Ask Advisor February March 2019
In addition, you will need a plan to cover the portion of costs that Medicare does not pay which are considerable, either a Medicare supplement (Medigap plan) with a Part D plan for drug coverage or Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage. Spending on Medicare and health insurance premiums comprise the biggest share of healthcare costs, nearly two-thirds of overall senior healthcare spending. .Hearings Over Controversial Healthcare "Cutting" Board .Finally, one new cosponsor – Rep. Alcee Hastings (FL-20) – signed on to the Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act (H.R. 574) this week bringing the total up to thirty-seven. If signed into law, H.R. 574 would repeal and replace the sustainable growth rate (SGR), which is the flawed formula that is currently used to determine reimbursements for physicians who treat Medicare patients. Adopting H.R. 574 would bring increased stability to the Medicare program for both physicians and beneficiaries. … Continued
Best Ways To Save September 2015
TSCL opposes any plan to hastily repeal our nation's health law without an acceptable replacement that ensures affordable quality coverage in place. We urge you to contact your Members of Congress and let them know that an Obamacare repeal that puts your family's access to healthcare into question is unacceptable. .By Representative Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA-35) .The report adds that, "The pharmaceutical industry has already shattered records this year, spending an unprecedented million to lobby the federal government in the first three months of this year, according to the CSP, including .7 million from PhRMA. Stephen Ubl, the CEO of PhRMA, criticized H.R. 3 last month, claiming it would ‘destroy an estimated one million American jobs.' The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the biggest lobbying spender this year, has also come out against the bill, comparing it to ‘government price controls' and claiming it would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. … Continued
Health Subcommittee Hears from Medicare Providers .In addition to advocating for these three important issues, Legislative Liaison Joe Kluck delivered letters to lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee urging them to advance comprehensive proposals that would enhance Social Security benefits and strengthen the solvency of the Trust Funds past 203Both the Social Security 2100 Act (H.R. 860) and the Social Security Expansion Act (H.R. 1170) would reform the program responsibly, without cutting benefits for current or future retirees. .In addition, U.S. Customs may be trying to clamp down on prescription drugs being shipped to American consumers from Canadian pharmacies. Although "reimportation" of prescription drugs from abroad continues to be illegal, Customs and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials have only intermittently seized shipments of Canadian drugs in the past. Canadian mail order pharmacies and drug-buying programs run by senior advocates reported earlier this year that the number of seizures has more than quadrupled recently. .Even though Medicare recipients getting these services may stay in the hospital overnight or longer, getting the same nursing care, lab tests and drugs as they would if inpatients, their bill will be calculated very differently. Patients admitted for in-patient stays usually are responsible for the Medicare hospital deductible of ,484 for a stay of up to 60 days. They may also pay 20% of doctor charges. Many people have Medigap or Medicare Advantage plans that cover much or even all of this expense. Outpatient services, on the other hand, are charged differently, with the patient paying 20% of the Medicare approved amount for each service. In addition, the new billing changes would hit patients with "facility fees" that can run up to several thousand dollars to cover hospital overhead charges. And since, prescription drug plans don't cover medication for hospital patients, beneficiaries would be charged 100% of the full retail cost of drugs they need, even those they normally routinely take at home. .The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) has concerns about a number of elements outlined in the revised Simpson-Bowles plan – namely the adoption of the "chained" CPI, since seniors are already being short changed by the COLAs they receive. The plan released this week is not likely to be adopted in its entirety, but it will serve as an important comparative tool in the coming weeks as leaders in Washington continue to search for sequester alternatives. The automatic cuts are scheduled to hit on Friday, March 1st, but leaders have said they believe the deadline is flexible and their best chance at redesigning it might come at the end of the month, when the continuing resolution to fund the government expires. Until then, TSCL will continue to monitor the negotiations, and we will post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website. .Sources: "Latino Voters and the 2010 Election: Numbers, Parties, and Issues, National Council of La Raza, 2010. .TSCL is hopeful that lawmakers will successfully repeal and replace the SGR before the looming deadline, since doing so would bring much-needed stability to the Medicare program. We will continue to monitor the negotiations in the coming weeks, and we will post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website. .Medicare Advantage — Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are popular because they tend to have much lower, or even zero premiums. In addition, many MA plans offer drug coverage. These plans may have deductibles, and charge co-pays for most services, leaving you at risk of more in out-of-pocket costs when you use services. Starting in 2011 for the first time, all plans include a limit on out-of-pocket spending that cannot exceed ,700. .Sens. Tom Carper (DE) and Tom Coburn (OK) introduced S. 1123 on June 10, 201It has since been referred to the Committee on Finance.