Benefit Bulletin April 2018
If your husband's company had 20 or more employees, and your husband's former employer still has the same health coverage, you and your husband may have the option to temporarily continue to get healthcare coverage under your husband's former employer plan as provided by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). That coverage now, however, is likely to be more expensive than it was while your husband was an active employee, and it's only a short-term option. These are two reasons why both you and your spouse should explore other options promptly. .On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing to question Congressman Tom Price (GA-6), an orthopedic surgeon from Georgia who was nominated by President Trump to become the next Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). If confirmed, Congressman Price will lead the agency that has jurisdiction over Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and many other critical health programs. .This week, lawmakers in the House debated legislation to repeal the controversial Medicare cost-cutting panel, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). In addition, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw one key bill gain four cosponsors. … Continued
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To get a list of supplemental plans offered in your state, insurers and premiums, check your state's insurance commission's website for published guides comparing Medicare supplement premiums. Look up the plan you are interested in to compare premiums in your area. Be sure you look at the quotes for people who are your age, but do read on to get a feel for how premiums rise with age. Once you pin down a few likely insurers, you will need to call the insurer to confirm premium quotes for your zip code. .According to the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) recent baseline data for the Social Security Trust Funds, Social Security is expected to receive about 7 billion in payroll tax revenues in 202The CBO further estimates that the Trust Fund would receive billion in revenues in 2021 from the taxation of Social Security benefits. .Sources: "Housing Bust Derails Some Seniors' Assisted-Living Care," Harris Myer, Kaiser Health News, August 21, 2011. … Continued
If you or someone you know is struggling to make their Social Security benefits stretch from one month to another, there are two Medicare programs that can help with medical costs for those eligible — Medicare Savings Programs which cover some Part B costs, and Medicare Extra Help which provides help with prescription costs. .There are, however, a number of ways that unauthorized workers can, and do, become entitled to benefits based on illegal work (see our "FAHow "Undocumented" Workers Are Becoming Entitled To Social Security" from the May 2012, Volume 17, Number 4 issue of The Social Security & Medicare Advisor. Despite a 2004 law forbidding illegals from claiming Social Security benefits, they are able to do so if at some point their status changes and they receive work authorization — as would happen under an amnesty. With work authorization, noncitizens can file a claim for Social Security benefits. Under current law when determining entitlement for benefits, Social Security uses all earnings for calculating the primary benefit amount, even if the earnings were for unauthorized work using fraudulent documents. All the individual needs to do is to supply evidence of the earnings, such as old W2s, and earnings in the ESF file would be "reinstated" to the account of the claimant. .Benefit reduction due to your ex-wife's age. — The maximum survivors benefit people can receive is limited to what your ex-spouse would have received if still alive. In 2016 she would have attained age 63, but her benefit would be reduced because she would not have reached her full retirement age, which is 66. .We at TSCL believe this is something that should have been done years ago. .Five Bills Gain Support .The following Members of Congress, among many others, will be holding town hall meetings this week: Sen. Michael Crapo (ID), Sen. Jerry Moran (KS), Rep. John Ratcliffe (TX-4), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-1), Rep. Tom Cole (OK-4), Rep. Tom Emmer (MN-6), Rep. Tom Graves (GA-14), Rep. Doug LaMalfa (CA-1), Rep. Thomas Massie (KY-4), Rep. Susan Brooks (IN-5), and Rep. Robert Pittenger (NC-9). .The following does not necessarily reflect the views of The Senior Citizens League. .I turn 61 this year and I'm still employed. I've read about waiting until my full retirement age before starting Social Security benefits. Is that 66? Do I enroll in Medicare at the same time I start Social Security? .The changes closed two claiming tactics known as "file and suspend" and "restricted application for spousal benefits." The claiming strategies have made it possible for both members of a couple who are 66 or older to delay claiming Social Security based on their own earnings records, in order to increase payments, while at the same time one spouse receives a spousal benefit. Alicia Munnell of The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College estimates the changes would save .5 billion per year — a potential cost that would grow over time.