Entries in benefits (2)


Twins Born to Dead Father Ineligible for Benefits

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Twins conceived in Florida from the frozen sperm of their father who died 18 months before their birth are not entitled to survivors benefits, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The twins’ mother, Karen Capato, became pregnant through in vitro fertilization after the death of her husband, Robert Capato, from cancer in 2002. The Social Security Administration rejected her claim for Social Security survivors benefits, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in a 9-0 vote.

“Tragic circumstances gave rise to this case,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote.

But the Social Security Act Congress passed in 1935, she wrote, calls for resolution of Karen Capato’s application for child’s insurance benefits to come under state law. “We cannot replace that reference by creating a uniform federal rule the statute’s text scarcely supports.”

Under Florida law, a child may inherit property from a deceased parent only if the child was conceived during the parent’s lifetime.

Ginsburg’s ruling interprets the Social Security Act, signed 77 years ago, for an era in which sperm and eggs can be frozen and stored indefinitely.

“The technology that made the twins’ conception and birth possible, it is safe to say, was not contemplated by Congress,” she wrote.

The first “test tube baby,” Louise Brown, was born in 1978.

Ginsburg said other states may take a different approach, adding that posthumously conceived children can inherit property in California “if the child is in utero within two years of a parent’s death.”

A bill in the Maryland legislature would allow children born within two years of a biological parent’s death to receive inheritance, as long as the parent consented in writing.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


How to Make Wise Choices About 2011 Benefits

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It is health care benefits enrollment time for many workers and experts say it's more important than ever to look carefully at your policy.

Mellody Hobson, ABC News financial contributor and president of Ariel Investments, shared some tips to keep health care costs down.

Here are Hobson's top things to keep in mind when choosing your 2011 benefits:

1. Review Your Policy: According to Hobson, it's important to keep track of changes to your policy.

"You have to understand the changes that are occurring in your health plan," she said.

One study found that one in every nine employers expects to raise their co-pay amount by more than 15 percent.

While choosing the plan with the lowest premium is acceptable if you're in good shape and not anticipating any major surgeries, Hobson said your out-of-pocket costs may be much higher and might negate the savings you had in premiums.

2. Look at Premium Options: It's important to consider the level of health coverage.

Many plans now cover only 80 percent of those costs. Plans that cover more may cost you more in premium, so Hobson suggests that make sure you compare your premium versus what your average out-of-pocket costs will be with each plan.

3. Prescription Drugs Costs: The cost of prescription drugs is also another factor to consider when choosing a plan. Many plans are requiring prescription co-pays instead of a flat fee co-pay.

For example, for one drug you may pay 30 percent of the cost while another drug may cost you 50 percent.

Hobson said when you are comparing plans, consider what drugs you use and see if your total prescription co-pay amount exceeds any premium savings you get with the plan.

´╗┐Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio