In Elder Law News

Two smiling senior women dressed up and holding sparklers and glasses of champagne.It has been a tumultuous few years. Amid a continuing pandemic, tense midterm elections, and a war in Ukraine, we have grappled with more than our fair share of grim news.

However, with the new year upon us, there are some silver linings — in particular for seniors.

Here are five reasons for seniors to celebrate in 2023:

1. Social Security Benefits Are Seeing the Biggest Increase in 40 Years.

Social Security beneficiaries will find that their monthly checks are increasing by nearly 9 percent, come January 2023. This cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is the largest boost to Social Security benefits in more than four decades.

For more than 65 million individuals currently receiving these benefits, payments will rise by about $140 on average per month.

If you are a Social Security beneficiary, you can get an estimate of how much more you will be receiving in 2023 by using the online My Social Security portal on the Social Security Administration website.

2. Medicare Part B Premiums Are Lower.

For the first time in more than 10 years, Medicare Part B enrollees will see some of their costs decline.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) announced that the following will take effect in 2023:

  • The Medicare Part B basic monthly premium is decreasing by $5.20 per month (savings of $62 for the year).
  • The Medicare Part B annual deductible is decreasing by $7 per month (savings of $84 for the year).

Note that beneficiaries with higher incomes pay higher monthly premiums. Read more in the news release from CMS.

3. You Can Contribute More Than Ever to Retirement.

The IRS is allowing record increases in 2023 for contributions to 401(k)s, Roth IRAs, and traditional IRAs.

If you are working and have a 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plan, you can contribute up to $22,500 to that account in 2023. Working individuals who are 50 years and older can contribute another $7,500.

If you have a Roth IRA or IRA, you can now contribute $6,500 in 2023 (up from $6,000 in 2022).

4. You Don’t Have to Wait Months for Medicare Part B Coverage to Begin.

A new rule is also setting seniors up with improved access to health care coverage. In the past, if you waited until the last three months of your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) to enroll in Medicare, you would have to wait another two to three months before your coverage began.

As of January 1, 2023, if you enroll in Medicare during the last three months of your IEP, your Medicare Part B coverage will begin on the first day of the month after you sign up. You will not have to wait several months to receive benefits.

If you sign up for Medicare during the General Enrollment Period, which runs from January 1 to March 31, you used to face a coverage gap. Coverage did not begin until July 1. Starting in 2023, your coverage will start the first day of the month after you enroll.

5. SSI and SSDI Benefits Are Also Seeing a Boost.

If you are a beneficiary of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you will see modest increases in your monthly benefits payouts before the new year. Beginning on December 30, 2022, SSI individual recipients will receive $73 more a month. Couples will receive $110 more in SSI benefits per month.

Meanwhile, SSDI benefits will see a monthly increase of about $119 more on average for those who are not blind.

Access a comprehensive list of all 2023 Social Security changes in PDF format.

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