As we ease into October cooler weather, falling leaves and pumpkins, Medicare clients anxiously await the federal government’s decision on Social Security increase, Medicare Part B premium and any additional changes related to these two. How about we dust off the crystal ball and take a look.
Since 1975, the Social Security increase has been based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. What is interesting is this data is not a whole year’s worth. It only takes the third quarter of the current year (July to September 30) and compares it to the prior year, same quarter. July and August of 2018 have shows 2.9% and 3.2% respective increases over the same months in 2017. However, Hurricane Florence hit the southeast in September, similarly to Harvey and Irma that hit around the same time in 2017. Those two hurricanes didn’t reduce the increase last year, but actually made it higher.
At the end of September, the Social Security increase was estimated at 2.8%. However, by October 11, the date the data will be finalized, it could be greater than that. Let’s look at what 2.8% looks like on average. The average recipient receives $1400 a month from Social Security. A 2.8% increase would add up to about $39 a month. This keeps up with inflation, however does not keep up with the two biggest expenditures for seniors, costs of medical care and housing. In 2017, the increase was 2%, which was an average of $29 and Medicare came back with a $25 increase in the Part B premium and for approximately 70% of seniors, that ate up most, all or even more than their increase.
The premium for Part B and the subsequent plan changes usually do not come out until November and due to this year being a mid-term election year, most definitely after voting is complete. Due to this, there are minimal guesses out there about the change, but most say the premium for Part B seem to range from $0 change to approximately 5% increase.
If you have questions about your current coverage or alternate options, give us at call at Health Insurance Advisor. We look forward to educating you about the options and assisting you to find a plan and carrier that best fits your needs.
A little more about us:
The Business Warrior group has some of the industry’s top experts in all the areas your business needs to be successful. Amongst the contributors is Janis VanAhn, owner of Health Insurance Advisor, LLC. For 19 years Janis has worked in and around the health insurance industry initially providing service to agents and employers related to employee benefits, individual healthcare and Medicare, while more recently becoming appointed as an individual agent with various quality carriers to provide this service to individuals through her own business.
Four years ago Janis was ‘blessed’ with being let go from her job at an insurance ageny. Staying within insurance was her path…but in what capacity. 2010 was the year Janis began her career as an independent insurance agent specializing in health insurance. Finding quality, cost-effective healthcare for individuals and families under age 65 as well as working with those who are Medicare eligible truly was her passion. She has made this a true specialty and positioned herself as someone to work with whether it is a financial professional or property & casualty agent with a client that needs assistance, to a group of seniors turning 65 and they keep receiving Medicare information and are confused about what to do.
Janis enjoys the one on one contact with clients as well as looking forward to speaking to groups about healthcare. Her excitement for this industry is what drives her to stay in tune with Healthcare Reform and what is currently happening and what will happen with coverage from now to past 2014.
‘Educating individual and Medicare consumers to make informed choices’ is her mission because if people are educated and understand, they will make informed choices that they are comfortable with.