medicare have less disposable income for non-health-related expenses.

Keep in mind that more than half of households 55 and older do not have any retirement savingsand Social Security benefits represent an average of 52 percent of income for people over 65. It’s no wonder that the vast majority of Americans want to expand Social Security benefits or keep spending as it is. Today. many people are claiming Social Security benefits early, taking a 25 percent cut in benefits to do so, and people with low incomes are being hurt disproportionately.



  • This is atrocious. I would think a $200/ month across the board increase would even out the effects of the constant increase in prices.

    • yes but even that isnt enought for people on disablility that became disabled before they could get their 40 credits in. in ca. we only get 900 a month and we are not allowed to get food stamps because we are on ssi. our average studio apartment rent where i live is 700 a month. try living on that.

  • That’s not all, unless legislation is introduced to fund the Disability Social Security benefits fund before March of 2016, the Disability Social Security benefits will as automatically reduced by 20% per month.

  • This action will put me in a desperate situation. Social Security is something we have earned by paying into it for our entire working life. The government has no right to make these adjustments. I can’t only pray that Congress will do the right thing for us and not put us out on the street!

  • Absolutely outrageous!!! Sanders is calling for a $69 per month increase, and this would NOT BE NEARLY ENOUGH to make up for all of the price hikes, increased costs. $200 sounds about right. Congress needs to fix this; NOW!!!

  • The absence of a COLA for 2016 is a death sentence for at least 10s of thousands of Americans subsisting on the margin of poverty. The COLA formulas are a sad joke and rely on an alternative universe. You have several buffoons seeking Presidential nomination spouting nonsensical ideas. What a revolting development.

    • Frank, – I Totally Agree! – But, even more- We have morons in Congress,- in bed with special interest $banksters and $corpsters. The Social Security- so-called COLA is a complete farce! – We figured that since 1985 to 2015 {30yrs.} We need at least a 41% increase immediately – just to barely catch up with economic Reality!! – Da!? – Instead these do-nothing reds&blues destroy Our Great Republic, – and go on policing themselves! – Criminal, and un-Constituional to the Max! – “Money Out – Bernie In” !!!

  • This is unbelievable. How are those of us who are already retired supposed to keep up with the increases in everything we need to live? Seniors are falling by the wayside – a country is judged by the way it treats its old people.

  • This is unacceptable, robbing the poor to feed the rich! Especially with prices rising for food, clothing, housing, etc. I am on a Medicare non-profit health care plan. I pay more than $100 a month at present and cannot afford any increases.

  • How could that be? If there’s no increase in inflation then none of these things should be going up! But what we’re seeing is austerity on the spending side and increases on the payment side. COLA’s are no longer effective because the government is manipulating them to steal the money out of the Safety Net.​

  • Typical Republican tactics -take from the needy & give to the rich or balance the budget by robbing the poor while the rich & prosperous ask for tax cuts. Oh yeah, make sure we gerrymander every district so their votes don’t count either! How long will this go on before the masses rebel?

  • Why doesn’t someone introduce a bill to forbid Congress from ‘borrowing’ the surplus in the Social Security Trust Fund? and how did that happen in the first place? Those of us who have worked and paid into it all of our working lives are being taken to the cleaners. Trust Fund? What a joke. If a trustee of any other trust fund did what Congress is doing to ours, they would end up in jail unless they repaid every penny they ‘borrowed’.

    • Because it actually borrows the money, and pays the Social Security Trust fund interest on the money. Essentially, the SS buys Treasury bonds, the safest investment in the world. Every penny is paid back, when the Bills come due. The safety and security of the Social Security Trust Fund is guaranteed by the Government of the United States.

      • Except there’s a place called Greece where they had similar promises and now that they’re broke the promises are off the table and austerity is the rule of the day and they’re not getting their pensions and other government promises.

        We have an entire party running for the repeal of all social programs (ie the conservatives) and already benefits for those with disabilities as stated above will be cut 20% if Congress doesn’t act by April of 2016.

        You have multiple members of Congress already threatening to cut Social Security and Medicare. COLA’s are already being hidden by manipulating figures of inflation and they want to change the “formula” to make it even harder to get a COLA. They’ve been increasing costs by taking money from Medicare currently $8 billion was removed which has hit every single person on Medicare in higher premiums and copays with no associated COLA to hold them harmless which by there very actions is just austerity at work by taking money away spending it and because it’s part of the “discretionary budget” they can steal it without having to put a T-Bill in it’s place.

  • This is just stupid. I have multiple disablaties and take eight prescriptions a day. It sounds to me like they just want everybody collecting benefits that WE paid into with the promise of having an income in time of need or retirement to just die.

