The budget agreement signed by the President contains  two provisions of interest to retirees.  In addition, Medicare issued new rules authorizing end-of-life discussions between doctors and patients.

What Congress Just Did to Social Security.  Two popular Social Security benefit-boosting strategies that could have increased lifetime benefits up to $50,000 have been eliminated.  File-and-suspend , along with restricted claiming strategies have affected millions of future social security recipients.   A research fellow at the American Institute of Economic Research explains the strategies and who has been grandfathered.  Click here to read the full article


Short-Term Relief for Medicare and Social Security.  The budget agreement will prevent a sharp increase in Medicare premiums.  Without action by Congress, some Medicare beneficiaries would have faced an increase of more than 50 percent in their monthly premiums.  Under the new budget agreement, about 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will not see any increase in their premiums, according to the New York Times.  Click here to read the full article


New Medicare Rule Authorizes ‘End-of-Life Consultations.  Medicare now authorizes payment to doctors for consultations with patients discussing how they would like to be cared for as they are dying.  In such conversations, patients may discuss whether and how they want to be kept alive if they become too sick to speak for themselves.  Click here to read the full article


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J. Mark Nickell & Co.

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