Could the Next COLA Be Even Higher? - FOX Business
Most seniors gleefully celebrated the announcement last fall that their 2022 Social Security benefit would see an increase of 5.9% from a Cost of Living Adjustment. That celebration, however, was quite short-lived as reality set in – the COLA increase wasn’t nearly enough to offset the higher inflation rate already being suffered. Then, to add insult to injury, the standard Medicare Part B premium for 2022 was increased by $21.60 per month, which meant that – since Medicare’s Part B premiums are generally withheld from Social Security payments – the net Social Security benefit increase would be much smaller, or perhaps even non-existent. Such is the insidious effect of inflation on America’s seniors, and the bad news doesn’t stop there. Inflation has continued to soar, with the most recent measurement indicating the inflation rate has risen to 8.5%, further eroding the buying power of already struggling seniors. So what does continued inflation mean to Social Security beneficiaries? Well, it possibly means an even higher COLA increase next year, as postulated by Megan Henney of FOX Business News. The author suggests that because March data indicates that consumer prices in March of this year are 8.5% higher than last year, the COLA increase for next year could be as much as 8.9%. Left unsaid in the article is whether that would, in reality, offer a substantial advantage to seniors who have for a long time been paying much more for everything they buy. Fact is, it’s much too early to predict what next year’s COLA adjustment might be because the true amount won’t be known until October, after the actual measurement – increase of the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) for the 3rd quarter of this year over the same period in 2021 – is determined. The article is, nevertheless, informative in describing how COLA is determined and how inflation affects buying power. Click here to read more.