Benefit Bulletin December 2016
Apply for Medicaid coverage while you wait. Check with a counselor at your local area Agency on Aging or local Medicaid department. Medicaid can take several months to start. .For those planning retirement however, it is the estimated dollar amount in Social Security benefits, not the replacement rate, that what one uses to determine a retirement budget, or how much more one will need to save for retirement. When one retires, it is the actual benefit amount, not the replacement rate that one must live on. One of the most frequent requests for services received by Social Security Administration is for an estimate of benefits. While no promises of benefits are made, millions of estimates are made annually. If the rules are changed abruptly, as they were for those born during the Notch period, this leaves no time to save for the shortfalls in benefits (if they can be foreseen ahead of time). .Here are two actual cases from the Social Security Administration's Office of Inspector General, and estimates of what the cost would be over a 20-year period by Advisor editor, Mary Johnson. … Continued
Legislative Update Week Ending June 8 2018
The CBO also notes that increasing the payroll tax rate or subjecting more earnings to the payroll tax could improve Social Security's financing. .This week, lawmakers in the House and Senate remained in their home states and districts for a week-long holiday recess. They are expected to return to Washington on Monday, June 3rd. .These bills would enable retired school teachers, university employees and thousands of civil servants to receive all of the Social Security pensions for which they are entitled. A Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) have long limited the full aid that these beneficiaries merit. … Continued
Instead of using the CPI-W or the "chained" CPI, TSCL has been advocating for an inflation index that we believe would actually result in a more accurate Social Security COLA. We favor the CPI for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E), which the BLS has been tracking &ndah; but not utilizing – for decades. This index has shown that the spending inflation for seniors averages about two-tenths of a percentage point higher than the rate at which the CPI-W increases. We estimate that a senior who retired with average Social Security benefits in 1984 would have received ,496 more through 2013 had the CPI-E been used. .Sources: "Divided Deficit Panel OKs Proposal," John Maggs, Politico, December 3, 20"The Moment of Truth" The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, December 2010. .While President Trump has long called for reducing the prices of prescription drugs, his administration took action this week that will likely raise the costs for some seniors. .Beginning in 2017, monthly premiums for Part B and Part D would increase by fifteen percent for those with higher incomes. If the plan were adopted, the income threshold would drop from ,000 to ,000, and it would not be adjusted for inflation until one-quarter of all Medicare beneficiaries qualify to pay the increased premiums. .TSCL Announces Support for H.R. 4104 .Recently one of our readers asked "Is there a percentage as to how much less NOTCH BABIES receive monthly?" .Despite tightening the law, Congress did not fix a policy loophole that would be inadvertently triggered with the passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation. When determining entitlement for insured status (10 years), and in calculating the initial retirement benefit amount, the Social Security Administration uses all reported earnings from covered employment in the United States, even if the earnings were from illegal or "unauthorized" work. .Unlike Medigap plans, Medicare Advantage plans charge a co-payment every time you visit a doctor, use a lab, or have a brief hospital stay. In fact, Medicare Advantage plans can charge a very hefty 5 — 5 per day co-payments for hospital stays that generally would cost nothing at all under Medigap supplements for the same period. Seniors, especially those who are older, and who might require hospitalizations or have chronic health conditions, may wind up spending as much or even more out-of-pocket in a low, or no premium Medicare Advantage Plan as they would with under a Medigap plan. Medicare Advantage plans appear to be more advantageous for seniors who: .The good news is that there was progress last week in moving the needed legislation forward. The Senate passed its own version of H.R.1868, which would postpone the cuts for another nine months.