In November, the CPI recorded a 6.8% increase in the cost of consumer goods over the previous year. That puts seniors’ 5.9% COLA in a whole new context. A 5.9% raise could make it easier for seniors to cover their living costs in the new year. But based on the way inflation has soared since that COLA was announced, it’s clear that seniors are already at a disadvantage.
Compounding the issue is the fact that seniors on Medicare won’t even see their 2022 COLA in full. Next year, the standard Medicare Part B premium is rising from $148.50 to $170.10. That’s a $29.60 increase.
Worse yet, we don’t know what inflation has in store for consumers in the coming months. And if it climbs even further, seniors could be left scrambling to pay their bills.
Meanwhile, the average senior on Social Security will see his or her monthly benefit rise by $92 based on that 5.9% COLA. But when we subtract $29.60, it knocks that raise down to $62.40. And while that’s still almost an extra $750 in leftover income on an annual basis, it may not be enough to help seniors stay afloat, given the recent uptick in basic living costs.
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