News About Social Security, Medicare and Karsten Bradley

Check back frequently as we post an ongoing dialogue regarding the latest news and information about Social Security, Medicare and our firm - Karsten Bradley.

Latest News

October 16, 2012 Seniors on Social Security squeezed by rising prices The inflation number used to calculate the cost of living adjustment is based on spending patterns among workers of all ages and across hundreds of items. A more accurate calculation would put more weight on the items that seniors purchase most frequently -- like food, gas and medical care.

October 16, 2012 Social Security benefits up 1.7% next year Social Security benefits will rise by 1.7% next year, which won't be quite enough to cover the increase in prices over the last year.

September 26, 2012 Scam targets seniors' Social Security benefits In a new scam targeting seniors and the disabled, identity thieves are fraudulently rerouting Social Security benefits to their own bank accounts and prepaid debit cards.

August 7, 2012 For Unpaid College Loans, Feds Dock Social Security According to government data, compiled by the Treasury Department, the federal government is withholding money from a rapidly growing number of Social Security recipients who have fallen behind on federal student loans.

August 7, 2012 Medicare: Avoid big rehab bills An increasing number of seniors are spending days in the hospital under observation only. The result: your subsequent care at a skilled nursing facility doesn't qualify for Medicare coverage. You could be stuck with the full tab.

August 7, 2012 The painful new trend in Medicare Medicare fully covers 20 days in a skilled nursing facility as long as you've spent three days in the hospital as an inpatient (among other criteria). Sickels, though, didn't meet that standard...

August 6, 2012 Social Security not deal it once was for workers People retiring today are part of the first generation of workers who have paid more in Social Security taxes during their careers than they will receive in benefits after they retire.

August 2, 2012 Do You Have a Viable Plan for Long-Term Care? Medicare only covers long-term care needs under a limited set of circumstances and for a short period of time. Qualifying for Medicaid, meanwhile, can be a devilishly complicated process, requiring an individual to exhaust most of his or her financial assets and also limiting the type of care that's available. If relying on these programs is your fallback plan, it's a good idea to understand the ins and outs of them well before you get close to needing them.

July 29, 2012 Obamaís Second Term Agenda: Cutting Social Security, Medicare, and/or Medicaid The White House already tried cutting all three main entitlement programs, last year (cuts to Medicaid are actually cuts to Obamacare, for what itís worth, since an expansion of Medicaid was a key plank of the new health care law).

July 27, 2012 Baby Boomers reaching retirement age must decide when to take Social Security benefits. The oldest of 70 million Baby Boomers -- those born between 1946 and 1964 -- are starting to hit retirement age and face the question: to retire or not to retire. Translation: When is it best to take Social Security benefits?

July 21, 2012 How to Get the Most From Social Security Growing numbers of financial planners (including Karsten Bradley) are helping clients figure out the most advantageous time to begin collecting Social Security. There are many considerations, including the tax impact, whether one spouse already has started collecting, income from ongoing work and income from tax-deferred accounts such as a 401(k) or an individual retirement account.

June 22, 2012 Are You on the Hook for Mom's Nursing-Home Bill? Thought you were immune from your parents' debts? Not so fast. Twenty-nine states have "filial support" laws that could be used to go after patients' adult children for unpaid long-term-care bills.

June 9, 2012 Forced to Early Social Security, Unemployed Pay a Steep Price Even as most Americans are delaying retirement to bolster their savings accounts, the recession and its protracted aftermath have forced many older people who are out of work to draw Social Security much earlier than they had planned.

April 24, 2012 Medicare funding runs short by 2024, trustees say Highlighting the fiscal problems posed by growing health costs and an aging population, the trustees of the nation's main entitlement programs estimated Monday that Medicare will only be able to pay a portion of its expected costs starting in 2024.

April 24, 2012 On the Social Security 2012 Report to Congress The Social Security Trust Fund (SSTF) 2012 report to Congress is now out (link). It's 242 pages and contains a great deal of information.

Feb 21, 2012 Government issues Medicare Advantage guidelines The Obama administration on Friday issued 2013 payment and policy guidelines for U.S. health insurers that participate in the Medicare Advantage program, saying the proposed changes would bring lower premiums and stable or improved benefits.

Feb 8, 2012 Social Security retirees can't ditch Medicare, court rules Social Security recipients sued to opt out of Medicare, saying the benefit limits their private insurance coverage. But federal appeals court rules they can't reject Medicare if they receive Social Security.

Nov 10, 2011 Medicare wellness visits not popular. Annual check with doc does not include physical exam Few seniors are using a much-touted new benefit from Medicare intended to increase preventive health careThe benefit, an annual wellness visit that is free to all Medicare recipients, was part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the federal health reform law passed in March 2010.

Nov 10, 2011 Social Security: Future benefit hikes to be cut? Social Security benefit increases would be reduced gradually if Congress opts for a new measure of inflation. Social Security advocates mounting big effort to protest the measure.

Nov 1, 2011 Solving the new Medicare puzzle Health coverage for seniors is a complex system made up of different kinds of insurance, some private, some public -- you could easily end up in as many as four programs. And it's not getting any simpler to manage.


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