THE EVERETT ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2021 Page 13 BEACON | FROM PAGE 11 the Senate votes on it. The Senate version of the state’s fi scal 2021 state budget was 331 pages long and had a price tag of $46 billion. Amendment supporters said this would simply give members and the public an additional two days to read, digest, understand and draft amendments to the most important bill the Legislature considers annually. Amendment opponents said the five-day period is sufficient and has worked well. They noted that the additional two days would tie the hands of the Ways and Means Committee and prevent quick action when it is needed as it was with the most recent budget that was delayed for months because of the COVID pandemic. (A “Yes” vote is for the seven days. A “No” vote is against the sevAdvanced Information Technology, the Internet and Cybersecurity Finegold - CHAIR Moran - VICE Lewis Lesser Montigny Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities Gomez - CHAIR Velis - VICE Crighton Eldridge Rausch Education Lewis - CHAIR DiDomenico - VICE Cronin Gomez Jehlen Export Development DiZoglio - CHAIR Montigny - VICE Collins DiDomenico Pacheco Housing Keenan - CHAIR Jehlen - VICE Barrett Chandler Lovely Municipalities and Regional Government Cronin - CHAIR Dizoglio - VICE Kennedy Moran Velis Racial Equity, Civil Rights, and Inclusion Chang-Díaz - CHAIR Cyr - VICE Comerford Gomez Hinds Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development Kennedy - CHAIR Cronin - VICE Moran Timilty Velis Collins Rausch Timilty Chang-Díaz Creem Velis Public Health Comerford - CHAIR Moran - VICE Chandler Rausch Cyr Revenue Hinds - CHAIR Crighton - VICE Boncore Kennedy Moran Judiciary Eldridge - CHAIR Lesser - VICE DiZoglio Gobi Gomez Financial Services Crighton - CHAIR Moore - VICE Cyr Feeney Keenan Lesser Labor and Workforce Development Jehlen - CHAIR Timilty - VICE DiDomenico Feeney Lewis Public Safety and Homeland Security Timilty - CHAIR Chang-Díaz - VICE Eldridge Moore Rausch Velis State Administration and Regulatory Oversight Pacheco - CHAIR Rausch - VICE Cronin Timilty Velis Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery Cyr - CHAIR Velis - VICE Collins Comerford Crighton Keenan Public Service Brady - CHAIR Finegold - VICE Collins DiZoglio Eldridge Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Barrett - CHAIR Pacheco - VICE Hinds Cyr Finegold Transportation Boncore - CHAIR Keenan - VICE Chandler Lesser Moran Rush Veterans and Federal Affairs Velis - CHAIR Rush - VICE Brady Collins Gobi Boncore DiZoglio Pacheco Timilty Community Development and Small Business Collins - CHAIR Kennedy - VICE Cronin Gobi Rausch Elder Affairs Jehlen - CHAIR Cyr - VICE Brady Creem Eldridge Health Care Financing Friedman - CHAIR Chandler - VICE en days.) Sen. Sal DiDomenico No HOW LONG WAS LAST WEEK’S SESSION? Beacon Hill Roll Call tracks the length of time that the House and Senate were in session each week. Many legislators say that legislative sessions are only one aspect of the Legislature’s job and that a lot of important work is done outside of the House and Senate chambers. They note that their jobs also involve committee work, research, constituent work and other matters that are important to their districts. Critics say that the Legislature does not meet regularly or long enough to debate and vote in public view on the thousands of pieces of legislation that have been fi led. They note that the infrequency and brief length of sessions are misguided and lead to irresponsible late-night sessions and a mad rush to act on dozens of bills in the days immediately preceding the end of an annual session. During the week of February 8-12, the House met for a total of 41 minutes while the Senate met for a total of six hours and 28 minutes. Mon. February 8 House 11:00 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. Senate 11:13 a.m. to 11:16 a.m. Tues. February 9 No House session Wed. February 10 No House session No Senate session No Senate session Thurs. February 11 House 11:03 a.m. to 11:21 a.m. Senate 12:16 p.m. to 6:41 p.m. Fri. February 12 House 11:01 a.m. to 11:04 a.m. No Senate session Bob Katzen welcomes feedback at bob@beaconhillrollcall.com Joint Standing Committees Bonding Feeney - CHAIR Collins - VICE DiZoglio Gomez Moran Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Moran - CHAIR Feeney - VICE Brady Crighton Kennedy Election Laws Finegold - CHAIR Gomez - VICE Cannabis Policy Chang-Díaz - CHAIR Collins - VICE Covid-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management Comerford - CHAIR Friedman - VICE Cronin Cyr Lesser Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Lesser - CHAIR Brady - VICE Chang-Díaz Cronin Feeney Kennedy Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Rausch - CHAIR Eldridge - VICE Comerford Moore Rush Higher Education Gobi - CHAIR Comerford - VICE Kennedy Pacheco Rush Sa en i r Sa a y Senior Seni BY JIM MILLER Do I Need to Sign-Up for D I N d t SiU f Medicare If I’m Still Working? Dear Savvy Senior, I will turn 65 in a few months and plan to keep working for several more years. I have good health insurance from my employer now. Do I have to sign up for Medicare when I reach 65? Looking Ahead Dear Looking, Whether you need to enroll in Medicare at 65 if you continue to work and have health insurance through your job depends on how large your employer is. The same rules apply if your health insurance comes from your spouse’s job. But fi rst, let’s review the basics. Remember that original Medicare has two parts: Part A, which provides hospital coverage and is free for most people. And Part B, which covers doctor’s bills, lab tests and outpatient care. Part B also has a monthly premium, which is $148.50 for most benefi ciaries in 2021, but is higher for individuals earning above $88,000. If you’re already receiving Social Security, you’ll automatically be enrolled in parts A and B when you turn 65, and you’ll receive your Medicare card in the mail. It will include instructions to return it if you have work coverage that qualifi es you for late enrollment. If you aren’t yet receiving Social Security, you will have to apply, which you can do online at SSA.gov/medicare. If you plan to continue working past the age of 65 and have health insurance from your job, your fi rst step is to ask your benefits manager or human resources department how your employer insurance works with Medicare. In most cases, you should at least take Medicare Part A because it’s free. (Note: If you’re funding a health savings account you may not want to take Part A because you can’t make contributions after you enroll). But to decide whether to take Part B or not will depend on the size of your employer. Small Employer If your current employer has fewer than 20 employees, Medicare will be your primary insurer and you should enroll in Medicare Part B during your initial enrollment period. This is a seven-month period that includes the three months before, the month of, and the three months after your 65th birthday. If you miss the seven-month sign-up window, you’ll have to wait until the next general enrollment period, which runs from Jan. 1 to March 31 with benefi ts beginning the following July 1. You’ll also incur a 10 percent penalty for each year you wait beyond your initial enrollment period, which will be tacked on to your monthly Part B premium. Large Employer If your employer has 20 or more employees, your employer’s group health plan will be your primary insurer as long as you remain an active employee. If this is the case, you don’t need to enroll in Part B when you turn 65 if you’re satisfi ed with the coverage you are getting through your job. But if you do decide to enroll in Medicare, it will supplement your employer insurance by paying secondary on all of your claims. Once your employment or group health coverage ends, you will then have eight months to sign up for Part B without a penalty. This is known as the Special Enrollment Period. Check Drug Coverage You also need to verify your prescription drug coverage. Call your benefi ts manager or insurance company to fi nd out if your employer’s prescription drug coverage is considered “creditable.” If it is, you don’t need to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. If it isn’t, you should purchase a plan (see Medicare.gov/ plan-compare) during your initial enrollment period or you’ll incur a premium penalty (1 percent of the average national premium for every month you don’t have coverage) if you enroll later. If you have more questions or need help, contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (see ShiptaCenter. org), which off ers free Medicare counseling. Or call the Medicare Rights Center helpline at 800333-4114. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. nior ior io

14 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication