Omaha residents, Medicare insurance company have concerns about Social Security increase

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 4:39 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The new year will bring extra money to the checks of people who receive social security benefits but how much will that 5.9% cost of living increase will really mean to the millions of people who will get the raise when checks arrive in 2022?

Michelle Ludacka receives social security, she supplements her check by working at Dimensions Hair Salon. Michelle is happy to get the extra money but with the price of just about everything on the rise, she doesn’t believe she will see a big change in her pocketbook after the dust clears.

“Probably not because I don’t know if that will really equal out, but it will help. But with everything else being high, I don’t know how much difference it will actually make,” said Ludacka.

The Social Security Administration says next year’s increase will be the largest bump in almost 40 years. Experts say the social security increase won’t stay in the pockets of senior citizens very long.

The benefit increase will come after a year of inflation, that’s increased the cost of everything from food to rent. Carol Pflepsen-Bowery is still happy with the increase.

“I think it’s a welcomed surprise and whether or not, it will you know offset the price increases, but I’m happy for it,” said Pflepsen-Bowery.

Kurt Fricke with Helping Hands for Senior Plans, they help seniors with Medicare insurance. Kurt says those seniors who receive social security and Medicare benefits might have to worry about more than the high price of consumer goods.

“Their Medicare is going to eat it all up because for them to take a 5.9% increase in social security, then Medicare going to raise their premiums and Medicare’s going to raise their deductibles and their out of pocket, these insurance companies are going to have to eat that expense so their premiums are going to start going up so that 5.9 is not going to last long,” said Fricke.

Kurt has been working with Medicare insurance for about 15 years. He says whenever there is any social security increase, Medicare also raises the rates, he’s watched it happen over the years.

“Give you a perfect example, Trump’s last year was 1.6%, okay, that’s what they got for COLA medicare only raised its premiums $5. What do you think they’re going to do when they go 5.9%?”

Kurt says for those not on Medicare, that extra money on next year’s social security check will help with the higher prices for consumer goods, and for those on social security and Medicare, the increased premiums will take even more of that increase.

Many retirees pay their Medicare premiums out of their social security checks, so that increase could grow smaller before it hits their bank accounts.

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