Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Medicare premium raise was legal

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Q: Will federal retirees who pay Medicare through their federal pension because they have insufficient Social Security quarters ever receive a refund and correction for an improper raise in Medicare premiums in 2010?  We, too, received no cost-of-living allowances.

A: There wasn’t any “improper raise.” What you are referring to is the fact that when there wasn’t any cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits in 2010, an increase in Medicare premiums for Social Security beneficiaries was prohibited under the “hold harmless” provision of that law. On the other hand, there wasn’t any legal restriction to the required increase in premiums for those not covered by Social Security. I’m not aware of any plans in Congress to provide a “refund and correction.”

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  1. Bonnie Williams Says:
    November 25th, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    The Federal Times previous published this increase of Medicare benefits on CSR pensions was due to the Senate not inacting a hold mandate prior to going on recess.
    My CSR income doesn’t qualify for a medicare increase.
    This is really unfair… Retirees’ with FERS and CSR pension
    were not subject to this increase. It’s a CSR retiree penalty that can applied yearly and endless.

  2. Joanne Housh Says:
    December 26th, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    As a CSRS retiree who can’t get Social Security benefits, I find this ruling very unfair. I don’t understand that if both retirees and Social Security beneficiaries are subject to the same rules for COLA’s why they are not both subject to the same “hold harmless” provision in that law for Medicare Part B premiums.