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 Resource Type: Report
 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Medicare Prescription Drug Proposals: Estimates of Aged Beneficiaries Who Fall Below Income Criteria, by State

Medicare Prescription Drug Proposals: Estimates of Aged Beneficiaries Who Fall Below Income Criteria, by State

Date: February 11, 2003
Creator: Peterson, Chris L. & Morgan, Paulette C.
Description: This report discusses bills related to Medicare benefits, which include additional assistance for low-income beneficiaries. The assistance would have been in the form of reduced, subsidized or eliminated premiums, deductibles and other cost-sharing. Proposals in the 108th Congress will probably also include some of these features for low-income beneficiaries.
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Medicare Structural Reform: Background and Options

Medicare Structural Reform: Background and Options

Date: January 28, 2003
Creator: Chaikind, Hinda R.; O'Sullivan, Jennifer & Boulanger, Jennifer
Description: THis report provides a brief overview of major issues underlying the debate about possible structural reforms or improvements to the current Medicare system. Medicare is a nationwide health insurance program for the aged and certain disabled persons.
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Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2000: Analysis of Census Bureau Data

Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2000: Analysis of Census Bureau Data

Date: December 12, 2002
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Description: This report examines recent trends in retirement saving and the policy implications. The aging of the American population and the impending retirement of the "baby boom" will place significant strains over the next several decades on both Social Security and on retirees' own financial resources. With continued increases in average life expectancies, retirees in the 21st century will have to stretch their savings and other assets over longer periods of retirement than were experienced by their parents and grandparents.
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Missing Adults: Background, Federal Programs, and Issues for Congress

Missing Adults: Background, Federal Programs, and Issues for Congress

Date: October 15, 2008
Creator: Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne L.
Description: The first section of this report discusses demographics and record keeping of missing adults and unidentified remains, and some of the factors that may contribute to the disappearance of adults. This section also discusses federally funded databases that are used to track data on missing adults and unidentified individuals. The second section of the report describes the federal programs and initiatives to assist in locating missing adults, including funding data for FY2002 through FY2008, where applicable.
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Medicaid Reimbursement Policy

Medicaid Reimbursement Policy

Date: November 2, 2004
Creator: Merlis, Mark
Description: This report begins with a summary of basic federal requirements applicable to payments for all services and an overview of major developments in federal Medicaid reimbursement policy over the last 20 years. This overview provides a historical context for current policies and highlights some issues that have been perennial concerns for federal and state policymakers. The next four sections of the report provide a detailed discussion of Medicaid reimbursement for four basic categories of services or providers.
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Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage

Date: March 3, 2009
Creator: Morgan, Paulette C.
Description: This report is an overview of the Medicare Advantage (MA) program, an alternative way for Medicare beneficiaries to receive covered benefits, and includes legislative history and analysis of recent trends.
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End-of-Life Care: Services, Costs, Ethics, and Quality of Care

End-of-Life Care: Services, Costs, Ethics, and Quality of Care

Date: February 23, 2009
Creator: Colello, Kirsten J.; Mulvey, Janemarie; Sarata, Amanda K.; Williams, Erin D. & Thomas, Kenneth R.
Description: This report provides information on various aspects of end-of-life care: (1) demographic and historical changes affecting death and dying in the United States (2) the definitions of end-of-life, palliative, and hospice care (3) costs associated with end-of-life care (4) end-of-life care laws and ethics (5) quality of care at the end of life and (6) policy issues that would modify or expand the federal government's role in addressing end-of-life care.
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Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Date: May 14, 2009
Creator: Jansen, Don J.
Description: This report discusses budgetary matters for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), specifically regarding past instances of debate regarding the Tricare system. The dollar amounts allocated to health care in the budget of the DOD have more than doubled since FY2001, growing from about $17 billion to over $44.8 billion in FY2009.
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Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2007

Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2007

Date: April 8, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report discusses various issues that impact the retirement income of Americans. About half of all workers in the United States participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan of some kind, a proportion that has remained relatively stable over the past thirty years. Because the majority of assets held in retirement accounts are invested in stocks, trends in stock prices have a significant impact on households' retirement account balances.
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Medicare's Hospice Benefit

Medicare's Hospice Benefit

Date: March 9, 2009
Creator: Stone, Julie
Description: This report discusses Medicare's hospice benefit, which was provides care that specializes in the relief of the pain and symptoms associated with a terminal illness and the provision of supportive and counseling services to patients and their families during the final stages of a patient's illness and death.
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Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2007

Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2007

Date: October 3, 2008
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report describes the income and poverty status of the 36.8 million Americans age 65 and older who were living in households in 2007. The report also describes how the proportion of total income received from each source differs between high-income individuals and households and low-income individuals and households.
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Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends

Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends

Date: September 8, 2008
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report discusses trends that will affect the economic well-being of future retirees.
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Factors Affecting the Demand for Long-Term Care Insurance: Issues for Congress

