REVIEW: Don’t Lose Sleep Over The Medicare Premium Increase

The headlines are dire: “Medicare Premiums to Soar/Spike/Skyrocket (insert eye-catching verb of choice here) For Millions of Seniors.” Some well intentioned folks are even spreading the myth that you should claim your social security benefits now, just to avoid the increase.

But this increase isn’t as big a deal as journalists might lead you to believe…

Remember, journalists want to capture your attention, sell magazines or bait you to click a link. The more dire the headline, the better.

The overwhelming majority of articles out there, however, fail to mention some of these critical facts:

– It’s a temporary increase
– It only affects about 30% of Part B recipients
This has happened before
– As a dollar amount, it’s simply not that big
– Existing SS benefits will not be reduced as a result of the increase
– Don’t file for SS benefits early just to dodge the increase

This article does a decent job of outlining the important issues that should be considered by those who might be hit with the increase, although it doesn’t cover everything.

The big take-away here is this: Your social security claiming strategy is a BIG DECISION. The difference between an early claim and an optimized claim is typically more than $100,000 of lifetime benefits. Nobody likes a price hike. But don’t let a temporary total cost increase of several hundred dollars tempt you to abandon a strategy that could yield a hundred thousand.

 

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