Social Security

Carol Burgos is worried her neighbors think she is bringing the neighborhood down.

She lives in a mobile home park in a woodsy part of Columbia County, N.Y, just off a two-lane highway. The homes have neat yards and American flags. On a spring Saturday, some neighbors are out holding yard sales, with knickknacks spread out on folding tables. Others are out doing yardwork.

Burgos' lawn is unruly and overgrown.

"How bad do I feel when these little old ladies are mowing their lawn and I can't because I'm in so much pain?" she says.

A quarter of a million Medicare beneficiaries may be receiving bills for as many as five months of premiums they thought they had already paid.

But they shouldn't toss the letter in the garbage. It's not a scam or a mistake.

Because of what the Social Security Administration calls "a processing error" in January, it did not deduct premiums from some seniors' Social Security checks and it didn't pay the insurance plans, according to the agency's "frequently asked questions" page on its website.

Medicare, Social Security Face Shaky Fiscal Futures

Apr 23, 2019
National Institutes of Health

The financial condition of the government’s bedrock retirement programs for middle- and working-class Americans remains shaky, with Medicare pointed toward insolvency by 2026, according to a report Monday by the government’s overseers of Medicare and Social Security. 

Medicare.gov

Medicare will run out of money sooner than expected, and Social Security's financial problems can't be ignored either, the government said Tuesday in a sobering checkup on programs vital to the middle class.

Medicare.gov

In April, the government will start sending out new Medicare cards, launching a massive, yearlong effort to alter how 59 million people enrolled in the federal health insurance program are identified.

By the time Stephenie Hashmi was in her mid-20s, she had achieved a lifelong dream — she was the charge nurse of one of Kansas City's largest intensive care units. But even as she cared for patients, she realized that something was off with her own health.

"I remember just feeling tired and feeling sick and hurting, and not knowing why my joints and body was hurting," she says.

mnfoundations / Flickr

Federal prosecutors say a northeast Florida man will serve 18 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to stealing nearly a quarter million dollars in government benefits.

Wikimedia Commons

Looking at the big picture, the financial health of Social Security and Medicare doesn't appear to have worsened.

Wednesday's annual check-up found that Social Security's retirement trust fund has enough money to pay full benefits until 2035, a year later than previously projected. Medicare's giant trust fund for inpatient care won't be exhausted until 2030, the same date as last year's report.

Aging Nation Tested By Health, Finances

Feb 19, 2015
Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Social Security is turning 80 this year. 

And Medicare is hitting the big 5-0. 

These aging government programs - and the challenges brought on by the enormous Baby Boomer generation - underscored Thursday's discussions at the first of five White House Conference on Aging regional gatherings. 

  The White House is holding the first in a series of forums to hear about the most important issues facing older Americans. 

The event Thursday in Tampa comes amid a historic demographic shift in the U.S. as the massive baby boom generation moves closer to old age.

Stethoscope on a pile of dollars.
Flickr Creative Commons

Solid economic growth will help the federal budget deficit shrink this year to its lowest level since President Barack Obama took office, according to congressional estimates released Monday.

The Congressional Budget Office also projects a 14 percent drop in the number of U.S. residents without health insurance, largely because of Obama's health law.

As Chan Lowe with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes, it’s just a matter of time before the fight against the Affordable Care Act will die. As Lowe writes, it happened with Social Security and Medicare, once folks started to benefit from those programs. Lowe predicts that same thing will happen with the federal health law better known as Obamacare.

Doug Engle / Ocala Star-Banner

A mom and daughter in Marion County have been arrested for operating unlicensed assisted living facilities they claimed were emergency shelters, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. Investigators say Mary Deneen Alexander and Tara Collins-Johnson housed as many as a dozen elderly or disabled people in a single-family home, and forced them to turn over their Social Security checks.

Florida’s seniors may be able to breathe a little easier, knowing that the Medicare hospital trust fund will be financially sound longer than projected because health spending has moderated, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. Government trustees reported that Medicare’s hospital fund should run short around 2026, two years later than projected in 2012. 

The health-care system was already complex enough, and it's getting more confusing as the main portions of the Affordable Care Act  are about to go into effect Jan. 1.  This is the time when con men can take advantage of the confusion, particularly targeting senior citizens.

Baptist Health South Florida is giving nearly all of its 15,000 employees a $1,000 bonus to help compensate for the higher Social Security tax now taken out of paychecks, the Miami Herald reports.