Medicare Information

Medicare Information

Every fall, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announce limits and costs for the following year. This year the SSA has announced that beneficiaries will receive a 1.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), and CMS has announced that the standard monthly Medicare Part B premium will remain the same for 2015.

According to the Social Security Administration, more than nine out of ten individuals age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits. But most retirees also rely on other sources of retirement income, as shown on this chart: Source:

Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2014, Social Security Administration

 

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Social Security was originally intended to provide older Americans with continuing income after retirement. Today, though the scope of Social Security has been widened to include survivor's, disability, and other benefits, retirement benefits are still the cornerstone of the program.

When you think of Social Security, you probably think of retirement. However, Social Security can also provide much-needed income to your family members when you die, making their financial lives easier. Your family may be entitled to receive survivor's benefits based on your work record When you die, certain members of your family may be eligible to receive survivor's benefits (based on your earnings record)

Like most people, you probably don't expect to become disabled. However, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), studies show that just over 1 in 4 of today's 20 year-olds will become disabled before reaching age 67. (Source: SSA Publication 05-10029, May 2014) That's why it's important to understand what disability benefits you may be entitled to under Social Security.

You'll get a bigger check every month. However, how much bigger depends upon what year you reach full retirement age, and how long you postpone collecting benefits. If you were born in 1943 or later, you'll receive 2/3 of 1% for each month that you delay collecting retirement benefits (8 percent more per year), up until age 70. So, for example, if your full retirement age is 66 and you delay collecting benefits for 4 years, your benefit at age 70 will be 32% higher than at age 66.

A portion of your benefits may be subject to income tax if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), plus one-half your Social Security benefits, exceeds specific limits. Your MAGI equals:

Getting Social Security disability benefits is a two-step process. First, the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines whether you are eligible to receive benefits. This determination is based on the number of years you have worked and paid Social Security taxes. Second, you apply for disability benefits by furnishing information about your claim, including the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of physicians, hospitals, and clinics that have treated you for your disability. You will also be asked to provide a copy of your most recent W-2 form (or tax return if you're self-employed), as well as your Social Security number and proof of your age.

Medicare Covered Services

Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening

Medicare covers a one-time screening abdominal aortic aneurysm ultrasound for people at risk. You must get a referral

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Advance Care Planning

Medicare covers voluntary Advance Care Planning as part of the Yearly  “Wellness” visit. This is planning for care you

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Alcohol misuse screening and counseling

Medicare covers one alcohol misuse screening per year for adults with Medicare (including pregnant women) who use

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Ambulance Services

Medicare covers ground ambulance transportation when you need to be transported to a hospital, critical access hospital

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Ambulatory surgical centers

Medicare covers the facility service fees related to approved surgical procedures provided in an ambulatory surgical

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Blood

If the provider gets blood from a blood bank at no charge, you won’t have to pay for it or replace it. However, you’ll

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Bone mass measurement (bone density)

This test helps to see if you’re at risk for broken bones. It’s covered once every 24 months (more often if medically

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Breast cancer screening ( mammograms)

Medicare covers screening mammograms to check for breast cancer once every 12 months for all women with Medicare who

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Cardiac rehabilitation

Medicare covers comprehensive programs that include exercise, education, and counseling for patients who meet at least

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Cardiovascular disease (behavioral

Medicare will cover one visit per year with a primary care doctor in a primary care setting (like a doctor’s office) to

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Cardiovascular disease screenings

These screenings include blood tests that help detect conditions that may lead to a heart attack or stroke.

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Cervical and vaginal cancer screenings

Part B covers Pap tests and pelvic exams to check for cervical and vaginal cancers. As part of the pelvic exam,

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Chemotherapy

Medicare covers chemotherapy in a doctor’s office, freestanding clinic, or hospital outpatient setting for people with

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Chiropractic services (limited coverage)

Medicare covers manipulation of the spine if medically necessary to correct a subluxation (when one or more of the

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Chronic Care Management Services

If you have 2 or more chronic conditions that are expected to last at least a year, Medicare may pay for a health care

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Clinical research studies

Clinical research studies test how well different types of medical care work and if they’re safe. Medicare covers some

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Colorectal cancer screenings

Medicare covers these screenings to help find precancerous growths or find cancer early, when treatment is most

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Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

Medicare covers a 3-month trial of CPAP therapy if you’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. Medicare may

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Defibrillator (implantable automatic)

Medicare covers these devices for some people diagnosed with heart failure. If the surgery takes place in an outpatient

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Depression screening

Medicare covers one depression screening per year. The screening must be done in a primary care setting (like a

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Diabetes screenings

Medicare covers these screenings if your doctor determines you’re at risk for diabetes. You may be eligible for up to 2

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Diabetes self‑management training

Medicare covers diabetes outpatient self-management training to teach you to cope with and manage your diabetes.

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Diabetes supplies

Medicare covers blood sugar testing monitors, blood sugar test strips, lancet devices and lancets, blood sugar control

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Doctor and other health care provider

Medicare covers medically necessary doctor services (including outpatient services and some doctor services you get

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Durable medical equipment (DME)

Medicare covers items like oxygen equipment and supplies, wheelchairs, walkers, and hospital beds ordered by a doctor

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EKG or ECG (electrocardiogram) screening

Medicare covers a one-time screening EKG/ECG if referred by your doctor or other health care provider as part of your

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Emergency department services

These services are covered when you have an injury, a sudden illness, or an illness that quickly gets much worse.

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Eyeglasses (limited)

Medicare covers one pair of eyeglasses with standard frames (or one set of contact lenses) after cataract surgery that

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