US GOVERNMENT DEDUCTS MEDICARE PREMIUMS FROM ELDERLY POOR, STUDY SAYS

The federal government continues to deduct an estimated $800 million in Medicare premiums annually from some 2 million elderly poor exempt from the charges, an advocacy group said yesterday. Families USA Foundation charged in a report that $29.90 in monthly charges, or $380 annually, are "wrongfully" deducted from the Social Security checks of an estimated 2 million elderly people living below the poverty line, despite a change in budget rules last fall that protected them from the charges.

The foundation said last year's budget agreement exempted older Americans living below the poverty line from paying out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare, the federally funded health-care program for the elderly.

Four million people qualify for protection from out-of-pocket Medicare expenses, but fewer than half receive the benefit, the foundation said in its report, "The Secret Benefit."

The primary problem is that eligible recipients must apply for the exemption and the foundation charges that the federal government has "neglected to notify people of their new rights."

To be eligible, single seniors must have annual incomes below $6,620 and assets totaling less than $4,000. Elderly couples qualify with annual incomes below $8,880 and assets totaling less than $6,000.

The foundation says the government should inform the elderly of their rights by inserting a note explaining the benefits in the next round of Social Security checks.

Families USA Foundation describes itself as a nonprofit advocacy group working for economically vulnerable seniors and their families.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK