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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Medicare Primer

Medicare Primer

Date: March 31, 2016
Creator: Davis, Patricia A.; Talaga, Scott R.; Binder, Cliff; Hahn, Jim; Kirchhoff, Suzanne M. & Morgan, Paulette C.
Description: This report provides a general overview of the Medicare program including descriptions of the program's history, eligibility criteria, covered services, provider payment systems, and program administration and financing.
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Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends

Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends

Date: September 11, 2015
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: This report discusses trends that will affect the economic well-being of future retirees.
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Missing Adults: Background, Federal Programs, and Issues for Congress

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

Date: February 11, 2015
Creator: Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne L.
Description: The first section of this report discusses demographics and record keeping of missing adults and unidentified remains, as well as 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 where applicable. Finally, the third section discusses issues about the federal role in missing adult cases.
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Older Americans Act: FY2015 Appropriations Overview

Older Americans Act: FY2015 Appropriations Overview

Date: January 30, 2015
Creator: Napili, Angela & Colello, Kirsten J.
Description: This report discusses Older Americans Act (OAA) funding. It begins with an overview of OAA's FY2015 funding and provides a detailed breakdown of current-year funding for each of the act's programs and activities. The report then reviews OAA's funding history since FY2001. Next, it summarizes FY2015 legislative activity with respect to OAA appropriations. It concludes with a discussion of FY2015 funding decisions for selected OAA programs.
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Medicare Home Health Benefit Primer: Benefit Basics and Issues

Medicare Home Health Benefit Primer: Benefit Basics and Issues

Date: February 6, 2014
Creator: Talaga, Scott R.
Description: This report describes home health eligibility criteria, home health services, characteristics of Medicare beneficiaries who use home health services, and home health providers. Further, this report describes in detail the Medicare home health prospective payment system (HH PPS), provides an overview of Medicare home health payments, and discusses issues for Congress related to the Medicare home health benefit.
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Missing Adults: Background, Federal Programs, and Issues for Congress

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

Date: May 7, 2013
Creator: Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne L.
Description: The first section of this report discusses demographics and record keeping of missing adults and unidentified remains, as well as 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 where applicable. Finally, the third section discusses issues about the federal role in missing adult cases.
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Medicare Home Health Benefit Primer: Benefit Basics and Issues

Medicare Home Health Benefit Primer: Benefit Basics and Issues

Date: March 14, 2013
Creator: Talaga, Scott R.
Description: This report describes home health eligibility criteria, home health services, characteristics of Medicare beneficiaries who use home health services, and home health providers. Further, this report describes in detail the Medicare home health prospective payment system (HH PPS), provides an overview of Medicare home health payments, and discusses issues for Congress related to the Medicare home health benefit.
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Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC): A Fact Sheet

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC): A Fact Sheet

Date: April 16, 2012
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. The PBGC is chaired by the Secretary of Labor, with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Commerce serving as board members. In the 112th Congress, an amendment offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to S. 1813, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), contains provisions that would address the use of excess defined benefit pension plan assets and the interest rates that defined benefit plans use to value plan liabilities.
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Concurrent Receipt: Background and Issues for Congress

Concurrent Receipt: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: September 24, 2010
Creator: Henning, Charles A.
Description: "Concurrent Receipt" refers to the simultaneous receipt of two types of monetary benefits: military retired pay and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation. This report addresses the two primary components of the concurrent receipt program: Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) and Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP). It reviews the possible legislative expansion of the program to additional populations and provide several potential options for Congress to consider.
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Older Displaced Workers in the Context of an Aging and Slowly Growing Population

Older Displaced Workers in the Context of an Aging and Slowly Growing Population

Date: January 15, 2010
Creator: Levine, Linda
Description: This report analyzes the labor market experiences of those older workers who have involuntarily lost long-held jobs for reasons unrelated to their own performance (e.g., veteran factory workers at plants closed because of import competition, experienced information technology workers whose jobs have been outsourced to workers in other countries, and mid-level managers in positions eliminated through corporate restructuring). It examines current policies targeted at the reemployment of older displaced workers which, if successful, might lengthen their stay in the workforce.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Date: October 23, 2008
Creator: Jansen, Don J.
Description: In its FY2007, FY2008, and FY2009 budget submissions, the Department of Defense (DOD) proposed increases in Tricare enrollment fees, deductibles, and pharmacy co-payments for retired beneficiaries not yet eligible for Medicare. In passing the FY2009 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress included measures establishing demonstration projects intended to find ways to contain costs through increased use of preventive care services by TRICARE beneficiaries. The scope of these measures are limited. Defense health care spending will likely remain an issue for the DOD in the next Administration, and Congress can anticipate being asked to consider new proposals to constrain costs.
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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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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