Social Security changes to note in 2014
There haven't been significant Social Security reforms introduced since 1983. Still, early retirees especially will see some differences this year. And everyone gets a cost-of-living increase to his or her Social Security check this time around. It's a small one, but upticks haven't always happened in recent years.
Here's what you need to know:
- If you're under age 65 and collecting benefits, expect to see a dip of $1 for every $2 of wage- or salary-based income you earn beyond $15,480. For those reaching full retirement age in 2014, the dip will be $1 for every $3 earned until the month of your birthday.
- The cost-of-living increase to Social Security checks will be a modest 1.5%. If you were expecting about $2,000 per month, you can now look for approximately $2,030.
Medicare: ACA impacts and inpatient increases
Key changes to Medicare this year come under the category of ACA impacts. There are also new developments in the area of deductibles and co-pays for patients staying at hospitals.
- Medicare under the ACA should now cover certain procedures such as mammograms and colonoscopies. No Part B deductibles for these. No Part B co-pays either.
- Brand-name drugs covered by Medicare Part D should come with a 50% discount.
- Those without a premium-free Part A plan will see their deductible increase to $1,216 from $1,184.
- Co-pays for beneficiaries for inpatient care increase to $304 per day for 61 to 90 days, then $608 for days beyond that. That's an $8 and $16 bump, respectively.
On a larger scale, the federal government says the good news about Medicare is that the ACA's cost savings and loss-reduction measures will ensure that the trust fund fueling the system can be sustained until at least 2029.
Impact watch: ACA and retirees
It's still too early to forecast all of the long-term effects of the ACA, and there's still enough political energy crackling around the subject to make it more than a little bit bewildering. While most Medicare recipients won't interact with the law directly, early retirees may when it comes to setting up health insurance plans.
Read about this in an article written by James O'Brien in The Motley Fool on 2/16/2014.