Factors Affecting the Demand for Long-Term Care Insurance: Issues for Congress

Date: May 27, 2009
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie
Description: This report will discuss the role of long-term care insurance (LTCI) in financing long term care (LTC) costs and current trends in the LTCI industry; factors affecting the demand for LTCI, including cost and complexity of the product and adequacy of consumer protections; and key features of legislative proposals in the 111th Congress to address these issues.
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Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2008

Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2008

Date: October 2, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report describes the sources and amounts of income received by the 37.8 million Americans aged 65 and older who lived in non-institutional settings in 2008. The report also describes how the proportion of total income received from each source differs between high-income individuals and households and low-income individuals and households.
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Income of Americans Aged 65 and Older, 1968 to 2008

Income of Americans Aged 65 and Older, 1968 to 2008

Date: November 4, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report presents data collected by the Census Bureau in the Current Population Survey from 1969 through 2009 about the employment status and the sources and amounts of income received by people aged 65 and older.
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Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals

Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals

Date: December 1, 2008
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie & Purcell, Patrick
Description: To a worker contemplating retirement, there is perhaps no more important question than "How long will my money last?" Congress has a strong interest in the income security of older Americans because much of their income is either provided directly from public programs like Social Security, or in the case of pensions and retirement accounts, is subsidized through tax deductions and deferrals. This report looks at strategies to help deal with the following risks: longevity, investment, inflation, and unexpected events.
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Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals

Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals

Date: December 1, 2008
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie & Purcell, Patrick
Description: To a worker contemplating retirement, there is perhaps no more important question than "How long will my money last?" Congress has a strong interest in the income security of older Americans because much of their income is either provided directly from public programs like Social Security, or in the case of pensions and retirement accounts, is subsidized through tax deductions and deferrals. This report discusses risks involved with retirement fund disbursement and strategies for dealing with such risks.
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Regulating Private Pensions: A Brief Summary of ERISA

Regulating Private Pensions: A Brief Summary of ERISA

Date: January 15, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report briefly discusses the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), and how it protects the interests of participants and beneficiaries in private-sector employee benefit plans. ERISA covers a number of fringe benefits provided by employers, but most of its provisions deal with pension plans. Pension plans sponsored by the federal, state, and local governments, or by churches generally are exempt from ERISA.
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401(k) Plans and Retirement Savings: Issues for Congress

401(k) Plans and Retirement Savings: Issues for Congress

Date: July 14, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick & Topoleski, John J.
Description: Over the past 25 years, defined contribution (DC) plans - including 401(k) plans - have become the most prevalent form of employer-sponsored retirement plan in the United States. This report describes seven major policy issues with respect to defined contribution plans: 1) access to employer-sponsored retirement plans; 2) participation in employer-sponsored plans; 3) contribution rates; 4) investment choices; 5) fee disclosure; 6) leakage from retirement savings; and 7) converting retirement savings into income.
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Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A Fact Sheet

Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A Fact Sheet

Date: January 8, 2008
Creator: Szymendera, Scott
Description: The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, Title XVI of the Social Security Act, was enacted in 1972 and implemented in 1974 to assure a minimum cash income to all aged, blind, or disabled persons. SSI is provided to eligible aged or disabled individuals or couples who have limited income and resources.
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Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Premiums: Fact Sheet

Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Premiums: Fact Sheet

Date: January 13, 2004
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn
Description: Financing for social security -- Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance -- and the Hospital Insurance part of Medicare is provided primarily by taxes levied on wages and net self-employment income. Financing for the Supplementary Medical Insurance portion of Medicare is provided by premiums from enrollees and payments from the government. This report describes these taxes and premiums.
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Social Security: Raising the Retirement Age Background and Issues

Social Security: Raising the Retirement Age Background and Issues

Date: June 24, 2002
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Description: The Social Security "full retirement age" will gradually rise from 65 to 67 beginning with people who attain age 62 in 2000 (i.e., those born in 1938). Early retirement benefits will still be available beginning at age 62, but at lower levels. To help solve Social Security's long-range financing problems, it has been proposed that these ages be raised further.
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Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: A Fact Sheet

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: A Fact Sheet

Date: January 29, 2008
Creator: Topoleski, John J.
Description: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is a federal government agency established in 1974 by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) (P.L. 93- 406). It was created to protect the pensions of participants and beneficiaries covered by private sector, defined benefit (DB) plans. These pension plans provide a specified monthly benefit at retirement, usually either a percent of salary or a flat dollar amount multiplied by years of service. Defined contribution plans, such as ยง401(k) plans, are not insured. The PBGC is chaired by the Secretary of Labor, with the Secretaries of Treasury and Commerce serving as board members.
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H.R. 6500, The Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2008

H.R. 6500, The Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2008

Date: July 29, 2008
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report describes the various aspects of the Thrift Savings Plan Enhancement Act of 2008.
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