John Adams Vice Chairman
On October 22, 2014, TSCL's Executive Director was interviewed on Fox Business about the 2015 COLA announcement. .What you don't know about Medicare supplements (Medigap) or Medicare Advantage plans could cost you dearly. The system is rigged in favor of Medicare insurers, and consumers often have little idea what they will need or be able to afford. Here are a few tips: .If you have symptoms of COVID-19, follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines, and speak to your medical provider. Your health care provider will advise you about whether you should get tested and the process for being tested in your area. … Continued
June 2013 Virtual Strategy Magazine
As a nonpartisan grassroots organization, we make our policy decisions based on only one thing: what is best for senior citizens. .In addition to testing, passengers who are not fully vaccinated should self-quarantine for 7 days after cruise travel, even if they test negative. If they do not get tested, they should self-quarantine for 10 days after cruise travel. .We reported last week that President Trump has dropped his demand for a payroll tax cut in any new pandemic-related stimulus bill, which TSCL successfully lobbied against, along with many other groups. However, other issues have caused great difficulty in negotiations for a new bill, one of which has not received much attention in the main press. … Continued
In January as my specialist told me goodbye, he gave me a 10-day prescription for a simple .16 antibiotic. Did I get better? Yes, at least for now. While the antibiotic treatment was inexpensive and seems effective at curing the cough, the CT scan and bronchoscopy he ordered last year cost about ,000 before insurance. Would I have done just as well getting that prescription from my primary care doctor and skipping all the rest? Maybe, but how does the patient make that judgment? .Democratic leaders believe the measure could save almost half a trillion dollars if it were to pass. And while it would be much more likely to be brought up for a vote, the uncertainty about whether it could pass in the Senate remains. .Earnings are vital to the amount you receive because your wages form the basis of your Social Security benefit. SSA calculates your benefit based on your highest 35 years of earnings. When you sign up for a "my Social Security" account, the estimate will list every year of earnings on file. Count them up! Ideally you will have more than 35 years of earnings. But that may be hard for some workers to achieve, particularly those who spent time at home raising a family or providing caregiving for older family members (often women). .Beyond funding the government and raising the debt ceiling, TSCL was pleased that the Bipartisan Budget Act included the following three improvements to the Medicare program: .Once the costs that both you and your drug plan have paid exceed the above limit, then you will pay 25% co-insurance for brand drugs in 2019, and your drug plan will pay 5%. There's a manufacturer discount of 70%. For generics, you will pay 37% and plans pay 63%. This phase of coverage — which is called the "doughnut hole" or coverage gap —lasts until you have a spent a total of ,100 out-of-pocket on prescription costs. Please note that what you pay in premiums does not count toward out-of-pocket costs. Once you have spent ,100, which counts the manufacturer discount portion of the drug cost in the doughnut hole, then you reach the Part D catastrophic threshold. Medicare pays 80%, plans pay 15% and enrollees pay the greater of either 5% of total drug costs or .40/.50 for each generic/brand-name drug respectively. .Before doing anything else make sure you have a realistic budget, and think long term. You want your income and savings to be adequate as long as possible, 30 years or even longer is not unrealistic for someone your age. In developing a budget, look back over at least three years to include large expenditures for periodic home maintenance and repairs, transportation, medical costs and other large costs. Include what you pay in taxes. Once you get an expense figure, allow for at least 3% per year for inflation. Then tally up your income and assets, including the value and expected income from retirement accounts and pensions, if any. .TSCL would like to remind you to contact your Members of Congress while they are still in their home states and districts. Many Senators and Representatives will attend local events or hold town hall meetings this weekend, giving voters an excellent opportunity to have their questions and concerns addressed. We encourage you to contact your Members of Congress to request their support for fair cost-of-living adjustments, Notch fairness, and other key issues. .As opposed to previous years, the Senate leaders want any legislation they have to pass out of the way by the end of May. That means any bill has to pass the Senate, then the Senate and House would have to negotiate and reach agreement on one bill before it could be sent to the President for his signature. .According to The Senior Citizens League's research, Social Security benefits have lost 34 percent of their purchasing power since 2000 due in large part to inadequate cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) and rising health care costs.