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Cheat Sheet Q & A:
Today’s Question: Means testing for Medicare
I hear everyone talking about proposed means testing for Medicare and a graduated scale situation.
No one has said that it is and has been in place already. Just ask me. I am still working and so is my wife and the government combines the household income and adds a surcharge based on an income scale to my Medicare charges.
I pay double the normal rate of $104.80 per month plus a drug charge of 29.90 per month.($239.50 total)
I have supplemental insurance because of co-pay from the Medicare plan.
This was not disclosed to me by the Medicare people the supplemental people or friends that are on Medicare. It was quite of surprise when I was double billed.
Bottom Line: Today’s question comes from a listener that makes an awfully good point. There already are two tiers of costs associated with Medicare Part B. Let’s get into this…
Medicare Part A (or Hospital Insurance) happens automatically at 65 for almost all Americans who’ve been in the workforce. This provision doesn’t come with an income consideration – just an established work and tax record. It’s Part B where the means testing if you will currently comes into play.
Medicare Part B (or Medical Insurance) does include an income consideration that could be viewed as a form of means testing. Here is the current breakout:
The standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $104.90 in 2013, which is a .5% increase over the 2012 premium. For additional details, visit www.Medicare.gov.
If your income is above $85,000 (single) or $170,000 (married couple), then your Medicare Part B premium may be higher than $104.90 per month. For additional details, visit www.Medicare.gov.
In some cases this amount may be higher if you didn't choose Part B when you first became eligible at age 65. The cost of Part B may go up 10% for each 12-month period that you could have had Part B but did not sign up for it, except in special cases. You will have to pay this extra 10% as long as you have Medicare Part B.
Enrolling in Part B is your choice. You can sign up for Part B anytime during a 7-month period that begins 3 months before you turn 65.
So to the point of the listener – there is a form of means testing that does come into play for those who accept Medicare Part B and the income threshold is quite low.
If you make $85,000 or more or $170,000 or more as a household you will pay more for Medicare Part B.
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What is this
Bottom Line: Most of us don’t really have any understanding of
All deposits in Cyrus banks will be taxed up to 10%. That’s right – not only would you not earn interest by depositing your money but you’d actually lose up to 10% of it simply because your country hasn’t been responsible with finances. It sounds outrageous right? There is an important lesson within this story for us.
I’ve been warning for awhile that we’re heading down a path that leads to others (like China) holding the cards in the future when we no longer are able to sustain our debt accumulation. Unfortunately we’re a country of individuals who aren’t generally aware of what’s going on until it hits our wallets. Think if 10% of everything you’ve saved and would save would be taken people in this country would wake up?
We’ve eight years away right now – unless we change our ways.
Samsung to drop Android with the next two years?:
Bottom Line: The trend has been in and Samsung isn’t going to be left behind. Companies want to control the OS on their devices rather than being tied to the success of a third party you don’t control. Additionally that third party, Google, is already producing its own tablet and is likely to come after all of your devices running on its OS.
Smart device operators that control their OS:
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Blackberry
It appears that within the next two years you’ll be able to add Samsung to that list.
Homes selling in the least amount of time in six years:
Bottom Line: The positive housing data continues to role in and here’s the latest. The average time of a property listed before selling is less than 100 days for the first time in six years.
Data from February shows the average time on market for a property is 98 days. That’s the best number in exactly six years. The other good news regarding the 98 figure is that it’s an average.
Verizon could pave the way for TV viewing costs in the future:
Bottom Line: Recently I covered the expense of ESPN and how it’s the top reason why costs for premium TV services continue to rise. Many aren’t happy with the all or nothing cable packages and would like ala carte package choices. Verizon isn’t quite there yet but they could still greatly change pricing for premium TV.
Verizon has recently entered the TV business as they are beta testing their new $8 per month streaming TV service along with rental
Bankrate survey shows paying up for hybrids still isn’t worth it?:
Bottom Line: Each of the past two years I’ve studied the costs of hybrids vs. non-hybrid comparable cars. Each of the past two years I’ve found that for the average person paying more for a hybrid vs. a non-hybrid equivalent, the value is actually best with the non-hybrid equivalent.
Bankrate just completed its own research and found a similar outcome with the Ford Focus non-hybrid the best overall value for the average driver. For the complete results of their findings click the link below:
Writing on the wall for Blackberry (and its not pleasant):
Bottom Line: So this is the release week for the make or break Blackberry 10 product (Friday is delivery day for the phone). The news is still ominous for Blackberry.
While the phone is important we it’s the “smart” part of the smart phone that drives our buying decisions on these devices. Just as important as how “smart” a phone actually may be, is what will run on the device. That’s where the latest news for Blackberry and its would be users is just plain awful.
Of the most used apps today, only 34% will be available on the Blackberry 10. Just a third. By comparison, Microsoft which has its own sales challenges with smartphones has 63% of the top apps available. No matter how good of a device the Blackberry 10 may be, it appears to be doomed from the start by a lack of software support.