NARFE publishes 'Congressional Scorecard'
The October issue of NARFE magazine includes the Association's "Congressional Scorecard," an analysis of how members of the 112th Congress voted on issues important to federal employees and retirees. This is the 16th edition of the scorecard, which NARFE publishes every two years prior to congressional elections. Watch for your copy of the October issue of NARFE magazine in your mailbox soon.
Nursing home co-pays and the FEHBP
Question: I have APWU (High, family) for my health insurance. My wife and I also have Medicare, Parts A and B. My wife has to enter a nursing home for treatment of an injury. Medicare pays the first 20 days in full, then there is a co-pay for days 21 through 100. My adviser at the nursing home said all Medicare supplement plans pay that co-pay. However, when I contacted APWU, I was told that they pay no benefits for nursing home care. I cannot believe a federal plan would allow this nonpayment by APWU. More
OPM planning to segregate 'healthy' retirement packages to address backlog
In an attempt to speed up the process of finalizing retirement applications, the Office of Personnel Management recently issued a "Benefits Administration Letter" on submitting "healthy" retirement packages. OPM's stated goal is "…to eliminate the backlog of retirement claims to be processed and, ultimately, to process 90 percent of all new claims within 60 days of receipt." More
White House misses sequestration deadline; DOD will see 11 percent cut
Federal Times Share
The Obama administration has missed a key deadline to submit a report on how it would implement $109 billion in across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to take effect Jan. 2. The administration was supposed to send to Congress by Sept. 6 detailed information on every account that would be affected under sequestration, including how much money would be cut from every program, project and activity level. More
Spending cuts likely to trigger furloughs
Government Executive Share
Federal agencies will have to consider furloughing employees if Congress and the White House cannot reach a deal before the end of the year to stave off the governmentwide automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect in January, according to a former top budget aide on Capitol Hill. "I'm afraid you are going to have to be looking at furloughs," Bill Hoagland, a longtime policy and budget adviser to former Republican Sens. Bill Frist of Tennessee and Pete Domenici of New Mexico, told an audience of federal employees during Government Executive's Excellence in Government conference in Washington. More
Can you retire on $25,000?
According to recent data from the annual Retirement Confidence Survey, many workers do not have the confidence that they will have enough money to retire. When you consider the average savings rate being reported by workers, it's easy to see why. Over half of workers said they had not taken the time to do any calculations regarding how much they would need to save for retirement, which seems to be reflected in the low savings rates also reported. But how much money would somebody realistically need to save to retire comfortably? More
Health premium surprise
Federal News Radio Share
It's been so long since federal workers and retirees have had any good news that some have probably forgotten how to handle it. But there may be, as in maybe, some on the way. First, the bad news: Federal pay has been frozen for two years by order of the president. And while he's proposed a small raise, the current freeze extends to 2013 unless and until Congress deals with the budget for next fiscal year. But you knew that. What you also know is that, any day now, the Office of Personnel Management will announce what health insurance premiums federal workers, retirees and survivors will have to pay next year. With medical costs skyrocketing, and private-sector premiums going up, the news should be bad. But maybe not. More
Shopping for a nursing home? There's a tool for that
The New York Times Share
In July, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which surveys and certifies the nation's roughly 15,000 nursing homes, finally took a step that reformers had been urging for years: It put online the full text of the reports that nursing home inspectors file for each facility. Until now, consumers could obtain a raft of helpful information based on those inspections through Nursing Home Compare, Medicare's online ranking. More
'Old' and 'tired' are not synonyms in the workforce
USA Today Share
There is something to be said for young professionals who dabble in new technology, hoping to develop an innovative business that makes money some day. But there is just as much — if not more — to be said for professionals who have been around the block a few times. They are the ones who built businesses that have survived four recessions. They have learned how to change with the times and are making money, creating jobs and keeping the economy going today. More
70 is the new 65
Late baby boomers and the generations that follow are slowly beginning to realize and accept that 70 is the new 65. Retirement on The Golden Pond at age 65 is fast becoming a luxury that few will be able to afford. Most workers haven't saved enough, and government programs cannot be counted on for a bailout. The solution is to work to age 70, at least part time, and delay taking Social Security benefits. The past few years saw a sharp decline in Americans' confidence about their ability to secure a financially comfortable retirement, according to the 2012 Retirement Confidence Survey, published annually by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. More
Finding more legroom on your next flight
ABC News Share
Today's overhead bins are filled to overflowing with bags jammed in tight, squished and squashed beyond all recognition — kind of like passengers in modern airplane seats. Where did all the legroom go? It all comes down to money, and on a plane, every square inch represents the potential for sorely needed revenue. More
Proof that loyalty is for suckers: Best customers get penalized with higher bills
We appreciate your business. And as thanks for being a loyal customer all these years, we're going to overcharge you. Auto insurers and, other service providers don't say this explicitly, of course. But that's the message sent via the rates they charge different customers. The curious, but obviously profitable business model, in which new customers get wooed with discounts and special deals, while the oldest, most loyal, best customers are "thanked" with bills that escalate over time, is standard practice among pay TV and wireless providers. More
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