• "I am deeply grateful to the Masonic Village's employees, and will never be able to express my gratitude to all of them." — Catherine L.

  • "I liked my Masonic Charity Foundation charitable gift annuity so much, I opened three more. Why? I might be old-fashioned, but the scriptures have taught me the virtue of looking out for others. Knowing that the funds left in my gift annuities will care for the Masonic Village residents makes me feel wonderful." — Dorothy B.

  • "I am writing to tell you, from the bottom of my heart, just how wonderful the last two years of my mother's life were, thanks to all of you at the Masonic Village at Burlington." — Carol O.

  • "It's not just the Masonic Village's beautiful facilities and the many services that are offered to the residents – most of all, it's the employees. They are personally dedicated it seems to each and every individual here." — Catherine L.

  • "We are equally grateful for the 'loving arms of hospice' that were wrapped around our family in our hour of need." — M.W.

  • "When we decided to come to the Masonic Village at Burlington, we knew it was going to be a very big change in our lives. When we came here, we were very pleased that it was not difficult. We would recommend the Masonic Village highly to a friend." — Joseph and Bertha B.

  • "There is simply no way to express the depth of gratitude I feel for the Masonic Village at Burlington – thank you!" — Jim C.

  • "We know first-hand how very special Acacia Hospice's caregivers are, and we thank every single one of them from the bottom of our hearts." — J.M.

  • "It is with a grateful heart that we extend to you our deepest gratitude for the loving care that Acacia Hospice afforded our beloved Aunt." — M.W.

  • "It has been a source of tremendous relief that my parents were in such caring and professional hands during the final years of their lives." — Jim C.

  • "It takes a very special person to do the job Acacia Hospice's caregivers do every day. We would like you to know we think you have an incredible group of 'Angels.'" — J.M

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Monday October 15, 2018

Washington News

Washington Hotline

Social Security Benefits Increase by 2.8% in 2019

The Social Security Administration recently announced the cost-of-living increase for Social Security benefits in 2019. The 2.8% increase is the largest boost in six years. The cost-of-living increase was 0% in 2016, 0.3% in 2017 and 2% in 2018. Over 67 million Americans receive Social Security and will enjoy an increased check in January of 2019.

The average 2018 Social Security payment of $1,400 per month will increase by about $39. Social Security recipients with larger payouts will appreciate a greater increase in the value of their benefits.

Military retirees will also receive a 2.8% cost-of-living increase. Veterans benefits for disability pay and dependents' compensation will also benefit from the 2.8% increase.

House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN) was clearly pleased with the decision by Congress to pass legislation to give military retirees and veterans the 2.8% increase. Because the increases in military benefits are not automatic like the Social Security changes, they require an act of Congress. Roe stated, "So many veterans rely on disability compensation payments to make ends meet, and this cost-of-living adjustment means they will be able to continue to do so."

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid announced increased Medicare Part B premiums for 2019 this week. The basic Medicare premium will increase by $1.50 from $134 to $135.50 per month.

Low-income Social Security recipients (about 4% or 2 million individuals) will pay less than $135.50. Their Medicare premium is limited to the increase in Social Security.

Upper-income recipients of Social Security (about 5% or 3 million individuals) will pay higher Medicare premiums. The Medicare premium surcharge is based on modified adjusted gross income (MAGI).

Single filers with MAGI over $85,000 and married couples filing jointly over $170,000 will pay a Medicare surcharge. For single taxpayers, the Medicare premium increases to $189.60 with MAGI over $85,000. The single filer surcharge tops out with a total monthly cost of $460.50 if MAGI is over $500,000.

For married couples with MAGI over $750,000, the Medicare surcharge is $460.50 per month. The annual Medicare premium for these couples is $11,052.


Published October 12, 2018
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