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Senior Spectrum Newspaper
May 2017
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Golden Pages
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Generation Boomer

Senior Spectrum Publications

Opinion
by U.S. Senator Dean Heller

Learn More About Critical Programs 

 U.S. Senator Dean Heller
U.S. Senator Dean Heller

Many Nevadans contact me seeking assistance with Medicare, Social Security, and veterans programs. Assisting constituents is one of my office’s top priorities and a role I take seriously. I welcome the opportunity to help Nevadans receive the benefits they’ve earned, and I am pleased to advocate on behalf of seniors and veterans as your U.S. Senator. As a member of the Veterans Affairs’ and Senate Finance Committee, I have the unique ability to play a role in protecting and improving important programs for seniors.

Last month, I introduced the Veterans’ Compensation CostOfLiving Adjustment Act, a bill that would increase veterans’ disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As the cost of living rises, it’s essential that benefits provided by the VA reflect those increases. Every member of the Committee supported this bill, and I will continue working with my colleagues to advance it through the legislative process.

In addition to fighting on behalf of the more than 300,000 Nevada veterans, I am also working to strengthen health care benefits for seniors. In fact, I was pleased to see that my Medicare Advantage Coverage Transparency Act was signed into law last year. The legislation requires more transparency of Medicare Advantage and prescription drug benefits, and ensures these benefits continue to provide meaningful coverage to seniors while protecting important benefits for current and future retirees. More than 30 percent of Nevada’s seniors enjoy Medicare Advantage benefits and enrollment continues to grow in the state. I am proud that this legislation will help strengthen and protect the program for Nevadans who depend on it.

Additionally, I recently joined my Senate colleagues in urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to continue to support this important program. It’s important that Nevadans have the information they need to make important decisions to prepare for the future.

The Social Security Administration designated April as Social Security Awareness Month and has rolled out a five step informational program toward financial security. The five steps are outlined below, but more information is available online at www.socialsecurity. gov/5stepstowardyourfinancialsecurity.

  1. Get to know your Social Security.
  2. Verify your lifetime earnings with a “my Social Security Account.”
  3. Estimate your future Social Security benefits at “my Social Security.”
  4. Apply online for retirement, disability, or Medicare benefits.
  5. Manage your Social Security benefits.

 

My staff and I stand ready to assist you with federal programs such as enrollment eligibility, your current status, or any other questions that may arise. Our office in Reno can be reached at (775) 686-5770.

You may also contact the Social Security Administration directly at (800) 772-1213 and find information online at http://www.ssa.gov/. If you have questions about Medicare, you may call CMS directly at (800) 633-4227 or online at http://www.medicare.gov/.