Life and Health Insurance
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1. How does a worker become fully insured under Social Security? What benefits are fully insured workers entitled to?
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2. Explain the concept of arriving at AIME. How do you compute the PIA?
3. How does the earnings test affect Social Security benefits?
4. Social Security benefits are financed largely through payroll taxes. The more you earn (up to the maximum earnings base), the more tax you pay. Income benefits, however, favor lower-income workers. Explain why lower-income people are favored.
5. What is the difference between Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B?
6. Explain the concept of Medicare Part D.
7. Medicare costs have turned out to be much greater than expected when the program was first enacted. The number of people eligible for Medicare and the benefit amounts have increased through the years. For example, Medicare covers not only medical expenses for eligible retirees but also kidney dialysis and kidney transplants for persons of all ages.
a. Why does Medicare have deductibles, coinsurance, and limitations on benefits that create gaps in coverage for insureds?
b. Considering the fact that many older people worry about what is not covered by Medicare, do you think the gaps should be eliminated?
8. Do you think Social Security coverage should be voluntary? Explain.
9. Would you favor privatization of the Social Security retirement program, as other countries have done? Explain.
10. What solutions, other than privatization, would alleviate some of the funding problems of Social Security in the United States?