Social Security Changes in 2018, how will you be affected?
Benefits will Rise
Social Security recipients will get a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in their monthly benefit payments starting in January, the largest increase since 2012.
Announced on Friday by the Social Security Administration, the increase will boost the average beneficiary check by $27.38 per month, or about $329 a year. The increase is the largest since a 3.6 percent hike in 2012. The adjustment was a minuscule 0.3 percent increase in 2017, and there was no change in 2016.
However, the cost of Medicare is increasing for most as well, leaving most to actually receive less each month because the increase does not keep up with the increase costs associated with Medicare due to the Affordable Care Act.
There has been a “hold harmless” provision in federal law that prohibits Medicare from raising a person’s premiums if it reduces their Social Security benefits.
For the past two years, most Medicare beneficiaries have been held harmless because, without a significant increase in income, increasing their premiums would have resulted in lower Social Security benefits.
However, in 2018, the increase will be large enough to allow for the increase in Medicare premiums. It's a way for the government to force an increase in Medicare premiums on the elderly. The law states that the increase in income must be a certain level to raise Medicare premiums. So when the government wants to raise the Medicare premiums, they raise the income just enough to allow for an increase in Medicare premiums.
That way the government can tell tote that Social Security income is rising, but in reality, about 42 million Seniors receiving Social Security payments will actually be receiving less money AFTER the increase than before.
The Social Security Administration also announced that the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax, now $127,200, would climb to $128,700 next year.
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