• Legislative Update For Week Ending April 19 2019

    It depends on whether you can wait just a little bit longer to start benefits.. .Despite these obstacles, Rep. Rogers and Sen. Mikulski have said they remain committed to passing an omnibus this year, and they have reportedly instructed their aides to have a line-by-line spending plan ready by December 8th. TSCL is hopeful that a compromise can be reached before the looming deadline, since failing to do so would likely have a negative effect on Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries. In the coming weeks, we will continue to keep a close eye on the evolving discussions, and we will post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website. .This week, four new cosponsors signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 973), bringing the total up to 120. The new cosponsors are: Reps. Larry Bucshon (IN-8), Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), and Norma Torres (CA-35). … Continued

  • Legislative Update For Week Ending April 18 2014

    Know what debt you have. Make a list of your mortgage, any home equity line of credit (HELOC), credit cards, and any other debt. Making minimum payments may keep you out of collections, but that strategy doesn't pay off debt. Prioritize your loans by the amount of interest, and whether the interest (such as for a mortgage) is tax deductible. Work out a plan to pay off the highest non-deductible interest loan first, while making the minimum payments on other loans. As you get a loan paid off, start on the next highest interest loan. .Prohibits benefits for disability beneficiaries found guilty of fraudulently concealing work. .The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that spending for Social Security, Medicare, other major healthcare programs, defense, and interest payments alone would require every dollar of revenue in about eight years, leaving nothing left over for the rest of the federal budget. The CBO further says that federal debt cannot grow faster than the nation's output indefinitely without causing long-term damage to the government's finances and broader economy. … Continued

With more than 17 million Medicare Advantage enrollees, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services hasn't been able to ensure that their risk scores are accurate. When CMS has checked, nearly one - third of the scores were too high. "Given the size of Medicare Advantage, even a small error can add up to billions in overpayments," says TSCL Executive Director Shannon Benton. "TSCL believes that home visits should be focused on providing better care to the patient, not boosting health plan profits." .There could be several reasons that can cause sticker shock at the pharmacy. Here are some tips for checking the charges and understanding the costs associated with your new drug plan: .Deductible: During the initial deductible, the beneficiary pays 100% of the cost of the drug—up to 5 depending on the plan. Many plans provide immediate coverage on generics, and even preferred brand drugs "before the deductible." In this type of plan, you only pay the full price up to the deductible on higher tier drugs, and some plans don't charge a deductible at all. .Reduce the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that beneficiaries receive once they become eligible for benefits. .I retired seven years ago at age 65 when I started Social Security and Medicare. I have difficulty budgeting my healthcare costs. I never seem to learn what they will be until I start getting the bills. Can you help? .Last year a premium support plan that passed in the House prompted a firestorm of opposition from seniors and critics concerned that the plan cut federal spending too much — shifting too great a portion of costs -- and would make Medicare unaffordable for beneficiaries. But premium support itself is nothing new, nor would it "end Medicare as we know it." To the contrary, seniors already know it, and like it. Medicare operates two premium support programs — Medicare Part D, and Medicare Advantage. .If they are not included, we will continue to fight for them next year and each year until we are successful. .On Thursday, TSCL delivered letters to several congressional offices – including the offices of lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee – requesting support for three tax-related changes that would strengthen the Social Security program: .Watch our public service video about the need for a fair Social Security COLA and spread the word!