15 Million Seniors Facing 52% Increase in Medicare Premiums for 2016

Millions of seniors in America are living on fixed incomes which generally do not keep pace with the increased cost of living. Consequently a large number of seniors are forced to find part time work at places like Walmart, Sam’s Club and other retailers in hope of earning enough to pay their bills, keep a roof over their heads and pay for their medical expenses.

Among those expenses they are trying to pay are their Medicare premiums. However, if nothing is done to prevent it, about 30% of seniors paying into Medicare, which is around 15 million people, could see their Medicare premiums increase by 52%.

According to the Fiscal Times:

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“Nearly a third of the roughly 50 million elderly Americans who depend on Medicare for their physician care and other health services could see their premiums jump by 52 percent or more next year. That’s because of a quirk in the law that punishes wealthier beneficiaries and others any time the Social Security Administration fails to boost the annual cost of living adjustment.”

“While Congress is largely focused on addressing looming shortfalls in the Social Security Disability Insurance program, a financial time-bomb of sorts may go off in 2016 because of the festering premium problem in Medicare Part B – the premium-based government health insurance program that covers seniors’ visits to doctors and other health care providers, out-patient care and durable medical equipment.”

“Unless Congress or Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell intervenes, an estimated 15 million seniors, first-time beneficiaries or those currently claiming dual Medicare and Medicaid coverage will see their premiums jump from $104.90 per month to $159.30 for individuals, according to an analysis by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Higher-income couples would pay multiples of that increase.”

$54.40 may not seem like a lot to many of you, but it is a huge increase for many seniors living on inadequate Social Security payments. Don’t forget that many of these seniors worked at a time when most companies offered pension plans, but the vast majority of those pensions have evaporated away because companies could no longer afford to pay into them.

When Social Security was first established, it was designed to be just a supplement to pension plans. Additionally it was based on a life expectancy of only 5 years from the time of retirement to the time of death. It was never meant to be the only long term source of income for millions of seniors. So $54.40 a month is a huge hurdle for many of them and probably a financial breaking point for some.

The problem is that it appears that there will be no cost of living increase for 2016 Social Security checks. The government uses the Consumer Price Index as their basis and since it has remained fairly constant this year that equates to no cost of living increase for next year.

Herein exists the illogic of all of this. Since Social Security benefits will not receive a cost of living increase, the government is going to increase the Medicare premiums on nearly 15 million seniors. If there was going to be a cost of living increase, their premiums would not be going up.

If this makes sense to any of you, then please enlighten us with your wisdom and understanding because I see this is a punishment to many who can’t afford it and who don’t deserve it. The only thing that makes sense to me is that Barack Obama has been at war with senior citizens ever since taking office. The provisions built into Obamacare have only cost seniors more for less medical coverage. It’s as if Obama wants us older Americans to die sooner so the government doesn’t have to help provide for us. He’s in favor of killing off the elderly, the unborn, the sick and the disabled so they aren’t a burden on society. Kind of sounds like Adolf Hitler’s philosophy doesn’t it.

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