As the trade wars between the U.S and our trade allies begin to escalate, some of our most vulnerable citizens could bear an outsize portion of the burden. With the U.S. at odds with China, the European Union and Canada, the impact on consumer prices will start to trickle down into the consumer economy as rising prices or lack of goods and services. Among those who could feel a major bite taken out of their wallets are seniors who live on fixed incomes and rely on government entitlement programs.
Chris Orestis, a healthcare expert, senior care advocate and Vice President of GWG Life says:
“Many seniors rely on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for their income, medicines and healthcare. Because eligibility and the rates for these programs are established on an annual basis, rapidly rising costs of consumer goods from the fallout of the trade wars puts seniors in a very precarious situation. Millions of seniors who rely on these programs have no way to adjust to sudden rising process or disruptions in supply chains for goods and services.
For example, a 2% cost of living adjustments (COLA) for 2018 is the biggest adjustment for seniors since 2012, but as an average increase of $329 for the year it does not keep up with the rising cost of living for seniors. Adding to the uncertainty for seniors is the fact that COLA’s are not automatic. For example, there was no COLA in 2016 and only a 0.3% adjustment in 2017.
Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for drugs, healthcare and long-term care services are also fixed. So, if seniors have to start reaching deeper in their pockets to handle rising costs of goods to make up the difference it can have a major impact on their ability to keep up with their medical costs.”
If prices start to spike as is being anticipated from the trade wars, the majority of seniors in this country will feel a disproportionate impact compared to younger Americans who are still working and able to generate income.
Chris Orestis, is available to discuss this important topic. He is available for phone or email interviews. He can also provide exclusive material for your publication.
About Chris Orestis
Chris Orestis, Executive Vice President of GWG Life, is an over 20 year veteran of the insurance and long-term care industries and is nationally recognized as a healthcare expert and senior care advocate. He is a former Washington, D.C. lobbyist who has provided legislative testimony; the author of two books: “Help on the Way” and “A Survival Guide to Aging”; a frequent columnist with a currently popular series entitled “The Healthcare Hunger Games”; and has been a featured guest on over 50 radio programs and in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Kiplinger’s, Investor’s Business Daily, PBS, and numerous other media outlets.