“You can go from an upstanding middle-class American citizen to completely under the eight ball.” | “Patients Stuck With Bills After Insurers Don’t Pay As Promised” – Kaiser Health News
“Darla Markley and her husband, Andy Markley, of Winter Park, Florida, tried to pay off their medical bills following tests Darla had done at the Mayo Clinic in 2010. Even after Mayo wrote off some of what they owed, her disability and Social Security checks barely covered her insurance premiums. Five years after her initial hospitalization, they had no choice but to declare bankruptcy.” (Zack Wittman for KHN)
by Lauren Weber
“The more than $34,000 in medical bills that contributed to Darla and Andy Markley’s bankruptcy and loss of their home in Beloit, Wisconsin, grew out of what felt like a broken promise.
“Darla Markley, 53, said her insurer had sent her a letter preapproving her to have a battery of tests at the Mayo Clinic in neighboring Minnesota after she came down with transverse myelitis, a rare, paralyzing illness that had kept her hospitalized for over a month. But after the tests found she also had beriberi, a vitamin deficiency, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield judged that the tests weren’t needed after all and refused to pay — although Markley said she and Mayo had gotten approval.
“While Darla learned to walk again, the Markleys tried to pay off the bills. Even after Mayo wrote off some of what they owed, her disability and Social Security checks barely covered her insurance premiums. By 2014, five years after her initial hospitalization, they had no choice but to declare bankruptcy.”
Read this article at Kaiser Health News in its entirety, click here.
Here’s what senior citizens should know about the new tax form.
“Lawmakers have been trying for years to cut seniors a bit of a break at tax time, and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 finally took a solid step in that direction by simplifying tax filing for individuals aged 65 and older. They’ll now have their own tax form, the 1040-SR.
It’s said to be similar to the 1040-EZ in several ways and much easier to negotiate than Form 1040. The tax form was first proposed in 2013 as part of the Seniors Tax Reconciliation Act. The AARP, the National Taxpayers Union, and the Association of Mature Americans all supported the bill. Alas, it never won the approval of the Senate.
Continue reading this article at the balance, click here.
“The Distressing Growth of Wealth: Inequality of Boomers Gaps between the haves and have-nots, and what could shrink them” – next avenue
Credit: @taliamarie via Twenty20
by Richard Eisenberg
In her piercing new book Unbound: How Inequality Constricts Our Economy and What We Can Do About It, economist Heather Boushey writes: “The trend toward greater economic inequality continues its seemingly inexorable march.” Four recent studies — including one just out today — reveal that wealth inequality among boomers specifically has been growing, turning this massive generation into one of haves and have nots.
The nonpartisan reports, which analyzed boomers’ retirement security, financial assets and housing status, come from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO); the National Institute on Retirement Security think tank; the St. Louis Fed’s Center for Household Financial Stability and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.
Their key findings:
For information about aging topics click here or on the above graphic.
Beth Beth Salamon is an only child taking care of her mother, who has dementia. Above, they are pictured in 2009. (Courtesy of Beth Salamon)
by Rose Conlon
“When Holly Hill’s grandfather entered hospice in June, she watched his four children — including her mother — come together as a team to care for him and support each other. But Hill, who’s an only child, couldn’t help but wonder what things might look like when it was her own mother who needed care.
“‘My mom even said to me at one point, “You can’t do it all on your own. You have to take breaks,” remembered Hill. ‘And I thought to myself, “Who’s going to give me a break?”
“Hill, 39, a first grade teacher and a mother herself, lives two hours away from her parents. She hopes they’ll move closer to her before they start needing more care, but it’s a hard sell. They’ve lived in the same house for 40 years — the one her dad built.”
by Lauren Popham, PhD
“We weren’t surprised when more than half of women responding to a survey we conducted with Ipsos said they are worried about outliving their savings. Income is tied to lots of aspects of aging, but the way that plays out once you turn 60 is very different for men and women. One major reason: the gender pay gap.
“A lifelong problem
“Women are more likely to experience financial insecurity than men, and this discrepancy becomes even more pronounced later in life. Making less than their male coworkers means women have less money saved when they retired, and will draw less money from Social Security once they’re eligible. We’re left with sobering statistics like this from the Health and Retirement Study: half of women age 60 or older have household incomes below $39,600, yet the median income for men in the same age range is $55,000.
“Despite entering retirement age at a disadvantage, women tend to live longer and face more out-of-pocket costs for things like medication each year.”
“The United States of Elder Fraud – How Prevalent is Elder Financial Abuse in Each State?” – comparitech
by Paul Bischoff
“The vast majority of elder fraud cases in the US go unreported. Our research team set out to uncover the true cost of elder fraud in the US by analyzing and extrapolating data from government reports and registries.
“Comparitech estimates 5 million cases of elder fraud occur in the US annually resulting in $27.4 billion in losses.
“Elder fraud, also called elder financial abuse or elder financial exploitation, is defined as the misappropriation or abuse of financial control in a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, resulting in harm to the elderly victim.
“More than 200,000 scams and financial abuse cases targeting the elderly are reported to authorities every year, and most experts agree that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our estimates show $1.17 billion in damages are reported to authorities, but the real figure likely dwarfs that amount when factoring in unreported elder fraud.
“To calculate the full scope of the problem, Comparitech aggregated data from multiple studies on elder fraud in every US state, including the number of reports to authorities and average loss per case. We then used those numbers to estimate the total number of cases and total damages in each state, adjusted for the proportion of unreported cases.”
October 3, 2019
Forest Room, Keystone Building
Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) is holding its first financial empowerment conference for people with disabilities on October 3, 2019 in Harrisburg and you’re invited!
“Vision for the Future: Financial Empowerment Conference for Individuals with Disabilities” will bring together individuals with disabilities, family members, service providers, nonprofit organizations, and policy makers to discuss, collaborate, and learn about financial education.
The conference is a one-day, free, accessible event open to the public. Registration is required. A limited number of scholarships are available to people with disabilities and their families to help defray the cost of travel and lodging.
“Children can get quite expensive. silentalex88/Shutterstock.com”
by Heidi Steinhour
“The cost of having children in the U.S. has climbed exponentially since the 1960s. So it’s no wonder the growing crop of Democratic presidential candidates have been proposing waysto address or bring down the costs tied to raising a family.
“Most recently, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she wants to provide universal access to child care. According to her proposal, the U.S. would partner with local governments and other organizations to provide various child care options, paying for it with revenue from her wealth tax.
“Whether or not Warren’s proposal becomes law, the data show a worsening problem. In 2015, American parents spent, on average, US$233,610 on child costs from birth until the age of 17, not including college.”