Skip to content
Close this search box.

A Raise for Social Security Beneficiaries

A Raise for Social Security Beneficiaries

Social Security beneficiaries will see a 1.6 percent increase in their retirement earnings in January 2020, due to the Cost Of Living Allowance (COLA) that occurs every year. This increase is lower than the increase in 2019 at 2.8 percent, but it is still higher than the average over the past decade, which was 1.4 percent. The increase will average about $24 per month and $288 per year for individuals.

Cost of Living Allowances, or COLAs, are meant to offset the effects of inflation of fixed incomes. This was first introduced in 1950 when Congress first legislated an increase in benefits. Many retirees count on their Social Security as the largest source of income, so the COLA increase will help Social Security beneficiaries, as well as their families, keep up with the rising costs of living. Although this is a modest increase, this increase typically does not keep up with rising prices as most older adults face increases in living expenses, such as housing, transportation and, most of all, health care and prescription costs. AARP found that, in 2017, retail drug prices increased by twice the rate of inflation, and it has exceeded the inflation rate for at least 12 consecutive years. Overall, in 2019, about 64 million Americans received over one trillion dollars in Social Security benefits. Nearly nine out of ten individuals, age 65 and older, receive Social Security benefits.

As Social Security is increasing, Medicare Advantage plan premiums are set to decrease by 14% throughout 2020, to an estimated monthly $23. This is set to impact one-third of Medicare’s 60 million beneficiaries who belong to the private insurance plans. If you or a loved one needs assistance with Medicare-related issues, please contact the Agency’s APPRISE Program at (814) 946-1235 or 1-800-245-3282.

*Information provided to Blair Senior Services, Inc. from American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

Back To Top


​Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Aging today announced that older adults who will soon be turning 65 and are not yet enrolled in Medicare can attend a free virtual event to learn about their healthcare coverage options when enrolling for Medicare.


The "Welcome to Medicare" event on June 23, open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., will feature national presentations from the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs on Medicare eligibility, enrollment and coverage options. Representatives will be available to answer questions and assist older adults with information to enable them to make choices on Medicare coverage that best meets their needs and lowers their costs.


In Pennsylvania, this program is known as APPRISE. Throughout the national presentation, staff from APPRISE will host an exhibit for Pennsylvania and will respond to Medicare questions and provide information about the program. The Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE) – Pennsylvania's Senior Medicare Patrol – also will join APPRISE to discuss Medicare fraud prevention.


"We encourage anyone who is turning 65 soon to join our Virtual Welcome to Medicare Fair. Pennsylvania's Medicare Counseling Program is here to help older adults learn about signing up and navigating the complexities of Medicare, avoiding late enrollment penalties, and preventing fraud," said Susan Neff, APPRISE director. "We also invite those who attend to visit the Pennsylvania-specific virtual exhibit at any time during the event. The APPRISE and CARIE staff look forward to chatting with seniors about their Medicare enrollment concerns."


Older adults can register for this event here


The APPRISE Program has nearly 800 trained counselors in the commonwealth who provide free, confidential, objective, and easy-to-understand information about original Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, prescription drug plans, and Medicare Supplement plans, and allows Medicare beneficiaries to compare plans and determine what best meets their needs and save them money.

To learn more about the APPRISE Program or becoming a volunteer, click here or call the APPRISE Helpline at 1-800-783-7067 .



Department Of Aging: June 23 Medicare Event Welcomes Future Beneficiaries With Information On Eligibility, Coverage Options