Weekly Update For Week Ending July 31 2020
Before the New Year even started, TSCL had been working to convince Members of our new Congress of the immediate need to replace 2021's meager 1.3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) with a 3% emergency inflation adjustment. We strongly support "The 3% Emergency COLA Act," introduced by Representatives Peter DeFazio (OR-4) and John Larson (CT-1) and efforts to include provisions of this bill in emergency stimulus funding legislation. .My ex-wife passed away last year at 62, and recently my job ended. She had a good job with a pharmaceutical company for about 20 years. Can I file a claim for widower's benefits based on her account and still get my own retirement benefit later? I'll be 64 in December and I'm looking for new employment. I have not re-married. .For information about town hall meetings near you in the weeks ahead, call the local offices of your elected officials. For contact information, click HERE. … Continued
What Is Notch
This week, four new cosponsors signed on to Congressman John Garamendi's (CA-3) bipartisan Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E) Act (H.R. 1251), which would base the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) on a more fair and adequate inflation index if adopted. The new cosponsors are Congressmen Marc Veasey (TX-33), Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (MP), Vincente Gonzalez (TX-15), and Andre Carson (IN-7). The cosponsor total for H.R. 1251 is now up to forty-three. .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. .About 30 percent of the "other than legal " immigrants who were living in the U.S., and age 62 in 2000, would be eligible to receive retiree benefits. … Continued
TSCL is closely watching for the introduction of proposals to strengthen Social Security and Medicare benefits and program financing. While financing issues for both programs are daunting, we believe that funding for both can be strengthened without deep benefit cuts. "Increasing benefits for all" was a key platform plank for the majority of the Representatives in the House, roughly half the Senate, and, our President elect. In coming months, TSCL plans to hold the lawmakers accountable for how they plan to turn this promise into reality for older Americans. .For more information about the Social Security Expansion Act (S. 427), visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. To sign a petition to Congress, click here. To stay updated on The Senior Citizens League's advocacy work on Capitol Hill, follow us on Twitter. .Since 2009, COLAs have been at record lows, averaging just 1.4% — less than half the more typical 3% that COLAs averaged in the prior decade. According to the TSCL analysis, over the last seven years, average Social Security benefits will be about 3 a month lower in 2016 than if inflation had been the more normal levels of about 3%. For example, had a married couple — retired since 2009 and receiving about ,330 per month received a more typical 3% COLA — their total Social Security income would be about ,700 more than it has actually been since 20009. .The government has made it much easier to drop out of an older supplemental Medigap plan and join a new Medicare Advantage plan than the other way around. In fact, if you drop your older supplement, you may not be able to get it back again should you discover your new plan is not what you thought it would be. Failure to read the fine print can expose you to thousands of dollars in unexpected out-of-pocket costs should you require even just a few days of hospitalization or have a health condition that requires multiple visits to the doctor and lab services. .Here are four ways to help you get more from your homeowners coverage: .Now there is a lobbying effort to make sure enough money is provided for those programs because without sufficient funding states could choose not to take the money and leave their Medicaid programs running as is. .Republican leaders have also begun discussing plans to reform Medicare and Medicaid next year in an effort to reduce the deficit that the .5 trillion tax bill will create. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (WI-1) said in a radio interview on Wednesday: "We're going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit … This has been my big thing for many, many years. I think [Medicare is] the biggest entitlement we've got to reform." TSCL opposes reforms to Medicare, Medicaid, and other earned benefit programs that would result in higher out-of-pocket costs for older Americans. We will continue to advocate against benefit cuts in the months ahead. .Of the more than 1,200 people who participated, 766 sent in comments. Most described their personal challenges in meeting their healthcare expenses. In what may be a sign of the times, a surprising number indicated they are working far longer than they ever thought they would, even into their late 70's and 80's, because they don't have enough to live on after paying their healthcare costs. Even seniors who do have good Medicare supplemental and drug coverage described how they keep costs in check by asking their doctor to prescribe generics, filling prescriptions for 90 days, splitting pills, and sticking to preferred pharmacies. .I don't have dental insurance and pay out of pocket. I know I will need to get some expensive work done at some point in the next year or two. Is dental insurance worth the cost? How do you go about getting a good dental plan?