Q A Medigap
Another bill that would improve the COLA – the Guaranteed 3 Percent COLA Act (H.R. 991) – also gained support this week. Congressman Gene Green (TX-29) signed on to it, bringing the cosponsor total up to five. If adopted, H.R. 991 from Congressman Eliot Engel (NY-16) would base the COLA on the CPI-E and guarantee a minimum annual Social Security benefit increase of at least 3 percent. .Several lawmakers also expressed their concerns about rising prescription drug prices at Wednesday's hearing. When asked whether the administration would take action to assist seniors who fall into Medicare Part D's "doughnut hole," Congressman Price said: "It is imperative that we provide the greatest amount of opportunity for individual seniors to be able to gain access to the drugs that they need." Senator Bill Nelson (FL) expressed his dissatisfaction with that response, saying: "If I gave [seniors] that answer, I would get run out of the room." .Citizenship is not a requirement to claim Social Security benefits. Undocumented immigrants who, at some point, receive even temporary work authorization, and who also receive a valid SSN, may eventually claim Social Security benefits if other qualifications are met, according to the Congressional Research Service. … Continued
Ask The Advisor August 2011 Advisor 2
The Democrats are likely to use reconciliation to move President Biden's COVID-19 relief measure through Congress while sidestepping a GOP filibuster. .Guarantee a minimum COLA of no less than 3 percent. .Medicare expects to start mailing cards in May of 2018, but be patient. The cards are going out on a "rolling basis" to different states over the next 9 months (see the chart at the end of this article.) To learn when new Medicare cards start mailing to your area, sign up for e-alerts from Medicare by visiting Medicare.gov/NewCard. … Continued
The changes closed two claiming tactics known as "file and suspend" and "restricted application for spousal benefits." The claiming strategies have made it possible for both members of a couple who are 66 or older to delay claiming Social Security based on their own earnings records, in order to increase payments, while at the same time one spouse receives a spousal benefit. Alicia Munnell of The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College estimates the changes would save .5 billion per year — a potential cost that would grow over time. .In his opening statement, HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (TN) said: "Our focus today is on what happens to the cost of the drug after it is approved by the FDA. We will examine the path an approved drug takes from the manufacturer to patient, and how this path affects what the patient pays … This is a discussion that affects the well-being of every American family. It is important that we work together to conduct this fact finding in a bipartisan way." .The legislative proposal also does not specify whether the locality pay adjustment would be applied in addition to the COLA or used instead of a COLA. If the intention is to add a second adjustment in addition to the COLA my guess is that many retirees would welcome the additional boost. Should the proposal be intended to replace the COLA that brings a higher level of uncertainty to the annual adjustments than we already experience. For people who live in areas where private sector pay is on an even level with federal pay or lower, those retirees may wind up with little or no locality pay adjustment, perhaps over the course of many years. .In addition, one new cosponsor signed on to the Preventing and Reducing Improper Medicare and Medicaid Expenditures (PRIME) Act (H.R. 2305). The new cosponsor is Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-7), and the total now sits at sixty-six. If signed into law, the PRIME Act would take a number of steps to comprehensively prevent fraud, waste, and abuse within the two programs – a problem that TSCL believes must be addressed in order to ensure that scarce program dollars are being spent properly. .On the web: Here's the link to the WTHR TV "Tax Loophole" video or visit www.wthr.com. .Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (TX-8) said in a statement on Tuesday evening: "We are pleased with the progress we are making and we remain on schedule to take action and approve a bill at our Committee beginning next week." Ranking Member Richard Neal (MA-1), however, urged Republicans on the Committee to slow down. In a letter to Chairman Brady, he said: "I write to urge you in the strongest possible terms to slow this tax reform process to a pace that will allow for reasonable, informed deliberation." .Help! My Insulin Costs Skyrocketed. Health Plan Blames Covid-19! .Reduce the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that beneficiaries receive once they become eligible for benefits. .The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide a case in June that could have far -reaching implications for Social Security and Medicare. The Obama Administration has asked the Supreme Court to reinstate its executive action plan on immigration. The plan would give temporary relief from deportation and work permits to almost 5 million unauthorized immigrants. Should the Supreme Court find in favor of President Obama, his Administration would have 7 months to implement the program before his term ends.