I don’t want to get into this complicated issue of Medicare premiums other than to make this quick point. Even though they are linked in the minds of most older adults, Social Security and Medicare are entirely separate programs, administered by entirely separate federal agencies, and they have entirely separate rules and regulations regarding their benefit and payment structures. For example, I already explained how Social Security COLAs are figured. The Part B Medicare premium increase has nothing to do with the Consumer Price Index. Instead, by law, it must be set at a level that covers 25% of the cost of running the program. Taxpayers pick up the remaining 75%. (And again, wealthy people pay more than the 25% share.)
Although this is a Social Security column, I must mention the upcoming increase in the Medicare Part B premium, which is deducted from Social Security checks for most people. In 2022, the basic Part B premium will be $170.10, a $21.60 increase from the 2021 rate. And as has been the case for 20 years now, wealthy people will pay more than the basic premium.