Benefit Bulletin May June 2018
"Tough choices." When referring to reducing the Social Security deficit, those tough choices boil down to just two choices — raising taxes or cutting benefits. The Social Security Notch is one of our nation's most ignominious examples of how tough Social Security choices went awry. .Sources: "How Much ‘Skin In The Game' Is Enough?", Kaiser Family Foundations, June 201"Measuring Price Change For Medical Care In The CPI," Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed March 3, 2012. .On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing to delve into the topic of rising healthcare costs. Echoing the hopes of his colleagues on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (UT) said in his opening statement, "I want to find a bipartisan path forward." … Continued
Ask The Advisor Part D Fails Enrollees Who Take Expensive Drugs
On Tuesday, the federal government shut down for the first time in seventeen years due to a legislative impasse between leaders in the House and Senate. Four days in, neither side has wavered much from its position. Leaders in the Senate are pressuring the House to pass a "clean" temporary funding measure, while leaders in the House continue to demand provisions that would delay or defund the Affordable Care Act. .On Thursday evening, lawmakers in the House and Senate voted to pass a continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the federal government until Friday, December 22nd. TSCL is pleased that lawmakers successfully averted a government shutdown since failing to do so could have impacted the timely delivery of Social Security benefits. Physicians and other medical providers also could have seen delays in their reimbursements from the Medicare program if the federal government had shut down. .Meanwhile, TSCL continues to work for passage of Notch Fairness Act, legislation that would provide ,000 payable in four annual installments, or an improved monthly benefit. The bill has been re-introduced in both the House and the Senate and has 22 co-sponsors. TSCL remains committed to Notch Reform and we continue to meet with Members of Congress to build support for this needed remedy. … Continued
The Medicare Trustees estimated in their April 2020 annual report that the base 2021 Part B premium would rise by .70 (6 percent), from 4.60 to 3.30. The annual report was written prior to the coronavirus national emergency and does not incorporate the effects of the coronavirus caused recession, the interaction with an extremely low COLA. .Please take time to participate in TSCL's much anticipated Senior Survey. TSCL's surveys have helped burst the all too common perception that Social Security benefit cuts are inevitable in order to achieve program solvency. TSCL surveys indicate that there is little support among older adults for proposals that would cut Social Security or Medicare benefits, or to replace these programs with private versions. TSCL will fight attempts to cut benefits, and that includes cutting COLAs reducing Social Security benefits or increasing Medicare costs. .Medicare Advantage Plans May Offer New Supplemental Benefits, . It's a seldom-acknowledged fact. Yet it has growing repercussions for U.S. senior citizens. Immigrants who worked here illegally can claim Social Security benefits based on those illegal earnings. Illegal workers often supply employers with fake, or invalid, Social Security numbers (SSNs) that are not authorized for work. When the Social Security Administration receives wage reports under a name and/or SSN that does not match the records, the wage reports accumulate in an "Earnings Suspense File." Later, the illegal worker can file a claim for benefits based on those earnings if he or she can show evidence (like a W2) of employment and earnings. .Americans 65 and Older See Largest Increase in Poverty .Florida's contact tracing program has been mired in controversy over reports that it is understaffed and ineffective. For instance, CNN called 27 Floridians who tested positive for COVID-19 and found that only five had been contacted by health authorities. (The Florida Department of Health did not respond to requests for an interview.) .Under current law, employers withhold 6.2% in Social Security taxes from workers' earnings — an amount that employers match for a total of 12.4%. That money goes to the U.S. Treasury and is used to pay benefits to today's retirees. About 85 percent of all employees, pay Social Security taxes on every dollar earned. .Today we are going to be hearing from people in their own words about Congress's neglect to help the very citizens we are sworn to serve. .Although the President did not offer specific policy recommendations, he did renew his commitment to lowering prescription drugs costs. He said: "One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs. In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States. That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down."