2016 Changes Coming to Social Security and Medicare

The budget bill signed by President Obama in November included significant changes to the Social Security program. The changes have left many pre-retirees scrambling to make sense of the new rules. Here’s a breakdown of some of the changes coming:

The Good News

*No COLA. Existing Medicare beneficiaries won’t see an increase in their Medicare Part B premiums. And because of the new budget bill, new enrollees will see a smaller increase  (16%) than originally proposed (over 50%).

*Say Hello. More online services and longer office hours may make it easier to reach someone at the Social Security Administration.

The Bad News

*No Raise. There wasn’t enough inflation in 2015 to trigger a cost-of-living adjustment. That means your Social Security check won’t get any bigger in 2016.

*Goodbye Claiming Strategies. Two popular claiming strategies (file and suspect and restricted application) will end next year. Couples have until April 2016 to enter into a claiming strategy before the loopholes are closed.

What other changes are coming?