CHICAGO – Retirees are facing a double whammy next year: no inflation adjustment in their Social Security benefits and a whopping 52 percent jump in certain Medicare premiums.

The Medicare premium hikes will hit only 30 percent of beneficiaries: those who are not protected from a “hold-harmless” provision in federal law that prohibits any premium hike that produces a net reduction in Social Security benefits.

But the increases suggest strongly that the recent trend of moderate healthcare inflation is ending.

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