‘Staggering’ Amounts of Federal Funds Improperly Distributed

By Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) – Tax credits for families that don’t qualify. Medicare payments for treatments that might not be necessary. Unemployment benefits for people who are secretly working. Federal agencies reported making $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them. Congressional investigators say the figure could be even higher. “The amounts here are absolutely staggering,” said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. “It’s over $100 billion each of the last …

6 Political Truths About 50+ Americans

Americans are more divided along ideological lines - and animosity between Democrats and Republicans is deeper and more extensive - than at any time in the past 20 years, a new report from the Pew Research Center shows. As part of a yearlong study of political polarization in the United States, Pew conducted the largest political survey in its history, polling more than 10,000 adults from Jan. 23 to March 16. It’s a mother lode of age-segmented data on the political attitudes …

Retiring Early? Pony Up $51,000 Extra for Health Care, Fidelity Says

Are you and your spouse thinking about retiring early? Doing so can cost you, as a couple, an extra $17,000 a year in medical costs, according to a Fidelity Investments analysis. The Boston-based investment company compared the projected average health care costs of couples retiring this year at age 65 with those of couples retiring as early as age 62 and as late as 67. It assumed they would have Medicare coverage at 65, although the analysis doesn’t include costs for nursing home and …

Medicare cubrirá procedimientos para cambio de sexo

En una noticia que ha sido catalogada como histórica, el Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos (HHS por sus siglas en inglés) determinó que las cirugí­as de cambio de sexo podrán ser financiadas por el programa Medicare, siempre y cuando el paciente cumpla con todos los requisitos. Los pacientes que soliciten la cirugí­a serí­an evaluados fí­sica o sicológicamente como si se tratara de cualquier otro procedimiento médico. Anteriormente las peticiones eran rechazadas automáticamente como en el caso de Denee Mallon, …

Not Everyone Is Living Longer

When it is unveiled in the coming weeks, the Social Security Trustees report will no doubt prompt the program’s critics to call for change, as it does each year. And one of their suggestions will likely be to raise the age of eligibility for Social Security and Medicare benefits. It sounds so reasonable. Isn’t everybody living longer? Unfortunately, the answer is no. >> Sign up for the AARP Advocacy Newsletter The truth is that gains in life expectancy are not …

Medicare Lifts Ban on Sex-Change Surgery

By Lisa Leff of The Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO – Medicare can no longer automatically deny coverage requests for sex-reassignment surgeries, a federal board ruled Friday in a groundbreaking decision that recognizes the procedures are medically necessary for people who don’t identify with their biological sex. Ruling in favor of a 74-year-old transgender Army veteran whose request to have Medicare pay for her genital reconstruction was denied two years ago, the agency’s Departmental Appeals Board said there was no justification …