• Legislative Update For Week Ending February 1 2013

    Senator Chuck Grassley (IA) introduced S. 61 on January 9, 201It has since been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. .In the days and weeks ahead, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) will closely monitor the movement of S. Con. Res. 3 since a repeal of the Affordable Care Act will impact older Americans in several ways. For instance, progress that has been made to close the Medicare Part D prescription drug "doughnut hole" will be reversed, and the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund that finances Medicare Part A will lose a critical stream of funding created by the law. Throughout the 115th Congress, TSCL's legislative team will continue to advocate on Capitol Hill for legislation that would reduce any negative impacts on the Medicare program. .Lawmakers End Partial Government Shutdown … Continued

  • Category Legislative News Page 47

    TSCL is receiving a large number of comments about the impact of no COLA from retirees around the country, and recently started posting some of the stories. According to new research for TSCL, there are several important factors affecting why COLAs aren't accurately reflecting retiree healthcare costs. "First of all, the consumer price index (CPI) used to calculate Social Security and other retiree COLAs doesn't survey the spending of people age 65 and over," Cates explains. The Consumer Price Index for Workers (CPI-W) does not include changes in Medicare premiums, according to background information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). .It sounds as though your daughter's father-in-law didn't sign up for Medicare Part B by his enrollment deadline and is now subject to a late enrollment penalty. For each 12-month period he delayed enrollment in Medicare Part B, he will have to pay a 10% Part B penalty. A penalty of as much as an extra 0 per month in addition to the current premium of 8.50 for 2021, suggests that he is being penalized for a 16-year period he did not have Medicare coverage. That suggests that he didn't enroll at age 6That would mean his base Medicare Part B premium could be 8.50 per month when he enrolls. .Based on the growth rate of the Consumer Price Index for Workers (CPI-W) over past 12 months, I'm projecting a COLA in the vicinity of 3.6% for 201But Congress may take action that would slow the growth of the COLA. Deficit reduction plans are likely to call for switching to the "chained" CPI, a move that TSCL feels would further undermine the purchasing power of benefits. The difference between the CPI-W and chained COLA has averaged about 0.3 percentage point since 2000, but that's not the case this year. In fact, if the switch were to affect the COLA payable in 2012, seniors would get a COLA of about 2.8% — a cut of more than 20%. … Continued

Trustees Release Annual Social Security and Medicare Reports . The Senior Citizens League is currently conducting its new 2020 Survey of Senior Costs. To learn more and participate visit . .As for job hunting tips, my book has a chapter called "Six Rules for Job Hunting." I discuss how to package yourself as the solution to an employer's problems, how to keep your skill set fresh and relevant, 21st Century networking techniques, and several other key strategies. ."The Senior Citizens League Wants to Know: "How Much Will You Spend on Medicare?"" .Unlike other types of health insurance, Part D plans do not have a fixed annual out-of-pocket maximum, and you could potentially continue to spend even more than ,100 this year. While that's a huge sum for just prescription drugs, the out-of-pocket threshold "re-sets" and it starts all over again next year. Unless Congress takes action, the out-of-pocket threshold is scheduled to make a steep increase in 2020 to ,250, due to an expiring provision of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. .How would seniors go about improving Social Security's financing in the future? A clear majority, 67% strongly agree that it would be fair to require workers to pay Social Security taxes on all of their income rather than letting some pay nothing on income over 0,000. More than 42% strongly agree that with Americans living longer, it would be fair to raise the age for full retirement very gradually, by two months per year to age 69 for people who are age 49 and younger. TSCL was inundated with email comments, and what you're saying should give incumbents pause. .Payroll taxes, and the taxes that people pay on a portion of their Social Security benefits, are two major sources of program funding. The Social Security Trust Fund also receives interest payments from the U.S. Treasury for the money that the federal government has borrowed when the program was in surplus. In fact, the .Here's how the coverage gap works. Once individuals and their Medicare Part D plans spend the initial coverage amount (,310 in 2016) on covered prescription drugs in a calendar year, beneficiaries hit the doughnut hole. Once in the doughnut hole, coinsurance on covered drugs is not only higher, one must also pay a substantial amount out-of-pocket to reach the limit for catastrophic coverage. For brand-name drugs in the coverage gap, individuals are responsible for 45% of the cost, and for generic drugs, they're responsible for 58%. Once out-of-pocket costs for those in the doughnut hole total ,850, catastrophic drug coverage takes effect, and Part D plans pay 95% of prescription drug costs until the calendar year ends. .In addition, we strongly recommend that you attend classes or workshops about Social Security. Check with your local senior center, community colleges and universities, libraries or area agencies on aging. If you have some retirement savings in an IRA or 401(k), many of the companies handling your retirement money offer some benefit counseling advice that can help you calculate how much longer you may need to work to reach a more optimal level of retirement savings.