• Seniors Shouldnt Have To Wait Endlessly On Medical Equipment

    Out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs was the fastest rising expense of retirees from 2000 to 2019, according to a recent study of retiree costs by TSCL. While the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increased Social Security benefits by 50 percent over the period, out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs rose more than five times faster — 253%. .You might better be able to help your brother by reminding him of doctor visits and seeing that he gets to appointments. You can also help by monitoring his care plan, and making sure he understands how and when to take prescriptions and any other forms of therapy. .TSCL strongly supports The PRIME Act, bipartisan legislation that would prevent the loss of billions in Medicare dollars every year. The PRIME act would make it more difficult to misuse Medicare provider billing information used in prescriber fraud. The legislation also requires the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and law enforcement to take steps to curb the use of stolen physician identities. … Continued

  • Legislative Update Marchapril 2013

    Earnings may cause your Social Security benefits to be subject to taxation. A portion of your Social Security benefits may be taxable if your income is over certain thresholds —,000 and up (individuals) or ,000 and up (couples filing jointly). .We are still learning how long COVID-19 vaccines can protect people. .SSA Reports Massive DI Overpayments … Continued

If adopted, H.R. 1553 would base annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) on the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E). .TSCL's research has consistently found that Medicare Part B premiums rank as one of the fastest growing senior costs. Yet Medicare premium costs are not included in the measure currently used to determine the annual COLA — one major reason why COLAs do such a poor job of keeping up with rising healthcare costs. TSCL continues to lobby for a more fair and accurate COLA and supports legislation that would use a seniors' index — like the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) — to determine the annual boost. .Estimate healthcare cost increases of at least 7% to 10% a year. Recently there has been news of a slowdown in healthcare costs. While that's good, overall Medicare costs still increased about 6 percent and in the past two decades the rate of increase was often about 10 percent per year. To keep a lid on your costs, make sure you compare health and drug plans annually during the Medicare Open Enrollment period that starts October 15th and ends December 7th every year. Switch when you can find a better plan. .The entire process is done at the taxpayer's expense. Non-citizens who worked under fraudulent or invalid Social Security numbers, are not penalized. This occurs even though the use of a non-valid fraudulent SSN is in violation of 1988 identity theft laws. The 1988 law made it a federal crime when a person "knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of Federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable State or local law." (15) .As part of our continuing efforts to find ways to lower the costs of prescription drugs, TSCL supports the idea that people should ask their doctors if taking a generic is available and appropriate for their specific ailment. .For more information, or to see if your Members of Congress have scheduled town halls before the November elections, call their local offices..Normally it would seem logical that a bi-partisan bill would have a very good chance of passing in the Senate, but these are not normal times. In fact, four of the five Republican Senators whose offices we visited this week, and who are on the Finance Committee, voted against their own chairman's bill. The five Senate offices we met with were Scott (SC), Thune (SD), Toomey (PA), Alexander (TN), and Burr (NC). We picked these Senators because all are members of at least one of the committees that any bill to lower drug costs would have to go through. .We will be putting out more information about this in the next few days and we are working on what we believe is a realistic solution to the COLA problem. Please be looking for that information. .A Humana Medicare Advantage plan in Florida improperly collected nearly 0 million in payments in 2015 by overstating how sick some of its enrollees were. A new audit by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is seeking to get the money back. If successful, the audit penalty would be what has been described as "by far the largest" ever imposed on a Medicare Advantage company. But Humana has sharply disputed the OIG's findings, and has said that the recommendations "do not represent final determinations, and Humana will have the right to appeal."