Part B and the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

Today the Social Security Administration announced that, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation numbers released today, there will be no Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2016. The announcement makes official the assumption underlying the 2015 Medicare Trustees Report premium and deductible projections for 2016. According to the 2015 Medicare Trustees Report, Part B premiums are expected to increase for 30% of beneficiaries by 52% – from $104.90 to $159.30 per month. The trustees also predict that this increase will be accompanied by an increase in the Part B deductible – up to $223 from $147.  Because these projections were based on the assumption that there would be no COLA for 2016, it is now more likely that they are accurate.  The final premium and deductible numbers should be announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the near future.