No COLA, Higher Medicare Premiums and What Congress is Doing About It

Martha Hamilton has a piece up at AARP Bulletin about the dilemma that millions of Social Security recipients are facing for 2010: not only will there be no Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, but a hike in Medicare premiums that will leave them in a serious financial bind. The good news is that Congress is taking action.
Tricia Neuman and Juliette Cubanski of the Kaiser Foundation also have a really useful brief on the issue, explaining the relationship between the Social Security COLA and the Medicare Part B premium, and what’s at stake for those covered by both programs. Check that out for a good background on the issue, and Hamilton’s piece on what is being proposed to help the situation, at least temporarily – the House just passed by a measure that would freeze Part B premiums for the coming year (and the Senate will likely to follow). But another problem is also weighing; others may see a reduction in their SS checks due to Part D premiums.
In short, there is much to be done to ensure Social Security recipients aren’t left out in the cold. Let’s just hope the work pays off.

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