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December 2016 Archives

President-Elect Trump May Propose to Block Grant Medicaid

Repealing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, was one of Donald Trump's signature campaign health care promises. But his election, coupled with Republican control of both the House and Senate, means that there will also almost certainly be a new GOP effort to turn the Medicaid program into a system of block grants to states. Under such a system, states would receive a lump sum of federal money to provide health care to low-income people, in contrast to the open-ended entitlement that Medicaid is today, with the federal government matching every dollar that states spend.

Part B Premium Will Rise for Medicare Beneficiaries in 2017

istock_000037794786_small_sm.jpgThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid has announced the Medicare premiums, deductibles, and coinsurances for 2017. After holding steady at $104.90 a month for four years, the standard Medicare Part B premium that most recipients pay will rise 4 percent to about $109 a month. However, approximately 30 percent of beneficiaries will see their Part B premium rise from $121.80 to $134 a month, a 10 percent increase. Meanwhile, all beneficiaries will face a higher Part B deductible, which will go from the current $166 to $183 in 2017.

Typical Social Security Recipient Will Get $4 Benefit Increase in 2017

istock_000008687939_extrasmall_sm.jpgSocial Security benefits will rise only slightly in 2017. This follows no increase in benefits in 2016 and small increases for many of the previous years. The small bump in 2017 will likely be eaten up by higher Medicare Part B premiums.

Stopping Distracted Driving: Safe Phone Zones Introduced on Texas Highways

Each year in Texas, more than 100,000 crashes involve distracted driving. In fact, statistics show that traffic fatalities are trending upward nationwide, with distracted driving being a major contributing factor.

Execute a Power of Attorney Before It's Too Late

power_of_attorney_sm.jpgA durable power of attorney is an extremely important estate planning tool, even more important than a will in many cases. This crucial document allows a person you appoint -- your "attorney-in-fact" or "agent" -- to act in place of you -- the "principal" -- for financial purposes when and if you ever become incapacitated due to dementia or some other reason. The agent under the power of attorney can quickly step in and take care of your affairs.

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