Legislative Update Week Ending May 18 2018
The temporary funding measure negotiated this week is expected to buy time for President-elect Donald Trump and members of the 115th Congress to negotiate a broad funding bill that will likely include language to fast-track the Affordable Care Act's repeal. In the months ahead, TSCL's legislative team will be following these discussions closely, and we will continue to advocate for legislation that would reduce any negative effects on beneficiaries of the Medicare program. Visit the Legislative News section of our website for updates. .This week, the Senate Budget Committee met to discuss the future of the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) program, which is set to become insolvent in 2016, and The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) announced its support for one new piece of legislation. .The plan was blocked in lower courts after the state of Texas and 25 other states sued, saying that Obama had exceeded his authority. TSCL filed a "friend of the court" brief, in support of Texas and the other states, arguing concerns about costs to Social Security and Medicare. … Continued
Benefit Bulletin November 2018
Social Security and Medicare are the targets of a growing number of new budget plans aimed at reducing federal spending. President Obama's Fiscal Commission recently voted 11-7 to cut Social Security benefits for all seniors, and require beneficiaries to pay substantially more for their Medicare. .Which is right for you? Medigap policies tend to have have higher premiums, but pay most of your out-of-pocket costs, so your costs stay more consistent and predictable. You are also free to use any healthcare provider that accepts Medicare. If you choose Medigap you will also need to enroll in a separate Part D prescription drug plan. Medicare Advantage plans tend to have lower premiums and include drug coverage, but you will have deductibles, as well as co-pays and cost sharing for most services. Hospitalizations could be costly. Many Medicare Advantage plans are managed care and require that you use participating providers to receive reimbursement for your care. .Elder abuse affects an estimated 14.1 percent of all non-institutionalized older adults each year, and for every case reported, another twenty-three cases go unnoticed. It is a serious and ongoing problem that Congress must tackle as soon as possible in order to ensure the retirement security of seniors. … Continued
Understand which type works best for you. Medicare supplemental or Medigap premiums currently tend to be higher, often by hundreds of dollars, than those of Medicare Advantage Plans. In fact, there are Medicare Advantage Plans that offered hospital, doctor, and prescription drug coverage for 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. .Rick retired from the U.S. Air Force as a First Sergeant with the rank of Master Sergeant in October of 1989 and makes his home in Warner Robins, Georgia, with his wife of 43 years, Pat. .Sen. Bernard Sanders (VT) introduced S. 500 on March 7, 201It has since been referred to the Committee on Finance. .Dr. Conway assured lawmakers on the Finance Committee that CMS is carefully reviewing comments from the public about the proposed program, and that the Administration is committed to working closely with stakeholders to improve the proposal. He said, "Our goal is to be responsive to the public comments and input from Congress while preserving the integrity and effectiveness of the model." .Cruise passengers who are not fully vaccinated are more likely to get COVID-19, which spreads person-to-person, and outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported on cruise ships. .Can You Tell Me How Recent Law Changes Affect RMDs From My 401(k)? .This week, TSCL announced its support for the Delay until Fully Functional Act (S. 1592 and H.R. 3359), which was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) in the Senate and by Rep. Trey Radel (FL-19) in the House. The bill, if signed into law, would delay the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate for six months once the Government Accountability Office certifies that the exchange website is fully functional. .While there is no estimate of how large the cuts would be under the legislation that just passed, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that a previous version of the Covid relief bill would have triggered about billion in cuts to Medicare in fiscal 2022 and between and billion from other mandatory programs. .Alexandria, VA (April 5, 2011) Congress is considering three major deficit reduction proposals that would make seniors pay even more for their Medicare than they do now. The debate over federal spending on Medicare is occurring at the same time a majority of seniors are reporting higher out-of-pocket Medicare costs, according to a new survey by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors groups. Retirees received no annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in both 2010 and 2011, leaving them with less Social Security income to cover much higher monthly bills. About 47 percent of respondents report receiving lower Social Security payments this year, and more than 60 percent said their overall monthly expenses had increased or more. premiums in 200Don't let the lure of zero premiums fool you, because you will pay in other ways, especially if you get sick. .A person with average Social Security benefits in 2000 received 6 per month, a figure that rose to ,166.30 by 201However, that individual would require a Social Security benefit of ,419.00 per month in 2015 just to maintain his or her 2000 buying power, the study found. .Very modestly boosting the payroll tax paid by workers and matched by employers to employers. .In his opening statement, Dr. Conway said, "This proposal is part of the Administration's broader strategy to encourage better care, smarter spending, and healthier people by paying for what works, unlocking health care data, and finding new ways to coordinate and integrate care to improve quality." .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. .During the pandemic, non-emergency elective hospital procedures were temporarily stopped to lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission, to preserve scarce personal protective equipment and to keep hospital beds available for COVID care. According to JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, hospitals across the country have taken a major hit to their normal operating income. The American Hospital Association recently reported the average loss of revenues to U.S. hospitals of .7 billion per month from March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020. We don't yet know how much more hospitals have lost through the end of 2020. .Stories About High Drug Costs Lead To Congressional Investigation of Pharmaceutical Pricing .The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is provided to protect the buying power of Social Security benefits from rising prices. Yet for almost a decade, retirees have had to manage their household budgets despite COLAs that have been at unprecedented lows. During this period, typical retiree costs have continued to rise several times faster than overall inflation and, consequently, Social Security benefits have lost one-third of their buying power since 2000. ."And that's not all," says Cates. "Beneficiaries lose the compounding effect they get with higher benefits," he notes. "Even when inflation returns to more typical levels, beneficiaries' lifetime Social Security income will continue to be lower," Cates explains.