Category Best Ways To Save Page 7
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. .The age at which you stop working. .It's not what the government tracks that causes your Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) to grow so slowly. It's what the government isn't tracking that's keeping your COLAs so low. It may surprise you, as it did us at TSCL, to recently learn that COLAs are calculated using methodology that doesn't directly measure what you pay out-of-pocket for health insurance premiums. Add to that the fact that the consumer price index (CPI) the government uses to calculate COLAs (CPI-W) represents the spending habits of younger urban wage earners and clerical workers — or the spending habits of only 29% of the U.S. population. That's certainly not going to reflect the inflation experienced by most Social Security recipients. … Continued
Legislative Update January 2017
To cover the projected cost, lawmakers included a reduction in funding to the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which was created by the ACA to support preventive care efforts, the management of chronic conditions, and developments in public health. .The toll free number for the VA Hotline is . .Airlines frequently note that commercial planes are equipped with HEPA filters, the Centers for Disease Control-recommended air filters used in hospital isolation rooms. HEPA filters capture 99.97% of airborne particles and substantially reduce the risk of viral spread. In addition, the air in plane cabins is completely changed over 10 to 12 times per hour, raising the air quality above that of a normal building. … Continued
Food and Drug Administration Issues Vaccine Fraud Alert .After being suspended since November 2, 2015, the debt cap was reinstated last week. "Although the Treasury secretary is using ‘extraordinary measures' to fund the budget for now, a failure to lift the debt limit in time would affect all Americans, including the timely payment of Social Security benefits," says TSCL Social Security and Medicare policy analyst, Mary Johnson. .This week, House lawmakers remained in their home districts to continue the August recess. Meanwhile, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw support grow in the Senate for three bipartisan bills that would strengthen the Medicare program. .However, it remains unclear if lawmakers will be able to successfully negotiate an omnibus before the December 11th deadline. Many in Congress are hoping to attach language to the spending measure that would block funding for an immigration executive order that President Obama is set to announce in the coming weeks. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (MD), Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, called the request a "deal-breaker," and said that it would likely result in a veto from President Obama. .This failure of the COLA to keep up with rising Medicare Part B premiums and other retiree costs is creating a dilemma that is growing in magnitude, not only for older Americans, but also for the nation's safety net programs like Medicaid. A majority of Social Security recipients depend on their benefits for more than half of their income, and almost half of all retirees have only limited or no retirement savings at all. The lack of adequate growth in benefits over the past eight years is pushing modest income seniors into poverty, forcing even those who started out as middle-income retiree households to rely on Medicaid for help paying Medicare costs, rental subsidies, fuel assistance, food pantries and senior meals programs. .Fraud is so prevalent that prevention is only part of the solution. One in 20 seniors in the U.S. is a target of fraud schemes. Yet, the National Adult Protective Services Association has found that only one in 44 seniors report that they are victims of a fraud scheme, suggesting seniors lack information on how to file a complaint. .Do you have a plan for changing health and lifestyle that may affect your income? How would you cope if you developed a chronic health condition that required expensive drugs? How would you know if you start having memory problems? Have you looked into the various types of senior housing, including those with plans that provide greater continuing long term care as you age? Have you discussed your plan or desires with family or other caregivers? .The 2% COLA will raise the average Social Security benefit (currently ,258) about But the overwhelming majority of Social Security recipients will never see it. Medicare Part B premiums for most people will rise considerably and completely offset the COLA increase, after being held at lower adjusted levels, as required by law, over the past two years when there was no COLA. This provision of law that protects Social Security benefits from reductions is known as the "hold harmless" provision. .TSCL believes a better approach to Medicare Advantage "risk adjustments" is needed, and should be written into law, rather than left to the discretion of politically appointed Medicare administrators. Congress could do this by writing a method for calculating the adjustment into the law. This approach would make payment for MA plans more like payment for other Medicare providers.