Recently we received the following from one of our readers:
I’m a World War II vet who served with the U.S. Air Force, having two years service in the Pacific-Asiatic theater. I am now nearly 87 years old, living on a net Social Security benefit of only $1,267 a month. The loss of a COLA, adds insult to injury. I am now faced with a decision — further increases in the Medicare premiums, or cuts in my Social Security benefits. Will I have to drop out of Medicare all together, or end up homeless in the street?
Before you drop out, look into Medicare Savings Programs. These programs pay Medicare premiums and in some cases might also pay Part A and Part B deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. Many seniors, as well as the disabled, find that healthcare costs can burn through their savings and leave them without enough to live on.
If you depend solely on Social Security, and have low, or no, savings you may qualify. Medicare Savings Programs are administered through your state. To qualify you must have a monthly income less than $1,239 and resources less than $6,600 for a single person ($1,660 and resources less than $9,910 for married couples). Don’t let the income or resource limits keep you from applying. Many states figure your income and resources differently, so you may qualify in your state even if your income or resources are slightly higher. Your home, car, furniture and other household items are not counted. Call or visit your local Area Agency on Aging or Medicaid office, and ask for information on Medicare Savings Programs.
With Social Security reform proposals on the docket for our newly elected Congress, TSCL is hard at work making sure newly - elected lawmakers fully understand the Notch issue and the impact it has on the generation that served in World War II.
We continue to push for enactment of “The Notch Fairness Act.” The legislation would provide Notch Babies born from 1917 through 1926 a choice of $5,000 payable in four annual installments or an improved monthly benefit. In the 111th Congress (2009-2010), 118 Members of the House supported the legislation and signed on as co-sponsors. In addition, there was a companion bill in the Senate.
We are anxious to see action ending the Notch inequity and thank all of you who have joined the effort supporting the Notch settlement. Contact your new lawmakers and make sure they hear your stories!