How Republican health reform could damage Medicare’s long-term solvency

The Republican proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be a disaster for older Americans not yet on Medicare – but they also endanger Medicare itself. The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) under consideration in the U.S. Senate would mean higher premiums and reduced cost-sharing subsidies for lower-income older people. The […]

Big Social Security COLA will be offset by Medicare premium rollercoaster

Retirees can look forward to the largest Social Security cost-of-living adjustment next year since 2012 – but don’t break out the champagne just yet. For many, higher Medicare premiums will take a big bite out of their raise. The 2018 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will not be announced until October, but inflation trends point […]

One problem with delayed Social Security claims: Risk of higher Medicare Part B premiums

Delaying your Social Security benefit as long as possible is a great way to boost retirement income, but the strategy comes with one built-in downside. Most seniors enroll in Medicare at 65, but those who are not yet receiving Social Security run the risk of much larger annual increases in their Part B premiums. Healthcare […]

Republican health reform is the real disaster for older Americans

The health reform bill proposed by the White House and Speaker Paul Ryan is predicated on the political assertion that Obamacare is a “disaster,” characterized by collapsing insurance markets and soaring premiums. Some states have had problems, to be sure – and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could stand some tweaking. But if your income is […]

Why living longer shouldn’t mean a higher Medicare age

When you hear a politician start a sentence with the phrase “We’re all living longer,” grab your wallet. You are about to be told that Social Security or Medicare benefits should be cut because of America’s rising longevity. The argument is not only specious, but hazardous to your health. That much is clear from a […]

The facts about Social Security, Medicare may surprise you

While the era of “alternative facts” dawned in Washington last week, experts from across the ideological spectrum gathered in the capital for a review of real facts about our two most important retirement programs: Social Security and Medicare. The annual policy research conference of the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) focused on the group’s […]

Grading Obama’s performance on retirement and aging issues

In his farewell address last week, President Barack Obama quoted something his mother used to tell him: “Reality has a way of catching up with you.” Here is one reality that really is catching up with us: as a nation, we are getting older quickly. The U.S. population over age 65 will nearly double by […]

How would GOP’s Medicare “modernization” proposals affect enrollees?

Not much was said during the presidential election about Medicare reform, but “modernization” of one of our most critical retirement programs is on the agenda in Washington. The term applies to a basketful of reform ideas long favored by Republicans. But if Medicare modernization moves forward this year, it will set in motion a long-term […]

Older Americans at risk as Congress takes ax to Obamacare

Anyone nearing retirement – or already retired – should pay very close attention to the doings of the 115th Congress that was sworn in this week. Repeal of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) tops the agenda for Republicans, who will control the White House as well as both houses of Congress when Donald […]

Medicare Part B premiums won’t jump as much as expected in 2017

Medicare Part B premiums won’t jump as sharply as feared next year. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the average premium will rise about $4 next year – to $109 per month  from $104.90 (that’s been the premium since 2013). That’s the number for the 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who […]