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Letter to the Editor: Historical Medicare premium increase on the way

Increase coincides with cost of living adjustment increase in Social Security.

Globe Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

In 2022, the Medicare Part B standard premium will increase from $148.50 to $170.10. This $21.60 increase (14.5%) is the largest since the Medicare program began in 1965 and much higher than was originally expected. There are many reasons for the higher-than-expected increase:

  • A rise in health care costs

  • An increased use of health care

  • Congress limited the increase in the 2021 premium

  • The FDA approved a new medication (Aduhelm) to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

People on Social Security will receive a 5.9% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase in 2022. This is an average of $92/month per person and means despite the large increase in the Medicare premium, most people will see a net increase in their Social Security check.
People who do not see an increase may be protected by Social Security’s Hold Harmless Rule. This rule protects people who receive Social Security benefits from paying more in Medicare Part B premiums than they receive in their COLA increase. The hold harmless provision does not apply to those who:

  • Enroll in Medicare Part B for the first time in 2022. (You must receive Social Security benefits or be entitled to Social Security benefits for November and December 2021 and have Medicare premiums for December 2021 and January 2022 deducted from your benefit.)

  • Are on Medicare but don’t receive a Social Security benefit

  • Have higher incomes (Individuals with income above $91,000; Couples who file a joint return with income above $182,000.)

To learn more about Medicare, call the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433. The Senior LinkAge Line is a free, statewide service of the Minnesota Board on Aging in partnership with Minnesota’s Area Agencies on Aging. The Senior LinkAge Line is Minnesota’s federally designated State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and the place to call for questions and information on Medicare and much more.
Robin Thompson,

Senior LinkAge Line/Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging, Mankato

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