Posts in:August, 2019

Low Income Health Care Resources

Posted August 16, 2019 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

We all know that health care is expensive. The Affordable Care Act has made care more affordable for many lower-income patients over the past three years through cost-sharing reductions and tax credits on the health insurance marketplaces and through Medicaid expansion. However, 18 states have chosen not to expand Medicaid, leaving many people in a coverage gap, and many others who are eligible for subsidies or Medicaid remain uninsured. At the same time, trends in job-sponsored coverage show that those with employer coverage are facing higher health care costs, often in the form of high deductibles.

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide free or low-cost health coverage to millions of Americans, including some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Some states have expanded their Medicaid programs to cover all people below certain income levels. You can apply for Medicaid any time of year — Medicaid and CHIP do not have Open Enrollment Periods. You can find out if you qualify and learn how to apply here: https://www.healthcare.gov/medicaid-chip/getting-medicaid-chip/

Even if you do not qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, there may still be resources that can help you get the care that you need. Below are some links to help you find free or low-cost health care near you.

https://premierdisability.com/free-or-low-cost-clinic-directory/

https://healthfinder.gov/FindServices/SearchContext.aspx?topic=14430

https://www.healthcare.gov/community-health-centers/

https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/

https://www.hrsa.gov/get-health-care/affordable/hill-burton/facilities.html

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Learning the Lingo of Social Security

Posted August 9, 2019 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

If you are applying for benefits from the Social Security Administration, chances are you are hearing or reading some unfamiliar terms and acronyms that can feel like a whole new language.

Social Security employees are supposed to explain benefits using easy-to-understand, plain language. But if a technical term or acronym that you don’t know slips into the conversation or appears in written material, you can easily find the meaning in Social Security’s online glossary (see link below).

Social Security acronyms function as verbal shorthand in financial planning and claim adjudication conversations. If you’re nearing retirement, you may want to know what PIA (primary insurance amount), FRA (full retirement age), and DRCs (delayed retirement credits) mean. If you’re applying for disability benefits, you may come across acronyms such as SGA (substantial gainful activity, UWA (unsuccessful work attempt), or RFC (residual functional capacity).

Knowing some of these terms can help you fine-tune your conversations about Social Security.  If one of those unknown terms or acronyms does come up in conversation, you can be the one to supply the definition using the online glossary. Sometimes learning the lingo can deepen your understanding of how Social Security works for you.

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

Social Security Glossary: https://www.ssa.gov/agency/glossary/

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

 

House Committee Considers Bill to Boost Social Security

Posted August 2, 2019 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

The president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Max Richtman, is urging the House Ways and Means Committee to boost Social Security — and keep the system financially sound for the rest of the century — as it takes up the Social Security 2100 Act.  The bill, introduced by Congressman John Larson (D-CT), receives its first full committee hearing today after years of inaction by the former House majority. In his testimony to the committee, Richtman emphasizes that the National Committee enthusiastically endorses the bill on behalf of its millions of members and supporters.

The bill assures that Social Security remains fully funded for more than 75 years, while expanding the program in significant ways:

  • An across-the-board increase for all beneficiaries of about 2% of the average benefit
  • Adoption of the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), which more accurately reflects the true impact of inflation on retirees than the current formula
  • Tax relief for many Social Security beneficiaries
  • An increase in the special minimum benefit so that it equals up to 125% of the federal poverty level

Congressman Larson says the bill will be marked-up in September, and could come to the House floor for a vote this Fall.  The legislation was first introduced in 2014, but did not even receive a hearing under GOP control.  The new House majority has given the Social Security 2100 Act new life.  The bill has more than 210 cosponsors, nearly a majority of House members.

The enhanced benefits and fiscal guarantees in the Social Security 2100 Act would be paid for in two ways:  1) By adjusting the FICA payroll income cap so that high-earners would contribute to the system on income above $400,000; 2) By slowly raising the FICA payroll tax paid by employees 1.2% over the next 24 years – or about 50 cents extra per week for the average wage earner.

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

Read Max Richtman’s full testimony here: https://www.ncpssm.org/documents/letters-116th/testimony-for-ways-and-means-committee-on-social-security-2100-act/

Read the bill summary here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/860

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®