Legislative Update Week Ending September 19 2014
What are the waiting periods and exclusions? You can find dental plans that cover two cleanings and check-ups a year, but it's not uncommon for dental plans to require a year or two waiting period before covering basic fillings, or crowns and implants. Some plans will not cover pre-existing conditions, so if you are switching dentists and you are in the middle of getting bridge work done, the new dental plan may not cover prior dental work in progress. .According to information from the Medicare Rights Center, a nonprofit organization that provides Medicare counseling and educational programs, when you notify a Medicare Advantage plan after the move, then your mom's Special Enrollment Period begins the month you tell her plan, plus two more full months thereafter. .A number of Social Security recipients told their stories to the members of the subcommittee and explained the problems they face, as well as their desires for improvements to the program. … Continued
H R 1631 Save Social Security Act
The billion could be financed without taking money from the Social Security Trust Fund. One way is through reduction of pork barrel spending and government waste. In the fiscal year 2001 budget alone, pork "watch-dog" Senator John McCain (AZ-R) estimated that the government would spend a record billion in pork-barrel projects. ."We should not allow health insurers to limit how much cost-sharing assistance can help patients at the pharmacy counter," the spokesperson said. .I'm still working and will turn 65 in July of this year. I currently get my health insurance through my employer. We have more than 20 employees and I've been told I can keep my employer's health insurance instead of starting Medicare in July. The health insurance that I have now is pretty expensive and the deductibles are high. How can I compare the costs between the two types of insurance? … Continued
There's hardly anyone who isn't feeling the effects of our "Great Recession." We've learned of seniors sharing depression-era survival techniques with younger family members. Meanwhile their Baby Boomer children nearing retirement wonder if they'll ever have enough money to retire. .One widely-discussed proposal would limit the drop in benefits when a spouse dies to 75% of the couple's combined benefit. In the example above that would boost the widow's benefit by 0 per month to ,800. .Just as today, in 1977 the federal budget was in deficit, and Social Security was facing a funding crisis. The new benefit formula changes first affected seniors who turned 62 in 1979 just two years later. Seniors born from 1917 through 1926 wound up receiving lower benefits than other retirees with almost identical work and earnings records. Although reductions of about 10 percent for average earners were expected at the time of the changes, Notch babies were often affected by disparities of 20 percent or more, because a phase-in benefit formula failed. ."We believe this unannounced policy of increased enforcement is irresponsible," said Representative Gil Gutknecht (MN) in a letter to the FDA and Customs. Gutknecht also said that the seizures violate the will of Congress, which has for three years denied FDA funding for the purpose of preventing reimportation of prescription drugs for personal use. .Spending Deal Reached by Congress .If signed into law, H.R. 242 would require the federal government to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of Medicare Part D beneficiaries. Currently, Medicare is prohibited from doing so despite the fact that other federal health programs are required to. If adopted, H.R. 242 would go a long way in reducing the costs of lifesaving medications for millions of Part D beneficiaries, and it would result in lower spending on prescription drugs for the Medicare program. .Last month, the Social Security Trustees released their annual report on the program's financial outlook, and they projected that Social Security beneficiaries will face a cut in benefits if lawmakers fail to pass legislation to extend the program's solvency past 203In order for reforms to be phased in gradually and with minimal impact on current or future retirees, Congress will need to adopt comprehensive Social Security reform legislation in the very near future. .Each year, the "taxable maximum" increases according to growth in the national average wage index. However, the percentage of earnings subject to the payroll tax has decreased over time, since earnings by the wealthiest have grown faster than earnings by the rest of the population. Increasing the "taxable maximum" to cover a larger portion of income could responsibly cover the cost of the Notch Fairness Act. Third, Congress could allow the temporary Social Security payroll tax holiday to expire. For nearly two years, employees have enjoyed a two - percent payroll tax cut, but it has done little to stimulate the economy and it has undermined the self-sustaining nature of Social Security. .There's an old saying: "Laws are like sausages; it is better not to see them being made."