New figures announced
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that Social Security and SSI beneficiaries will receive a 1.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2015. According to the SSA’s announcement, after the COLA, the estimated average monthly retirement benefit payable in January 2015 will be $1,328.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has also announced next year’s Medicare costs. The standard monthly Medicare Part B premium will be $104.90 in 2015, the same as in 2014. However, beneficiaries with higher incomes (individuals with taxable incomes of more than $85,000 and couples with taxable incomes of more than $170,000) will pay more than $104.90 per month because they must pay an income-related surcharge.
Other important Social Security and Medicare figures are listed below.
2015 Social Security figures
- The amount of taxable earnings subject to the Social Security tax (called the maximum taxable earnings limit) will increase to $118,500 from $117,000 in 2014.
- The annual retirement earnings test exempt amount for beneficiaries under full retirement age will increase to $15,720 from $15,480 in 2014. If a beneficiary has earnings that exceed the exempt amount, $1 in benefits will be withheld for every $2 in earnings above the exempt amount.
- The annual retirement earnings test exempt amount that applies during the year a beneficiary reaches full retirement age will increase to $41,880 from $41,400 in 2014. If a beneficiary has earnings that exceed this amount, $1 in benefits will be withheld for every $3 in earnings above the exempt amount.
- The amount of earnings needed to earn one Social Security credit will increase to $1,220 from $1,200 in 2014.
2015 Medicare figures
- The Medicare Part B deductible will be $147, the same as in 2014.
- The monthly Medicare Part A premium for those who need to buy coverage will cost up to $407, down from $426 in 2014. However, most people don’t pay a premium for Medicare Part A.
- The Medicare Part A deductible for inpatient hospitalization will be $1,260, up from $1,216 in 2014. Beneficiaries will pay an additional daily co-insurance amount of $315 for days 61 through 90, up from $304 in 2014, and $630 for stays beyond 90 days, up from $608 in 2014.
- Beneficiaries in skilled nursing facilities will pay a daily co-insurance amount of $157.50 for days 21 through 100 in a benefit period, up from $152 in 2014.