• Legislative Update Week Ending June 9 2017

    Larson will soon be reintroducing the Social Security COVID-19 Correction and Equity Act. This bill prevents an unintended and unanticipated cut to Social Security benefits for those affected; it also expands benefits for those who need it most during COVID who have faced long term systemic economic inequalities. .I heard that Medicare would be mailing new cards. When can I expect to get mine? .The Social Security COLA is calculated using the consumer price index. There are several of them, and the government uses the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Workers (CPI-W) to calculate the annual boost. That index, though, doesn't measure how people 62 and older spend their money. It measures how younger working adults do. Seniors, however, have different spending patterns, and have to spend a growing share of their budget on healthcare, which in most years outpaces overall inflation. … Continued

  • Ask The Advisor June 2011 Advisor Feed

    According to Bloomberg News, "Budget officials analyzed prices of 176 popular brand name drugs and found the price for a 30-day supply of medication was 8 on average through Medicaid and 3 through Medicare Part D, which pays for prescription drugs in retail pharmacies. The government also paid twice as much on the same drugs through Medicare versus the Veterans Affairs program." .My Ex Passed Away. Can I Claim A Widower's Benefit? .TSCL has been working with Rep. Larson the past few years to expand Social Security benefits, strengthen the Social Security Trust Fund and correct the flaw in the way annual COLAs are determined. We look forward to his reintroduction of the Social Security COVID-19 Correction and Equity Act. … Continued

Here's how we got here: The hold harmless provision was triggered nationally in 2016 when the Social Security Administration announced that there would be no COLA payable, due to a drop in inflation. Barbara's Medicare Part B premium stayed the same as it was the year before, at 4.90, even though Medicare Part B premiums in 2016 jumped to 1.80 for about 30% of beneficiaries, such as new enrollees who were not protected by the hold harmless provision. .TSCL Endorses Social Security 2100 Act .So far, 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed, and Members of the House have begun taking a piecemeal approach that would send some of them back to work by providing funding for certain agencies. However, the Senate has rejected each bill. Leaders in that chamber believe a piecemeal approach will set a bad precedent and give the opposing political party "veto power over what is funded and what isn't," according to Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY). .For example, one Maine resident worked in the private sector, paying into Social Security for fifteen years before she returned to the teaching profession. Her earned Social Security benefits would have totaled 0 a month. However, due to the WEP, she receives only 0 each month from the program. She is also unable to collect Social Security spousal benefits due to the GPO, even though her spouse paid into the system throughout his entire career. In retirement, she must rely almost entirely upon her teaching pension, which is modest since she spent only a decade in the profession. She told the National Education Association, "If I had known the severe financial penalty I was to pay for returning to teaching, I don't think I would have done it." .TSCL has been getting a steady stream of email from those of you who might potentially be affected by a sizable benefit cut when you. Ask the Advisor: June 2021 What Is Congress Doing to Prevent My Benefits From Being Reduced? .What are the waiting periods and exclusions? You can find dental plans that cover two cleanings and check-ups a year, but it's not uncommon for dental plans to require a year or two waiting period before covering basic fillings, or crowns and implants. Some plans will not cover pre-existing conditions, so if you are switching dentists and you are in the middle of getting bridge work done, the new dental plan may not cover prior dental work in progress. .Often, the most consequential decisions are those we make only once or twice in a lifetime. But decision – making itself is a skill that takes practice. That means we can get better at it. Even with practice though, it's almost impossible to forecast whether our decisions will work out. Often there are hidden factors at play, influencing our decisions, of which we may not even be aware. Learning about how our minds could be sabotaged, and how we could be nudged in wrong direction, can help us improve our decisions. One of these nudges is called the "anchor effect." .At Thursday's hearing, Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (TX-3) and Ranking Member John Larson (CT-3) both spoke about how their Social Security reform bills would improve the program's financing. Chairman Johnson's bill – the Social Security Reform Act – would do so primarily through benefit cuts, while Ranking Member Larson's bill – the Social Security 2100 Act – would do so primarily through revenue increases. Mr. Goss confirmed that both bills – using two very different approaches – would return the program to 75-year solvency if adopted. .This tax season is likely to be more uncertain for taxpayers of all ages due to the impact of COVID-19 on business closures, loss of income from earnings and wages, a temporary waiver of minimum distributions from retirement accounts, high medical costs for some people, confusion over tax treatment of working from home, and how stimulus payments and program benefits such as unemployment should be treated for tax purposes.