Genetic Testing Scam Alert

By Kim Hill, Economic Security Client Services Manager at Elder Law of Michigan The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General has issued a Medicare fraud alert involving genetic testing kits. Fraudulent companies are offering Medicare beneficiaries access to a free screening for cancer, Parkinson’s or other conditions, claiming that Medicare will cover the cost. These companies find their victims through phone calls, … Continue reading Genetic Testing Scam Alert

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Social Security Q&A Part 21

By Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist Question: What is substantial gainful activity (SGA)? Answer: We use the term “substantial gainful activity,” or “SGA,” to describe a level of work activity and earnings. Work is “substantial” if it involves doing significant physical or mental activities or a combination of both. If you earn more than a certain amount and are doing productive work, we … Continue reading Social Security Q&A Part 21

Sign up for Medicare and Estimate Medicare Costs

By Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist Affordable medical coverage is something everyone wants, especially as people age. Luckily, our nation has safeguards for workers as they get older. Millions of people rely on Medicare, and it can be part of your health insurance plan when you retire. Medicare is available for people age 65 or older, as well as younger people who have … Continue reading Sign up for Medicare and Estimate Medicare Costs

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Social Security Q&A Part 20

By: Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist Question: Is it true I can save about $4,900 per year if I qualify for Social Security’s Extra Help with the Medicare prescription drug program? Answer: Yes. If your income and resources meet the requirements, you can save nearly $4,900 in prescription costs each year. Resource limits for 2018 are $14,100 (or $28,150 if you are married … Continue reading Social Security Q&A Part 20

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Social Security Q&A Part 19

By: Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist Question: Can I delay my retirement benefits and receive benefits as a spouse only? How does that work? Answer: It depends on your date of birth. If you were born on or before 01/01/1954 and your spouse is receiving Social Security benefits, you can apply for retirement benefits on your spouse’s record as long as you are … Continue reading Social Security Q&A Part 19

Medicare: Rules for Those with Higher Income

By Vonda Vantil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist If you have higher income, the law requires an upward adjustment to your monthly Medicare Part B (medical insurance) and Medicare prescription drug coverage premiums. But, if your income has gone down, you may use form SSA-44 to request a reduction in your Medicare income-related monthly adjustment amount. Medicare Part B helps pay for your doctors’ services … Continue reading Medicare: Rules for Those with Higher Income

Who to Contact: Social Security or Medicare

By Vonda Vantil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist Sometimes it’s confusing to know who to contact and for what. Social Security and Medicare offer related services, so people aren’t always certain who does what. This “cheat sheet” can help. Contact Social Security to: See if you’re eligible for Medicare; Create a my Social Security account to do things like request a replacement Medicare card and … Continue reading Who to Contact: Social Security or Medicare

Get Your Social Security Benefit Statement (SSA-1099)

By Vonda Vantil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist Tax season is approaching, and Social Security has made replacing your annual Benefit Statement, also known as the SSA-1099 or the SSA-1042S, even easier. Now you can get a copy of your 1099 anytime and anywhere you want using our online services. A Social Security 1099 is a tax form Social Security mails each year in January … Continue reading Get Your Social Security Benefit Statement (SSA-1099)

Extra Help with Medicare and Prescription Drug Costs

By Vonda Vantil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist Paying out of pocket for prescription drugs can be a burden that many households can’t afford. The Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs program was designed to help people in getting the vital medicine they need to live healthy and productive lives. Anyone who has Medicare can get Medicare prescription drug coverage. Some people with … Continue reading Extra Help with Medicare and Prescription Drug Costs

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Social Security Q&A Part 18

By: Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist Question: I am receiving Social Security retirement benefits and I recently went back to work. Do I have to pay Social Security (FICA) taxes on my income? Answer: Yes. By law, your employer must withhold FICA taxes from your paycheck. Although you are retired, you do receive credit for those new earnings. Each year Social Security automatically … Continue reading Social Security Q&A Part 18