The Medicare Part B premium will increase from $104.90 to $121.80 in 2016, but the Hold Harmless provision in the Social Security Act exempts most people from the increase because there will be no cost of living adjustment in social security next year.

People who have to pay a higher premium because of their income and people who will start drawing social security for the first time in 2016 are not exempt and will have to pay the new premium. Individuals with incomes above $85,000 or couples with incomes above $170,000 will see their premiums double.

Ironically, the people who need help the most will not be exempt from the increase. People who qualify for medicaid benefits are not exempt. They will not have to pay the premium, but the states who fund the medicaid benefits have to pay the higher costs. For California, this means over 800 million dollars next year.