Legislative Update Week Ending July 22 2016
In shopping for housing you will find that many senior living communities have medical criteria for acceptance. Since your sister has no children, she may need a facility that provides a continuum of care. As her health declines, she would move from independent living to assisted living, and finally nursing or memory care as her health declines. If her income is limited, all the more reason to start looking for affordable facilities ahead of time. It's not uncommon to encounter waiting lists at the most desirable facilities. .Do you think Social Security's funding should be strengthened? Consider attending a local town hall in your area. Sign up to ask questions, or approach a staffer of your Member of Congress to relay your ideas. Together, we can make the case that better retirement security can't be achieved through cutting the benefits that more than 61 million people depend on, but rather by everyone paying their fair share during their working years. .In the 109th Congress, I co-sponsored legislation expressing CongressТ disapproval of the Totalization Agreement between the U.S. and Mexico because I believe it is imperative that we protect Social Security by preventing others from "gaming" the system. For this reason, I also co-sponsored the Illegal Immigration Enforcement and Social Security Protection Act of 2005, legislation aimed at cracking down on Social Security fraud. … Continued
Category Issues Medicare Part D Articles Page 4
Congress Adjourns for Memorial Day Recess .Since you are still working and still under your full retirement age, you might consider reporting your estimated income to Social Security for 2019, and possibly for the months prior to turning your full retirement age next year. However, that would mean that your Social Security benefits would be withheld for even more months, and you might not receive any Social Security benefits at all in 201At the end of the year, you would have to notify Social Security of what you actually earned for 2019, and the calculation would be revised. If too much was withheld, you would get a refund. If not enough was withheld, you would have to pay the difference. Once you turn your full retirement age then, you will be able to earn as much as you want, and not be subject to Social Security earnings restriction rules for new earnings after turning age 66. .The increased amounts are phased out for incomes over 0,000 for married couples filing jointly and qualifying widows or widowers, 2,500 for heads of household, and ,000 for all other taxpayers. … Continued
Medicare Extra Help helps pay for some, or most, of the out-of-pocket costs for Medicare prescription drug coverage. It is also known as the Part D "Low-Income" subsidy. Extra Help pays for the Part D premium up to a certain amount (specific to your state), lowers the cost of your prescription drugs, gives you special enrollment periods to switch plans, and eliminates the Part D late enrollment penalty if you did not enroll in Part D by your original deadline. If your income is under ,615 (individuals) or ,175 (married couples) and you have limited savings and resources, you might be eligible. Apply for Medicare Extra Help on the Social Security website www.SSA.gov. .Until then, many Members of Congress will attend local events and hold town hall meetings. The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) urges its members and supporters to attend town halls in the coming weeks, since they are an excellent opportunity for constituents to communicate with their elected officials and have their most pressing concerns addressed. .In January, one-third of all Medicare beneficiaries will see a Part B premium increase of 22 percent – the highest increase in 27 years. Do you believe Congress should take action like it did last year to prevent the dramatic increase? .Key Bills Gain New Cosponsors .COLA cuts: Use the "chained" Consumer Price Index (CPI) to calculate annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). Supporters say that the difference would be small, reducing the COLA about .3 tenths of a percentage point per year. But TSCL estimates this "small" change would cost retirees, with average benefits of ,170 in 2011, some ,223 over a 25-year retirement. .Patients would spend less to achieve better health. Value-based care systems focus on helping patients to recover from illness and on managing or avoiding chronic disease. The aim is to decrease the need for doctor visits, medical tests and procedures, and to reduce the amount of money spent on prescriptions while improving health. Value-based care encourages health providers to spend time on prevention-based services in order to focus more efforts on managing chronic disease with the goal of reducing costs like emergency room visits and hospitalizations. .This week, the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees released their highly anticipated annual reports on the financial status of the two programs. One congressional subcommittee held a hearing to discuss the findings, and The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw . .Each month, due to the Social Security Act Amendments that were signed into law in 1977, more than 3.7 million Notch babies receive Social Security checks that are lower than the benefits they originally anticipated. Last year, Representative Mike McIntyre (NC-7) introduced the Notch Fairness Act, a bill that would provide modest compensation to those who were born in the Social Security Notch, or those years between 1917 and 192Even though TSCL lobbies aggressively in favor of the Notch Fairness Act, many Members of Congress believe that the bill's passage is unlikely this year because it would add approximately .9 billion to a growing deficit. To offset the cost of the Notch Fairness Act, we've come up with three fair and responsible options that we hope Congress will consider. First, Congress could increase efforts to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse. .To stay updated on the progress of prescription drug legislation, check back every Friday morning to read our weekly Legislative News summary.