• Feds Bust 243 People In Biggest Medicare Fraud Yet

    Analysts are warning about potential drug shortages, but there is a system for checking whether there really is a shortage, using reported shortage tools on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website. You can look up current drug shortages at : .(Washington, DC) – The percentage of retired households that expect to pay tax on their Social Security benefits has experienced a rare decline this tax season, but that appears to be due to a much higher level of uncertainty than usual ahead of this tax season according to a new survey by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). "This could potentially mean lower than expected tax revenues for the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds," says Mary Johnson, a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League .In a statement that was released shortly after the bill's introduction, Sen. Blumenthal stated, "The seniors who spent a lifetime working to make our country stronger deserve peace of mind that their retirement years will not be marked by suffering." TSCL could not agree more, and we look forward to working with Sen. Blumenthal and Rep. Cartwright in the coming months to help build support for their bill, and to help pass it into law. … Continued

  • Legislative Update Week Ending June 19 2015

    Thus the new formula went into effect almost immediately for most people and is one reason why retirees born over the ten-year period of 1917 through 1926 were affected, not only those covered by the five-year phase-in. In addition, the economy did not perform the way Congress and the Social Security Administration assumed it would under the new benefit formula. Slower than anticipated wage growth, and higher than expected price inflation, resulted in even greater benefit reductions than under original assumptions. These economic conditions persisted for a decade, thus affecting those born over a ten-year period. .According to a report in Bloomberg Government News, "Centrist Democrats in the House are pushing to shrink their party's health-care wish list to focus more on low-income Americans, a move backed by industry groups including dentists who say a narrower focus is better policy. .Without changes, SSDI will only take in enough revenues to pay 80% of scheduled benefits by 201TSCL believes that suspected fraud is compounding the crisis in the disability program, and that Congress should cut fraud — not benefits of those who are truly in need. TSCL supports measures that would provide stiffer penalties for disability fraud, make eligibility criteria more objective and measurable, and step up reviews to determine whether people currently on the rolls remain entitled to benefits. … Continued

The act also recalculates COLAs so future changes would be based on the price of goods and services seniors actually buy, like medications, by using a formula known as Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). Currently, the COLA is based on CPI-W, which evaluates the entire economy, including infant and toddler apparel, nursery care, toys and school fees. .This legislation will also create "Social Security Administration Senior Centers" as pilot projects in 10 SSA field offices that will work to streamline the application and delivery processes of federal, state and local programs that serve low-income elderly or disabled individuals. .Mandatory programs are those, like Medicare, that are automatically funded every year without passage of annual legislation to pay for them. Congress can, however, waive the PAYGO rules to avoid the payment cuts. ."Switching to the chained CPI would have a long-term impact on the ability of Social Security COLAs to prevent an erosion in the buying power of benefits," states TSCL Social Security policy analyst Mary Johnson. "The index, known as the Chained Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (C-CPI-U), would reduce benefits by roughly 7 percent over a 30 - year retirement," Johnson stated in an analysis prepared for TSCL. .The White House confirmed that many of those affected would be eligible for Social Security, Medicare and a wide array of federal benefits. "TSCL is concerned that the President's executive action would not only provide authorization to legally work in this country, but access to Social Security and Medicare benefits that, under current policy, could be based in part on earnings under fraudulent Social Security numbers," says TSCL Chairman, Ed Cates. "With the Social Security Disability Insurance program facing insolvency by the end of 2016, and beneficiaries facing a 20 percent benefit cut, we are calling on Congress to end this policy that pays benefits based on document fraud," Cates adds. .Medigap plans by law are now barred from offering drug coverage, and beneficiaries need to add "drug only" coverage to their Medicare supplement. .This week, the Obama administration released its much-anticipated 2013 budget proposal, and the House-Senate conference committee compromised on a deal to prevent payment cuts to Medicare physicians and extend the payroll tax holiday. In addition, four new cosponsors signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act. .In addition, the Social Security 2100 Act would improve the program's solvency by applying the payroll tax to income over 0,000 and by gradually increasing the payroll tax rate from 6.2 percent to 7.4 percent – an extra fifty cents per week for the average worker. These two modest changes would ensure that the Social Security program remains solvent through the year 2100 and beyond. .For more information see the Medicare publication, "Are You a Hospital Inpatient or Outpatient?" CMS Product No. 1143Get a copy online at or call 1-800-MEDICARE ( 7).