The Advisor Archive Feed
Now the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has told hospitals they can't hide their prices from web searches. .This week, House and Senate lawmakers returned to Washington to resume the "lame duck" session of Congress and continued working towards a deal to keep the federal government operating past next Friday. In addition, The Senior Citizens League saw four key bills gain support in the House and Senate. .The bill would reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to just four — 12 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent — and would keep the highest bracket at 39.6 percent. It also increases the standard deduction from ,350 (individuals)/,700 (married couples) to ,000 (individuals)/,000 (married couples). While the standard deduction would increase, taxpayers on the other hand would lose personal exemptions — the ones for themselves, a spouse and/or dependents, which currently are ,050 per person. Exemptions would be replaced with a 0 credit through 2022, and eliminated thereafter. … Continued
Category Legislative News Page 64
Accurate earnings estimates: It's important to accurately estimate your earnings. If you worked for someone else, Social Security will need your gross earnings prior to deductions for taxes. In addition, Social Security counts when the wages are earned, NOT when they are paid. This includes accumulated sick or vacation pay and bonuses. .Low-income seniors would receive assistance from Medicaid, and those with the greatest health expenses would receive additional help from the government. According to the plan's sponsors, The Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act would reduce the deficit by trillion over ten years, and it would save the average enrollee ,500 in out-of-pocket expenses each year. However, a recent poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that a majority of Americans – seventy percent – would prefer to keep Medicare as is, "with the government guaranteeing seniors health insurance and making sure that everyone gets the same defined set of benefits." .Pet health insurance may not be worth the cost. While many veterinarian practices have brochures for pet health insurance, shop carefully, and read the fine print about what these policies do and don't cover. Pet owners can expect to pay between to per month for premiums, often more than what you pay in services most years. Consumer experts suggest that if you are worried about catastrophic costs, put the money you would spend on pet health insurance premiums into a pet savings account. … Continued
A new audit performed this year by the SSA's Office of Inspector General found that the same problem persists. The Inspector General identified 26,033 spouses – who were eligible for about 5.3 million in higher retirement benefits (about ,502 a piece on average). .In shopping for housing you will find that many senior living communities have medical criteria for acceptance. Since your sister has no children, she may need a facility that provides a continuum of care. As her health declines, she would move from independent living to assisted living, and finally nursing or memory care as her health declines. If her income is limited, all the more reason to start looking for affordable facilities ahead of time. It's not uncommon to encounter waiting lists at the most desirable facilities. .The absence of a Social Security cost-of living adjustment (COLA), or even an extremely low one, triggers a provision of law that, while a valuable protection of Social Security benefits, has led to several steep increases in the Medicare Part B premium over the past decade. The deep recession caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus and shortages have caused consumer prices to plunge, then rise like a roller coaster in 2020. If consumer prices remain low through September 2020, it is likely there will be an extremely low annual Social Security COLA for 2021, and this provision of law will be triggered to some extent again. .In addition, next week lawmakers will continue working on a spending package that will fund the federal government past December 9th. Negotiations have already begun to pass a continuing resolution (CR) that will provide short-term funding through January 201However, if those in the House and Senate fail to reach a compromise before the looming deadline, the government will shut down like it did in 2013 and Social Security beneficiaries could see negative impacts. .New Medicare Enrollees in 201Because these people are new to Medicare, they pay the full amount in 2017 when they sign up. .Too many doctors are prescribing large quantities of narcotics and addictive drugs that may be finding their way onto the streets, or putting patients at risk of addiction. The doctors, in turn, are accepting kickbacks and other "incentives" while billing Medicare for the cost. The following are just three of the examples from a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General: .In coming years, growing program cost pressures could mean that some illegals may benefit from the use of invalid and fraudulent Social Security numbers at the expense of others who worked and paid into the system legally. TSCL's new 2014 Senior Survey found that 87 percent of respondents favor prohibiting payment of Social Security benefits calculated on earnings from unauthorized work by illegal immigrants. TSCL supports legislation that would prohibit earnings under invalid and fraudulent Social Security numbers from use in determining entitlement to Social Security benefits. .How can I get in contact with Medicare? .Only one other time in recent years, in 2009 at the peak of Great Recession job losses, has the AWI ever gone negative. The 2009 AWI dipped by 1.51% and retirees who were born in 1949 were affected. Although the problem was known at the time, the reductions to benefits were considered small and Congress took no action to prevent those reductions.