  • Surprise, eh? LOL. I did not expect an increase, so I was not disappointed. So, since we are required by law to buy health insurance (I purchase insurance from an HMO), why can’t I just take all the premiums (including Medicare premiums) as deductions to Federal Income Taxes? PS I have always purchased private health insurance and have never used the “doughnut hole.” Aha! The Medicare premiums increase is to bolster the “kitty” and reduce Soc. Sec. outflow. Sounds like the old shell game. I am sure I am n ot alone when I say that I probably would not go completely under without Soc. Sec., but, let me tell you, it would sure as “H” change my lifestyle a WHOLE lot.

    • There are a lot of people that only get Social Security and have no pension in fact it’s the majority of people that receive Social Security benefits. People on disability have never had a chance to even build a pension and therefore have only whatever Social Security they get which on average is about $13-$14 thousand per year.

      If you actually make out a budget to live on $14,000 a year you’ll find out real fast that it’s not survivable it takes almost twice that to survive especially if you take any medications that aren’t generic and even some that are generic can be very expensive.

      I’ve always wondered why someone hasn’t made this front page news on every newspapers in America and then I realize it’s not something that conservative newspapers want on the front page nor would they print.

  • republicans see social security as a giveaway programme and they do not want people to have what they worked for. it is their values. the only way around it is vote the bums out

    • It was President Obama that was willing to give the conservatives a deal in reducing Social Security and Medicare benefits and ultimately took $8 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare. And there are many other democrats that are Wall Street Democrats.


  • I see very few people say anything about the Part D doughnut hole. I was exposed to radioactivity from an old pesticides. I now have 2 rare disabilities. At least 3 of my drugs are not yet generics. This means I am paying $1000/mo my medicine. Is noone else facing this? With a 20% cut in disability, this catastrophic for me.

    If anyone knows a way out of this mess or around it, please let me know what I’m missing!

    When we talk about medicines and Medicare, can’t they just close the doughnut hole?

    If you have had in the past or are currently having an issue or if you know wno or know how to help me change my situation, please email me the solution at Thanks!

    • The doughnut hole is supposed to be closed by 2020 but as I said earlier they’re just increasing prices to keep their payout the same it’s what the rest of the world would call fraud.

      Nothing you can do about it other than to insure that you are going to the cheapest pharmacy for the medications you’re using and also check for Patient Assistance Programs through the manufacturer directly (although they are getting fewer and further between as the greed factor goes up) and last but not least check out and Hope that helps.

  • No money was taken from Medicare or Social Security to fund the ACA. That is neo-con fiction perpetuated by Fox News and Republicans.

    • They reduced payouts to the Medicare Advantage insurers which in turn raised prices for people that have gotten into these plans.

      Once you’ve had original Medicare/MediGap policy and go to a Medicare Advantage plan there’s no going back. Your original Medicare insurance will be underwritten at the time you go back and you will pay a very different price from the first time you originally joined Medicare based on your current age and health history. It’s not like the policy you initially get from Medicare/MediGap upon retirement where you are held harmless.

      And I was wrong it’s not $8 billion it’s $717 billion sorry I really messed up.

  • Even by contemporary GOP standards, today’s vote is pretty obscene. At a time of rising economic inequality, House Republicans have prioritized a bill to make economic inequality worse on purpose. At a time in which much of Congress wants to make the deficit smaller, House Republicans have prioritized a bill to make the deficit much larger.

    At a time when prosperity is concentrated too heavily at the very top, House Republicans have prioritized a bill to deliver enormous benefits to multi-millionaires and billionaires – and no one else.

  • I have a friend in England and they really take care of their people. I know Americans used to diss their social system but at least they are not living in poverty. I can’t imagine what my Mom would’ve done had she had to live off of her Social Security now but I know there are many many poor people who worked all their lives and then retired and can’t make it. Incomes never rose to compensate for the prices that doubled or tripled. And that funny math the gov’t used to say there was no inflation, yet now we are in a recession cause no one has money to spend except for necessities. I’m 59 and I’m ashamed of my own gov’t. I work at Walmart and most of the people there are in their 50’s and 60’s because we need a job to survive.

  • The GDP is not flat. Inflation exists so us seniors need a COLA increase in 2016. My rent is going up in January 6%. My co-payment for medical has increased from $15 to $35 per visit. Pleeeeease Congress pass a COLA increase. All of you are taken care of for life and may not experience what us regular taxpayer folks are having to deal with daily. Pleeeeeease approve an increase !

  • This is a serious question… Can seniors as a whole file a lawsuit against the government? I’m not yet on social security.. One more year.. But my parents are and like everybody else on social security they are always just a few dollars away from not being able to get dad’s meds. Taking a 20% cut in benefits would be devastating for them.


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