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Medicare Home Health Benefit Primer: Benefit Basics and Issues

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.
Date: February 6, 2014
Creator: Talaga, Scott R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Spending for Older Americans

Description: This report discusses the share of the federal budget devoted to older Americans, which is growing. The federal government currently spends more than one-third of its budget on benefits and programs for older Americans. For people age 65 and over, estimated FY2007 spending for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid alone is $833 billion. Spending for retired federal employees and military personnel and for veterans is also significant, and smaller programs add to the total as well. Tax expenditures might also be taken into account to obtain a more complete budget picture.
Date: January 25, 2007
Creator: Grady, April & Klunk, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Medicaid Reimbursement Policy

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.
Date: November 2, 2004
Creator: Merlis, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Medicare Advantage

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.
Date: March 3, 2009
Creator: Morgan, Paulette C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: February 23, 2009
Creator: Colello, Kirsten J.; Mulvey, Janemarie; Sarata, Amanda K.; Williams, Erin D. & Thomas, Kenneth R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

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.
Date: May 14, 2009
Creator: Jansen, Don J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Retirement Savings and Household Wealth in 2007

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.
Date: April 8, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Medicare's Hospice Benefit

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.
Date: March 9, 2009
Creator: Stone, Julie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2007

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.
Date: October 3, 2008
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: May 27, 2009
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Income and Poverty Among Older Americans in 2008

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.
Date: October 2, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Older Americans Act: FY2015 Appropriations Overview

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.
Date: January 30, 2015
Creator: Napili, Angela & Colello, Kirsten J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC): A Fact Sheet

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.
Date: April 16, 2012
Creator: Topoleski, John J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals

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.
Date: December 1, 2008
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie & Purcell, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Converting Retirement Savings into Income: Annuities and Periodic Withdrawals

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.
Date: December 1, 2008
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie & Purcell, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Concurrent Receipt: Background and Issues for Congress

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.
Date: September 24, 2010
Creator: Henning, Charles A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Regulating Private Pensions: A Brief Summary of ERISA

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.
Date: January 15, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: July 14, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick & Topoleski, John J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Social Security: Raising the Retirement Age Background and Issues

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.
Date: June 24, 2002
Creator: Kollmann, Geoffrey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A Fact Sheet

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.
Date: January 8, 2008
Creator: Szymendera, Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department