Medicare Starts Mailing New Cards April Beware Scams
TSCL enthusiastically supports H.R. 1030, H.R. 1795, and H.R. 2305, and we were pleased to see support grow for each one this week. .Affordable Care Act – Monitor the continued implementation of the law as it affects older Americans. .Critics of mandatory arbitration say the agreements stack the deck against long term care residents and consumers. Unlike civil suits which go to court, arbitration is private, and there's no judge or jury. There are no rules of evidence that arbitrators have to follow under the law, and there's no oversight. Critics also contend that consumers are less likely to win their cases in private arbitration and, if they do win, they tend to get much less money than they would in court. … Continued
Legislative Update For Week Ending January 22 2012
The order is a direct response to the President's efforts to greenlight the importation of drugs from Canada. .Few employers outside the federal government and the military have taken up the option. Costco Wholesale Corp., United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. are among employers that have said they aren't participating. .On Tuesday, the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare programs released their annual reports on the current and projected financial status of the two programs. As expected, the Trustees found that both programs currently face manageable financial challenges. … Continued
Please donate today to support TSCL's work to help save the integrity of your benefits! .To learn more, please visit . .Regarding Social Security, TSCL was pleased to see that the President's proposal did not include the "chained" CPI, as it did last year. Many in Congress were also relieved by its absence. Shortly after the blueprint was released, Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) – founder of the Defending Social Security Caucus – said, "I am especially proud that the President did not renew his proposal to cut Social Security benefits. With … more people living in poverty than ever before, we cannot afford to make life even more difficult for seniors." .Separately, the House Ways and Means Committee Means Committee approved the largest expansion of Medicare since the addition of drug benefits two decades ago. .The exact mechanisms for enacting the provisions therein — such as requiring manufacturers to reveal their development costs — remain unclear. The industry has previously protected development data as a trade secret. The bills would also require "reasonable pricing clauses" be included in agreements between drug companies and agencies funding their work. They propose waiving exclusive licenses for COVID-19 drugs, allowing competitors to sell the same products as long as they pay the patent holder royalties. .Get prescriptions from your veterinarian for medications: When your vet prescribes antibiotics or any other drug, don't automatically buy all the pills from the veterinary practice. Ask for a prescription. Often, you can get a cheaper price from your pharmacist instead, so check first. You can get a pet medication discount card from Costco, CVS, Rite-Aide, Walgreen's and Walmart. Compare prices with reputable online companies as well. .The Guaranteed 3% COLA Act — Like the CPI-E Act, this critical bill would base Social Security COLAs on an inflation index for seniors. However, it would also provide much-needed financial relief to older Americans by ensuring that beneficiaries never receive an annual benefit increase that is less than 3%. TSCL was disappointed that this essential bill did not gain the support it needed to win passage in the 115th Congress, but TSCL is working to get Members of Congress onboard and the legislation moving in 2019. .For those planning retirement however, it is the estimated dollar amount in Social Security benefits, not the replacement rate, that what one uses to determine a retirement budget, or how much more one will need to save for retirement. When one retires, it is the actual benefit amount, not the replacement rate that one must live on. One of the most frequent requests for services received by Social Security Administration is for an estimate of benefits. While no promises of benefits are made, millions of estimates are made annually. If the rules are changed abruptly, as they were for those born during the Notch period, this leaves no time to save for the shortfalls in benefits (if they can be foreseen ahead of time). .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.