Q A February 2021
Medicare Advantage plans are booming in popularity with retirees, as a low-cost health coverage alternative. In 2016, the plans cover more than 18 million people, but troubling audits indicate that many plans are overbilling the government for many, if not the majority, of the patients treated. Because overcharges drive up Medicare program spending, the higher costs are shifted to all people enrolled in Medicare through rising Part B premiums— even to people who never enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. .Medicare open enrollment: It pays to get it right .House Passes Funding Bill … Continued
Big Issue High Prescription Drug Costs
TSCL believes several of the proposals under consideration would make the program unaffordable over time for the majority of beneficiaries. According to a new TSCL survey, more than one quarter of Medicare beneficiaries spend as much as 50% of their Social Security payments just to cover healthcare costs. TSCL recently delivered a listing of hundreds of thousands of petition signers from supporters to almost every Member of Congress and is continuing to convey concerns about plans to cut Social Security and Medicare. .While most people have rebounded, too many mature workers are still struggling to find work, much less a good-paying job. According to a survey by AARP, half of mature workers who experienced unemployment between 2010-2014 were still looking for work five years later. .This week, Members of Congress returned to Washington to begin working on a temporary measure that would avert a government shutdown on October 1st. In addition, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) announced its support for one new piece of legislation, and three key bills gained cosponsors. … Continued
"To lower the expected cost of these new benefits, House Democrats have proposed introducing the new dental benefits starting in 2028, ramping up the coverage over five years." .Prescription Drug Re-Importation – Making safe, secure re-importation a reality. .Each year, the "taxable maximum" increases according to growth in the national average wage index. However, the percentage of earnings subject to the payroll tax has decreased over time, since earnings by the wealthiest have grown faster than earnings by the rest of the population. Increasing the "taxable maximum" to cover a larger portion of income could responsibly cover the cost of the Notch Fairness Act. Third, Congress could allow the temporary Social Security payroll tax holiday to expire. For nearly two years, employees have enjoyed a two - percent payroll tax cut, but it has done little to stimulate the economy and it has undermined the self-sustaining nature of Social Security. .Because of the huge demand various brands of sanitizers started appearing in stores that we had not seen before. Then we were alerted that some of those that were made in Mexico contained methanol, a form of alcohol that's poisonous to humans, and we should not use them. .Several subcommittee members at Thursday's hearing spoke about the importance of stable and reliable funding for the administration in the coming years so that it can continue its efforts to modernize the program's IT system. The Senior Citizens League agrees that adequate administrative funding is critical, and we will continue to advocate for the Social Security Administration Fairness Act (S. 6251, H.R. 3147) in the months ahead. That bill, if adopted, would set SSA's funding level at 1.5 percent of overall benefit payments, and it would implement a moratorium on field office closures so that beneficiaries receive the service they have earned and deserve. .Under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, private and public sector large employers are responsible for providing health insurance for employees and contributing toward the cost of insurance. Generally, the federal health insurance exchange is only available for people who can't otherwise afford to purchase the insurance offered by their employer (according to thresholds set by law). But the fight to pass the 2010 Affordable Care Act was so contentious and controversial that some Members of Congress insisted that their colleagues set an example and be required to have the same coverage as all other Americans. .A report conducted by the Congressional Management Foundation claims that this year's budget will force House member offices to trim an additional 90,000 dollars in each office. A reduction to staff positions could mean decreased constituent services as responsibilities are shifted. .For more information, or to see if your Members of Congress have scheduled town halls before the November elections, call their local offices..Some 13% of the people who receive both Medicare and Medicaid are 85 and older. The youngest Notch Babies turn 85 this year, while the oldest turn 9That's approximately 1.17 million. TSCL believes that roughly one quarter of Notch Babies receive Medicaid as well as Medicare.