Research Medicare Advantage health plans that offer some dental benefits. Medicare's fall Open Enrollment period starts October 15th and runs through December If you are already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan it's a good idea to compare plans in your area every year anyway, and switch if you can find better coverage at a lower cost. You need to do the math on the deductibles, co-pays or co-insurance for the comprehensive benefits offered, including hospital, doctors, outpatient services, and prescription drugs that you already take before switching. Pay close attention to the fine print on additional benefits. Those dental benefits may only be in the form of discounts with network providers. TSCL strongly recommends AGAINST dropping a Medigap supplement to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan solely based on additional benefits like dental coverage. Those additional benefits can end suddenly, especially when plans cut costs to compensate for lower government reimbursements, so don't bet your Medigap coverage on them..According to the Social Security Administration, beneficiaries will receive a 1.7% COLA starting in January of next year. The low COLA comes close on the heels of two years when no COLA was paid, in 2010 and 201The COLA in 2012 was 3.6%. "The anemic growth in benefits will cause tens of millions of seniors to spend a bigger portion of their monthly Social Security payment on healthcare and other costs next year," says TSCL Chairman Larry Hyland..Medicare remains a target of budget cuts in Washington as political leaders and other policy makers consider potential changes to the program. How much do you know about Medicare, the people it serves, the benefits it covers, and its financial status?.As part of efforts to strengthen the Social Security system, Congress included the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset in the Social Security Act of 198While its intentions were noble, these changes did little to secure the Social Security system, and have instead unfairly penalized millions of public sector employees..Reducing the taxation of Social Security benefits by increasing the income thresholds that subject Social Security benefits, from ,000 for single filers and ,000 for joint returns, to ,000 and 0,000 respectively..The findings represent a significant one-year loss of 4 percentage points in buying power, with the loss increasing from 30% to 34% from January 2017 to January 201The loss occurred even though beneficiaries received a 2% annual cost-of-living adjustment for 201Housing and medical costs - particularly for home heating expenses and Medigap premiums - were among the most rapidly-rising costs over the past year. The study examines the growth, since 2000, in the price of goods and services that are typical for retired and disabled households, and compares that to the growth in Social Security benefits due to annual COLAs..Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle agree that the current payment formula the sustainable growth rate is fundamentally flawed. TSCL was disappointed when the Affordable Care Act did not address the issue in 2010, but many believe that the lame-duck session following the November election will provide a prime opportunity for Congress to finally repeal the faulty formula. The replacement options are numerous, however, and many of them are contentious. Just three months away, it still remains unclear which solution lawmakers could agree upon..Senator Bernie Sanders introduced S. 99 on January 10, 201It has since been referred to the Committee on Finance..Want to read more about rising costs? See, The Costs That Are Rising the Fastest for Older Americans, By Doug Whiteman,

Building Democracy The Story Of Legislatures Episode 3

People 65 years and older should get a flu shot, not a nasal spray vaccine. They can get any flu vaccine approved for use in their age group with no preference for any one vaccine over another. There are regular flu shots that are approved for use in people 65 years and older and there also are two vaccines designed specifically for this group:."The new aspect of this study of memory loss in the elderly is that it examines silent strokes and hippocampal shrinkage simultaneously," said study author Adam M. Brickman, PhD, of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Medical Center in New York..Action from Congress is needed to address Social Security's looming shortfall. Without it, the Social Security Trust Fund is estimated to run short by 203Should that occur, benefits would be reduced by about 22% to match the level of payroll taxes coming in. … Continued

After Death Panel Nonsense Medicare Adopts Improved Hospice Policy

The big dental expense is when you need more extensive work like crowns or root canals. Yet dental insurance often comes with waiting periods and won't cover fillings for the first six months of a policy and may not offer coverage for other procedures for up to 18 months. Many plans also have very low annual caps on care of ,000, meaning that once your dental bills exceed that amount you pay the rest of the bills in full..TSCL does not make campaign contributions because we are funded by our supporters like you, and we simply don't have the millions of dollars like drug companies do. Instead, we rely on you and your vote. Elected officials care about money, but they care even more about your vote..Boosting Social Security benefits for everyone. The proposed boost would equal 2% of average benefits. … Continued

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