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Gateway Center for the Arts Summer Camps

July 17th, 2013 Posted in Crafts, Educational Forum, Local Events

 

Don’t Miss Out on the Summer Camps
at Gateway Center for the Arts…
After many sold out weeks…don’t miss your chance to
participate in these wonderful art and theater camps.
Only 4 weeks left!

July 15 – Pottery Week 2 – Clay Work
July 22 – Making art into games
July 29 – Sculptures
August 5 – Paper Masterpieces

July 15 – Theater-Alice in Wonderland

crayon shirts totem cups kids

logo group

 

386-668-5553

www.gatewaycenterforthearts.org

Social Security Simplified

July 15th, 2013 Posted in Educational Forum

SOCIAL SECURITY “SIMPLIFIED”

WHY IT CAME ABOUT

“To provide a basic floor of protection to working Americans against the financial problems brought on by death, disability and aging.” It was/is NOT intended to replace financial planning for the retirement years!

 

Social Security is an entitlement program – with eligibility requirements:

a)    based on your accrued work “credits” (up to 4 credits are earned each year)

b)    the required number of total (lifetime) credits earned is generally 40 (about 10 years of work earnings)

 

The amount of benefits you receive is based on your earnings over the years that you contributed to OASDI (Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance) via your payroll taxes paid (FICA). The employer and the employee share paying this tax. (There are certain workers who do not qualify for this insurance)

 

Covered vs Eligible:

Covered – you are actively contributing via FICA contributions (may or may not be eligible for benefits).

Eligible – based on your insured status:

Fully insured – means you and/or your family are entitled to full retirement and death benefits. (have accrued the required number of credits)

Currently insured – means you are qualified for a limited range of survivor benefits. (must have earned 6 credits during the 13-quarter period ending with the quarter in which the worker died)

 

TYPES OF OASDI BENEFITS: 

Death Benefit (survivor benefit): to the survivor of the eligible worker – i.e. spouse / dependent child.

Lump Sum: single death amount (max $255) paid to the spouse / dependent child of the deceased worker.

Surviving Spouse’s Benefit: to the surviving spouse – can receive a monthly income equal to the insured’s benefit at age 65, or as early as age 60. If the surviving spouse has a child under age 16 (or 22, if disabled) and the child was a dependent of the worker, spouse will receive an additional amount until child reaches age 16 (or indefinitely, if disabled and dependent on the care of and living with the spouse).

Parents’ Benefit: at age 62, each parent of deceased worker can receive a monthly benefit if the parent was at least half supported by the worker at the time of death (more if 2 parents are eligible).

Maximum Survivor Benefit: is the total amount of benefit that Social Security will allow a family to receive.

Disability Benefit: a fully insured worker who becomes disabled (and the spouse / dependent child) is entitled to benefits. (benefit will be equal to the amount eligible for at the time of disability)

 

Requirements for Disability Benefits: worker must meet Social Security’s definition of disability –

a)    Must be unable to engage in any substantial gainful work.

b)    Must be the result of a medically determinable physical / mental impairment that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in an earlier death.

c)    Benefits begin after satisfying a wait period of 5 months (benefits will be paid retroactively – up to 12 months – excluding the waiting period).

 

SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS ARE MEANT TO SUPPLEMENT, NOT REPLACE

A WELL-FOUNDED PERSONAL INSURANCE PROGRAM.

 

THIS IS ONLY A BRIEF SUMMARY- REMEMBER: SEEK THE ADVICE

                                        OF A PROFESSIONAL TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS!

Carol N. Brown, CSA    386-848-0543     CarolNBrown@aol.com     www.carolnbrown.com

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Health Care Reform Overview

June 27th, 2013 Posted in Educational Forum

HEALTHCARE REFORM HIGHLIGHTS
IN EFFECT FROM 2012 (8/01/12 for non-grandfathered plans)
Most plans must cover certain preventive services for women with no copayments, co-insurance, or deductibles – well-woman visits; counseling for interpersonal & domestic violence; screening & counseling for certain sexually transmitted diseases & viruses; pregnancy services; certain contraceptive methods.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2013
Contributions to Flexible Spending Accounts are limited to $2,500 per year.
Medical Devices are taxed 2.3% – exemptions include eye glasses, contact lenses and hearing aids.
Medicare payroll taxes are increased – for income +200k it’s increased by 0.9%.
Employers must provide notice of health insurance exchanges – which begin 1/1/14. Also, they must inform employees of their potential eligibility for federal assistance (due to their income level) if applicable.
10/01/13 to 3/31/14 – open enrollment period for small employers and qualified individuals for health insurance exchange (the “shop for your plan” period).

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2014
Health insurance exchanges will start (continue) for individuals and small employers to compare/shop for standardized health packages.
Employers must offer employees minimum essential coverage (if employ 50 or more FT employees) penalty for every FT employee over the first 30.
Premium tax credits – available for people with (larger of) incomes above 100% of federal poverty level or Medicaid eligibility, and below 400% of federal poverty level if not eligible for or offered other coverage.
Most individuals must have insurance (there are some exceptions for those who cannot find affordable insurance and certain religious groups) – or pay a penalty that will increase each year for the first three years.
Medicaid eligibility increases – to 133% of federal poverty level (for non-elderly individuals).
Pre-Existing conditions will no longer be excluded from coverage – premiums will only vary due to age, geography, family size and tobacco use. There will be no annual dollar value limits on amount of coverage for individual.
Medicare Part D enrollees – will have a decrease in their out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs; additional drug discounts will phase in thru 2020; Medicare share of costs will increase – closing donut hole in 2020.
Health plans must provide first-dollar coverage for preventive services such as annual checkups (applies to non-grandfathered and new plans).
Dependent coverage must continue to be available for eligible dependent children to age 26 (no student requirement).
No more lifetime limits on coverage for essential benefits.

THIS IS ONLY A BRIEF SUMMARY- REMEMBER:
SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PROFESSIONAL TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS!
Carol N. Brown, CSA 386-848-0543 CarolNBrown@aol.com  www.carolnbrown.com

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