• Social Security Medicare Questions July 2014

    On Wednesday the Pentagon sent a "rightsizing plan" to Congress which, if fully agreed to by Congress, would result in approximately 200,000 military family members and retirees losing their ability to get health care at military hospitals and clinics. .By Representative Al Lawson (FL-05) .I'm 62 and trying to make some decisions about retirement. I'm confused and overwhelmed with information. Recently a friend told me about a retirement coach. I've never heard of this before. Is this a good idea or just another scheme to siphon money out of people nearing retirement? … Continued

  • Social Security Trustees Legislative Action Needed Asap

    Pet health insurance may not be worth the cost. While many veterinarian practices have brochures for pet health insurance, shop carefully, and read the fine print about what these policies do and don't cover. Pet owners can expect to pay between to per month for premiums, often more than what you pay in services most years. Consumer experts suggest that if you are worried about catastrophic costs, put the money you would spend on pet health insurance premiums into a pet savings account. .New Virus Relief Bill Could Affect Social Security and Medicare .However, according to a 2015 report, older Americans lose approximately .5 billion each year to financial scams and abuse, and these numbers are increasing as technology makes it easier for scammers to target older Americans. A 2016 survey from the Investor Protection Trust found that almost 1-in-5 seniors, approximately 7 million Americans, have reported being victims of exploitation. … Continued

Members on both sides of the aisle seemed eager to tackle corporate tax reform, but there was a clear divide on the panel when it came to the Social Security payroll tax holiday. Co-chair Patty Murray (WA) and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (AZ) both seemed skeptical about President Obama's recent proposal to cut the payroll tax in half for both employees and employers next year. When asked whether short-term tax cuts typically succeed in stimulating the economy, Barthold responded "yes" without hesitation. However, he said that such short-term cuts for employers generally do not lead to job creation. .First, in the spring, Members of Congress passed legislation to repeal and replace the sustainable growth rate (SGR) – a flawed formula that set payment rates for doctors who treated Medicare patients. Because of the quirks in the law, doctors were faced with double-digit cuts year after year. Some stopped seeing new Medicare patients, and some even stopped participating in Medicare altogether. TSCL advocated for the SGR's repeal for more than a decade, and we were ecstatic to see it replaced once and for all last April. The law took effect immediately and, in the coming years, it will bring increased stability to the Medicare program for both patients and their doctors. .Compare plans! Use health and drug plan comparison tools found at — Because premiums, out-of-pocket costs and drug coverage vary so enormously between plans, the single best habit to get into is comparing your coverage options every year. Your best tools for comparing health and drug plans coverage and information about premiums and costs can be found online at If you don't have computer or Internet access, work with a friend or family member who does. Or you can get one-on-one counseling assistance through your state health insurance assistance program (SHIP). Many of these programs operate through local area agencies on aging. .This week, TSCL announced its support for the Savings on Medical Expenses for Seniors Act of 2014 (H.R. 4104), which was introduced by Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA-35) on February 27th. The bill, if signed into law, would make permanent the 7.5 percent threshold for the medical expense tax deduction for those sixty-five and older. The threshold is currently scheduled to increase to 10 percent of adjusted gross income in 2017, which would mean that fewer seniors would qualify for much-needed relief. .It would have to report to Congress every two years on regulatory and financial developments that affect older investors. Reports would have to include recommendations for possible regulatory or legislative action. .The Senior Citizens League is proud to endorse these three bipartisan bills and, in the months ahead, we will urge lawmakers to sign them into law. For frequent progress updates on these bills and the work of the Senate Finance and House Oversight Committees, follow TSCL on Twitter or visit the Legislative News section of our website. Additionally, you can share your story about rising prescription drug prices with our team right here. .You may qualify if your yearly income and "resources" or savings are below the following limits in 2017: .The Senior Citizens League enthusiastically supports H.R. 1205, H.R. 6251, H.R. 4957, and H.R. 2212, and we were pleased to see support grow for them this week. For more information about these and other TSCL-backed bills, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. .What you can do: Contact your Members of Congress and tell them that cutting the COLA to reduce the deficit is unacceptable. To provide income seniors can rely on over a retirement, COLAs needs to keep up with rising costs, something they don't do well enough now.