Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income. Social Security administers this program. We pay monthly benefits to people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. Blind or disabled children may also get SSI.) will have a 5.9% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2022. The increase in benefits will begin in January 2022. This is a significant increase from prior years. In fact, it is the largest increase since 1982. Social Security increases COLA so benefits are not deteriorated by the impacts of inflation.
In addition to the cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security and SSI, there is also an increase for Medicare Part B Premiums. The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B for 2022 has a 14.5% increase. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the increases are due to the rise in cost of health care, the “significantly lower increase in the 2021 Medicare Part B premium,” and the uncertainty of the potential use of an Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm™.
Medicare Part B covers numerous healthcare services including, physician services, outpatient hospital services, medical equipment, and other services not covered by Medicare Part A. Individuals on Social Security Disability (Social Security Disability Insurance is a payroll tax-funded federal insurance program of the United States government. It is managed by the Social Security Administration and designed to provide income supplements to people who are physically restricted in their ability to be employed because of a notable disability.) and SSI rely on access to their healthcare providers and many medical services. While the 5.9% COLA increase will help these residents with the increase cost of Medicare Part B premiums, it will not completely cover the rise in premiums. The significant gap between the increase of COLA and Medicare Part B premium will have a greater impact on the disabled than the “average” citizen. People on SSDI and SSI typically require more health care and will need to be able to cover the increase in the premium for 2022.
On their website, CMS indicated that low-income seniors and adults with disability may qualify for financial assistance from the Medicare Savings Program (MSPs). More information on this program can be found by visiting: https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/get-help-paying-costs/medicare-savings-programs