• Dont Make This Common Retirement Mistake Medicare Often Takes One Third To One Half Of Your Social Security Benefit

    Genetic testing is not routinely used by doctors to screen for cancer. Here's how the scam works— The "target" (that's anyone close to age 65 and up) might receive automated phone calls, often multiple times a week, or may be approached in-person by a "recruiter." The recruiter, who may present herself as a "certified Medicare counselor," convinces the target to take a genetic test promising that Medicare pays the full cost. The patient, however, often never receives a report, or the report may be incomprehensible. ."To put it in perspective, for every 0 worth of groceries a retiree could afford in 2000, they can only buy worth today," Johnson notes. To help protect the buying power of benefits, The Senior Citizens League supports legislation that would provide a modest boost in benefits and base COLAs on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) or guarantee a COLA no lower than 3 percent. In addition The League has recently launched a campaign for a ,400 stimulus check to help Americans struggling to cope with high inflation. To learn more about these initiatives, visit . .When the Great Recession hit eight-plus years ago, the focus was on the double-digit unemployment rates and the devastating impact on recent college and high school graduates. Largely ignored in the discussion were mature workers who were hit equally as hard. … Continued

  • Legislative Update Week Ending August 19 2016

    Social Security and Medicare benefits are paid for through payroll tax deductions from workers and their employers. Even after starting to receive benefits, close to 56 percent of retirees continue to pay into the programs through income taxes on a portion of their Social Security benefits. Medicare beneficiaries also pay premiums for Part B doctors and hospital outpatient insurance. Both programs are relied upon by tens of millions of older Americans for income and healthcare benefits. "According to the most recent surveys by The Senior Citizens League the public wants their lawmakers to protect these programs, but not by cutting benefits." Johnson notes. .Many social and economic factors work against women who are family caregivers and mothers that can lower their Social Security benefits. The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) believes that lawmakers can and should be doing more to improve this. .If adopted, his bill would: provide beneficiaries with a 2 percent boost in benefits, improve the adequacy of the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) by basing it on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), create a new minimum benefit set at 125 percent of the poverty line, and cut taxes for millions of seniors who pay taxes on a portion of their Social Security benefits. The bill would also extend the solvency of the Trust Funds by applying the payroll tax to income over 0,000 and gradually increase the payroll tax rate from 6.2 percent to 7.4 percent. … Continued

I heard that Medicare would be mailing new cards. When can I expect to get mine? .The report attributed the rapid increase to "an aging population, rising health care costs, and an expansion of federal subsidies for health insurance." In 2039, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal healthcare programs are expected to cost approximately 14 percent of the economy, which is double the 7 percent average that has held steady over the past forty years. .Potential amendments to the bill were discussed at the hearing, and at this point in the process it seems that measures to strengthen border security and enhance Congressional oversight will be put forth. One committee member, Sen. Al Franken (MN), stated: "I and other Senators will do everything we can to amend this bill." Members of the Gang of Eight, on the other hand, have said they will band together to defeat any amendments that would weaken it. .It's unknown whether or not Congress will tackle the SGR before the end of the year, but most Subcommittee Members at Wednesday's hearing did seem set on providing extensions for the other payment provisions that are nearing expiration. .The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the rule would be mandatory and will focus on 50 single source drugs and biologic drugs that comprise the largest majority of Medicare Part B drug spending. .However, the statisticians behind it at the University of Washington have since changed their methods, and they now estimate that doing away with social distancing measures could entail vast numbers of deaths, and that widespread mask-wearing in public could save tens of thousands of lives. .To stay updated on the progress of prescription drug legislation, check back every Friday morning to read our weekly Legislative News summary. .(For more details see our "FAHow ‘Undocumented' Workers Are Becoming Entitled To Social Security.") Of particular importance is an exception that applies to immigrants receiving benefits living in a country with which the U.S. has a totalization agreement. It appears that under the U.S./Mexico Totalization Agreement, all that any illegal Mexican worker must do to qualify for benefits is return to Mexico. Once a claim has been filed, the U.S. Social Security system counts all earnings, even for jobs worked without legal authorization, to determine entitlement to benefits. TSCL is particularly wary of how the 2012 presidential election may affect the status of the agreement. And, even if voters send a new president to the White House, the agreement will continue to remain pending even if no action is taken by President Obama, for the next President's consideration. .Seventy-eight percent of older voters participating in TSCL's survey say they support raising payroll taxes, eliminating the taxable maximum wage cap so that everyone pays Social Security taxes on all earnings over 8,500. Unlike low - and middle - income wage earners, the highest earners today only pay taxes on the first 8,500 in earnings and enjoy a huge Social Security tax break on all on wages over that amount. A clear majority — 62% of survey participants — also favors very gradually increasing the payroll tax rate by 1% each for workers and employers. Taken together, both changes would provide enough financing to keep the program solvent for more than 50 years.