I hope you had a nice summer. Fall is starting and it’s my favorite time of year but I’m not crazy about what follows. As usual, I have lot of information to cover so I’m going to get started.
Good news on Social Security. It sounds like you’re going to have an 8 to 9% raise on your Social Security for next year. The even better news is you’re going to get to keep it all! Medicare Part B is going down next year to $164.90 from $170.10.
You will be hearing a lot about different companies offering plans with cash back or with a whole lot of groceries and other large benefits. You need to be on Medicaid to qualify for most of it. But there are plans out there for people who are not on Medicaid, just Medicare, that are giving a lot of cash back. Those plans are designed for people who are really healthy and rarely go to the doctor (because the medical copays are high) or who use the VA. Some companies are offering a lot of dental / vision and grocery cards as well. So, if you get curious after watching a commercial or talking to somebody, don’t call their 800 number, call me and we can talk about it. I can always compare your plan to any other plan you want because I have access to them all.
Interesting thing to be aware of. If the deed to your house is over 25 years old and you’re married, you may want to check to make sure it is “joint with rights of survivorship” – not just “joint” because if it’s joint without rights of survivorship then when one spouse dies it causes problems. Nearly all the newer deeds in the last 20 + years or so have joint with rights of survivorship but some of the really old ones do not. So, if you have a really old deed to the house or other property you may want to check it.
The inflation bill that was signed into law in August does include some help on prescription costs but not right away. The $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket expenses for drugs does not take effect until 2025. The negotiated drug costs that they talk about are only 10 to 20 of the most expensive drugs out of a list of over 4,800, so it helps very few people. Also, that won’t start until 2026.
Medicare is still giving away free COVID tests. If you are interested, you can go to covidtest.gov and order them. Many pharmacies are carrying them too including CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Walmart.
IRS scam to watch out for. IRS agents sometimes do make unannounced visits to taxpayers’ homes or businesses. If this happens to you be sure to ask to see their ID. IRS agents carry two forms of official identification, a pocket Commission and an HS PD-12 card (which is a standard form of ID for federal employees). Both types of IDs have serial numbers and photos of the employees. The IRS does not send text messages or reach out through social media or use e-mail for initial contact. The IRS also does not threaten or demand that you to pay in unusual ways. If you’re suspicious of something you receive that looks like it’s from the IRS call them BUT do not call the number they give you to confirm it. Look up the number on the internet to be sure you are a calling legitimate number.
A new Medicare rule now requires me (and everyone) to record all our business calls. I will be adding another phone number that you will see on your caller ID if I call you. It is 330-298-5894.
My wife Cathy and I are having a good year this year. We were able to spend quite a bit of time with the two little grandsons. That is definitely the best part of getting old. lol. Cathy is helping me a lot with my business and if you call in there’s a good chance she will be answering the phone. She’s also a licensed agent now and will be helping me stay organized. She’s still very busy helping take care of the family farm. My son Nathan and I are still involved with Christian Service Brigade which is a little like a Christian Boy Scout ministry. I’m still involved in the local Lions Club and we still help out with the 4H program here in Portage County as well.
For those of you who were able to give me referrals – Thank You so much for your effort. I really appreciate it. There are many hurdles to growing my business with all the confusing commercials and other misinformation out there. But your referrals enable me to help a lot of other people. So, thank you very much for that.
Take care and I hope you enjoy the upcoming holidays.