You are here: News Area News Social Security up $38; Medicare cost up $10
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Search

Elmont Online



Social Security up $38; Medicare cost up $10

Print

ALBANY -- What one hand giveth, the other hand taketh away -- that is the outlook for New York's senior citizens in 2012.

The federal government announced Wednesday that seniors on Social Security will receive a 3.6 percent cost of living increase in 2012, the first raise since 2009.

The average beneficiary will receive $38 more a month for a total of $1,120.

But part of that extra income may be eaten away by higher premiums for Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people over 65. The federal government will announce the 2012 premium for Medicare Part B (outpatient care) later this month. It is expected to be $106.60, which is $10 higher than what most Medicare beneficiaries currently pay. (New Medicare beneficiaries and high-income seniors already pay a higher premium.)

"I think people are going to be so happy to see a $38 a month increase -- that's good news -- but it's tempered by rising costs in health care and this premium for Part B," said Michael Burgess, the former commissioner for the state Office on Aging and a senior policy advocate for the Statewide Senior Action Council.

On top of that, New York seniors will shoulder more of their prescription costs in 2012 because the state drastically downsized EPIC, a popular drug assistance program for low- and moderate-income seniors. EPIC was cut by 30 percent, from $322 million to $232 million in 2011-2012.

"I keep saying I can't afford to live and I can't afford to die," said Mary Bryan, a 71-year old retired Catholic school superintendent who lives in Albany. With EPIC, Bryan managed her health conditions with several drugs that cost hundreds of dollars a month. Along with most Medicare recipients, Bryan is busying trying to find the best plan for her needs because Medicare open enrollment started on Oct. 15 and will end Dec. 7.

She is not sure what will happen in 2012, but she knows the Social Security increase won't make a dent.

"That will be immediately sucked into my prescription costs," Bryan said. "It will not improve the quality of my life."

Historically, New York's EPIC subsidized Medicare deductibles and co-pays and paid drug costs that were not covered by Medicare.

On Jan. 1, 2012, EPIC will pay Medicare Part D (prescription drug) premiums for New York seniors who earn less than $23,000, but drug assistance for everyone will be limited. The program will only pay drug costs when a senior is in Medicare's "doughnut hole," a gap in Medicare coverage where recipients have to pay prescription drugs costs out of their own pockets.

"All of these things are going to be making it more difficult for people," Burgess said.

Reach Crowley at 454-5348 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Visit her blog at http://blogs.timesunion.com/healthcare.


Read Full Article
 

Comments are now closed for this entry


Polls

What do Elmont residents want at Belmont Park?
 

stop domestic violence 1 rectangle decal

If you know SOMETHING, please
DO something! He or She may never save themselves!

The National Domenstic Violence Hotline warns, "Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet usage might be monitored, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224".

Domestic Violence is NOT a private matter, It's a crime against the SOCIETY!


 

open letter-02

Today, we are talking to people about sustainable economic development, because we think it's important to show support for key issues that affect our community - like places in the Elmont for young professionals to live, shop and be entertained; like keeping families closer together and rebuilding the economic and social pillars of the community.

Related Articles

No Related Articles were found.


Advertisment

Elmont Youth Soccer Club

elmontcardinals

Latest Comments

  • Local School Boards Host Pep Rally For Minor League Soccer Team … Community Underwhelmed!

    • Alan Smithee 08/18/2015 17:33
      How come you don't talk about Michaelle Solages ...

      Read more...

  • The American Dream

    • Margaret Walker, MSW 02/15/2016 00:50
      I'd like more information regarding the pudding ...

      Read more...

       
    • Ali A Mirza 01/15/2016 17:30
      the reason I asked you the above question is to ...

      Read more...

       
    • Ali A Mirza 01/15/2016 09:11
      Dear Mr. Aubrey Phillips: I hope you would remember ...

      Read more...

       
    • Teresa Imperato 01/15/2016 08:37
      These politicians are throwing us under the bus.

      Read more...


Snapshots

Next Week and ...