WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government says next year should see the first Social Security cost of living increase since 2009.
But for most beneficiaries, rising Medicare premiums threaten to wipe out any increase in payments. About 45 million people receive both Medicare and Social Security.
By law, beneficiaries have their Medicare Part B premiums, which cover doctor visits, deducted from their Social Security payments each month.
When Medicare premiums rise more than Social Security payments, millions of people on fixed incomes don't get raises. But most don't get pay cuts either, because a provision prevents higher Part B premiums from reducing Social Security payments for most people.