Social Security benefits set to increase by 8.7% in 2023; Georgians react

https://www.walb.com/2022/10/13/social-security-benefits-set-increase-by-87-2023-georgians-react/

By Fallon HowardPublished: Oct. 13, 2022 at 5:29 PM EDT

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – The Social Security Administration is now stating that they will increase benefits by 8.7% starting in January 2023. WALB spoke with community leaders and attendees at the Albany Area YMCA about their support for seniors’ financial burdens.

Many seniors WALB spoke with on Thursday say that programs like the YMCA allow them to afford services such as physical therapy when they’re not able to be covered by insurance.

“The seniors, they have access to many different insurance plans that help pay entirely or at least partially offset the cost of membership. And not only that the Albany YMCA offers a reduced cost for seniors because of the fact that they’re seniors and they’ve put in their time, and they need the YMCA is a source of community and wellness,” Albany Area YMCA CEO, Dan Gillan said.

The YMCA offers a variety of programs, often with low costs and high flexibility payment options for seniors.

“So it’s a one-stop shop in all ways. And all they have to do is knock on our doors. Let us know how we can help them because each one that walks in our door helps us to learn about them; to learn what they have to deal with. I happen to be one of these seniors you are speaking about. I have access to Social Security,” Health and Wellness Director at the Albany YMCA, Sam McCormick said.

“After I pay all my bills with my Social Security check, I have $35 in my checking account. So, this will help a lot. And I thank the government,” Lee County resident and YMCA attendee, Brenda Lewis said.

One senior citizen attending the YMCA says that once she’s exhausted her insurance coverage, she has to pay for services like physical therapy out of pocket.

She called this a “donut hole.”

A doughnut hole refers to when your total drug costs and what your plan has paid for reach a certain limit. That limit is $4,430 for 2022. That’s according to a Medicare report.

“It makes me feel happy because I’ve really made an increase checked with my medicine last week, and I fell into what they call a doughnut hole. And so I’m having to pay more for my medicines,” Albany resident and YMCA attendee, Gloria Bridges said.

Many seniors hope the increase, which is the second largest in history, is enough to offset other increasing costs.

Copyright 2022 WALB. All rights reserved.

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