BY SARAH THOMAS: The Boards of Trustees for Medicare will likely soon release a report, which is expected to project rising Medicare costs. Medicare spending levels that exceed the target threshold will trigger the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to spring into action and figure out where to cut. Here’s the rub: In the seven years since IPAB was outlined in the ACA, no one has ever served on the 15-person panel, nor has anyone even been nominated. But even if IPAB never comes to exist, Republican policymakers might still need to consider Medicare cuts. And determining where to cut will fall squarely on the shoulders of US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price. (read more)
BY TRUDY LIEBERMAN: One of the biggest changes so far is the elimination of Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance Programs also known as SHIPs. Over 7 million people annually seek help from the SHIPs to understanding Medicare and choose Medigap policies and Medicare Advantage plans.
Because this program may disappear, if you think you’ll need help with Medicare, I suggest you check in with your local program as soon as possible. (read more)
BY MARY BETH FRANKLIN: Healthcare costs in retirement are rising twice as fast as the average annual increase in Social Security benefits, putting a crucial source of retirement income on a collision course with one of the biggest expenses retirees face. Over time, retiree health care costs for today’s workers could exceed their gross Social Security payments.
The third annual “Retirement Health Care Data Report” projects that lifetime health care premiums for Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D, supplemental Medigap insurance and dental insurance for an average 65-year-old couple retiring this year is $321,994 in today’s dollars. When deductibles, copays, hearing, vision and dental out-of-pocket costs are added, total lifetime retirement health care costs could top $400,000, according to HealthView Services, which produces health care cost-projection software for financial advisers and financial institutions. (read more)
The new Medicare Plus Card saves you up to 75% on things not covered by Medicare
Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Luckily, those on Medicare can now start saving on out of pocket expenses like prescription drugs, dental, vision, hearing, and more. Over 1 million people have already received their free Medicare Plus Card.