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Tens of millions of Social Security recipients will be getting a 2.8 percent raise in their checks starting in 2019.

This increase is the largest cost-of-living (COLA) raise the retired baby boomer generation has received thus far, according to the Social Security Administration. The increase will be about $39 extra a month in one’s check for the average retired worker.

The COLA affects household budgets for about one in five Americans, including Social Security beneficiaries, disabled veterans, and federal retirees.

Some advocates say the 2.8 percent raise is too meager with the continuously rising costs to healthcare. With the new COLA increase, the average monthly payment is $1461 a month.

The Medicare Part B premium in 2018 was $134 a month for most Americans, but now it will increase to by $1.50 to a total of $135.50 a month to take advantage of Medicare Part B benefit. Part B covers doctors fees and any medical services related to doctors treating patients. The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries is $185 in 2019, an increase of $2 from the annual deductible $183 in 2018. Many who are enrolled in Part B plans generally sign up for Medicare Supplements and other health plans that require additional premiums to cover costs Medicare will not pay for.

Below is more information released from the Social Security Administration:

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $132,900 from $128,400.

Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail in early December about their new benefit amount. This year, for the first time, most people who receive Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their my Social Security account. People may create or access their my Social Security account online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Information about Medicare changes for 2019, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov. For Social Security beneficiaries receiving Medicare, Social Security will not be able to compute their new benefit amount until after the Medicare premium amounts for 2019 are announced. Final 2019 benefit amounts will be communicated to beneficiaries in December through the mailed COLA notice and mySocial Security Message Center.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS: Attached is a fact sheet showing the effect of the various automatic adjustments.



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