Articles

  • President Announces Plan to Tie Drug Prices to Prices Paid In Other Industrialized Countries — Will it Work? By Mary Johnson, editor President Trump recently announced a new proposal to bring down the cost of certain expensive Part B prescription drugs.  The plan is meeting with skepticism from leading health policy experts, not to mention hot opposition from the deep-pocketed pharmaceutical lobby.  President Trump proposed a new payment system for prescription drugs that are ...
  • When Your Cost-of-Living Adjustment is Completely Taken by Your Part B Premium By Mary Johnson, editor Danette D., a retiree living in Missouri, is looking forward to finally seeing a boost in her Social Security benefits in the New Year, due to a 2.8% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2019.  Danette tells me she hasn’t seen any COLA increase in her net benefit, after the deduction for the Part ...
  • Benefit Bulletin: December 2018 If You Can’t Afford Your Medicare Part B Costs, Apply for a Medicare Savings Program The Medicare Part B premium for doctors and hospital outpatient care is one of the most misunderstood expenses that retirees have.  Every month, the Social Security Administration automatically deducts the Part B premium from the benefits of retirees. The premium of ...
  • How the Medicare Part B Premium Increase Will Affect Benefits in 2019 The Social Security Administration recently announced that the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will raise benefits by 2.8% for 2019.  The average retirement benefit of $1,400 will increase by $39.20 per month, to $1,439.20.  The Medicare Part B premium increase for 2019 will be $135.50 per month — just $1.50 per month more than the $134 ...
  • Benefit Bulletin: April 2018 Easier Said Than Done: Public Unconvinced That Medicaid Spending Should Be Cut By Chairman Art “Coop” Cooper About one in five older and disabled Medicare beneficiaries has income so low that their state Medicaid programs pay some or most of their Medicare costs.  That includes Medicare Part B premiums and out-of-pocket costs, as well as services that ...
  • Medicare Part B Increase Will Consume Retirees’ Entire COLA (Washington, DC) – Despite receiving the largest Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA) in five years, the majority of retired and disabled beneficiaries will not see any increase in their net Social Security benefits in January, warns The Senior Citizens League.  A big jump in Medicare Part B premiums is to blame.  The Centers ...
  • How Much of Your Social Security Will You Spend on Medicare Costs? Medicare Trustees recently said that in 2017, Medicare Part B and Part D premiums and out-of-pocket costs would take about one-fourth of the average Social Security benefits. A recent survey by TSCL indicates that a substantial number of older households may be spending far more. The survey found that after including premiums for Medigap supplements, rapidly growing ...
  • Three Ways An Obamacare Repeal Would Affect Medicare The new President and Congress are working to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) — more commonly known as Obamacare.  The healthcare law included many provisions that affect Medicare and the 57 million retired and disabled Americans who rely on Medicare for their health coverage. A recent issue brief from the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation ...
  • What’s A Medicare “Buy-In”? In the debate over rising healthcare costs, attention has focused on people age 50 to 64 who are among those with the highest premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket  costs.  Some policy experts say that removing these older people from the market for younger workers would lower costs, and proponents of the idea argue that people age ...
  • How Would Raising the Eligibility Age For Medicare Affect Medicare’s Financing and You? By Mary Johnson, editor Raising the age at which people become eligible for Medicare has been proposed as a way of reducing future government spending on Medicare.  The most widely – discussed option would gradually increase the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67.  Proponents say the change would generate billions in net savings to the ...

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