October 2013 Reuters
How You Can Get Help With Heating Costs .Bloomberg News reports that the legislation would establish a task force on older investors at the Securities and Exchange Commission. This Senior Investor Taskforce would be required to identify challenges such as the financial exploitation and cognitive decline of investors older than 65, and to consider whether rules issued by the SEC or securities self-regulatory organizations should be changed to benefit them. .Based on the growth rate of the Consumer Price Index for Workers (CPI-W) over past 12 months, I'm projecting a COLA in the vicinity of 3.6% for 201But Congress may take action that would slow the growth of the COLA. Deficit reduction plans are likely to call for switching to the "chained" CPI, a move that TSCL feels would further undermine the purchasing power of benefits. The difference between the CPI-W and chained COLA has averaged about 0.3 percentage point since 2000, but that's not the case this year. In fact, if the switch were to affect the COLA payable in 2012, seniors would get a COLA of about 2.8% — a cut of more than 20%. … Continued
Issues Prevention Of Fraud Waste Articles
Acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn Colvin said, "I have directed an immediate halt to further referrals under the Treasury Offset Program to recover debts owed to the agency that are 10 years old and older pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law." But a week after the announcement The Washington Post reported that "many taxpayers say the government is still seizing refunds." The Social Security Administration said letters to those taxpayers went out before the announcement, but it remains unclear whether they will get their money back. .Check plans offering gap coverage but don't be surprised if you wouldn't save much. If your new prescription will cost enough to put you into the doughnut hole coverage gap, check the cost of plans with additional gap coverage. But if your main expense is an expensive brand name prescription, gap coverage may not save enough to make up for the higher cost of premiums. Most only cover some generics. Get unbiased help comparing your coverage by calling your Area Agency on Aging and asking for the help of a State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) counselor, or visit online at: https://shipnpr.shiptalk.org/. .TSCL agrees that doing away with the payroll tax cap would be a fair and responsible solution to the Social Security program's solvency issues. As the negotiations evolve over the coming months, we will continue to monitor them closely, and we will provide updates here in the Legislative News section of our website. … Continued
Social Security Reform – Work for solutions that extend the Trust Fund's solvency and strengthen the program without enacting harmful cuts. .Insurance for Old Age: Are Annuities A Good Idea? ."Brand-name drugs are the primary driver of the higher prescription drug prices in the U.S.," report co-author Andrew Mulcahy said in a press release. .Alexandria, V An overwhelming majority of seniors oppose two Medicare changes that are among the most widely - discussed reforms in Congress, according to a new survey by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). Eighty-one percent of seniors strongly oppose a proposal that would impose a significantly higher annual deductible while restricting supplemental Medigap plans from covering the cost. Only 1 percent of those responding favored the idea. Seventy - four percent also strongly oppose replacing Medicare with a premium support system of private health plans, and giving beneficiaries a premium subsidy or voucher to shop for a new health plan. Just 5 percent said they favored this idea. "Both plans shift costs to seniors, something the vast majority can ill afford," says TSCL Chairman Ed Cates. .Senate investigators recently explored one such astonishing case. They took a closer look at a disability attorney and retired Social Security judge who practiced along the border area of Kentucky and West Virginia. Some 10 to 15 percent of the entire population of the area — about three times the national average — is on disability. .Once non-citizen workers obtain a valid SSN, they can provide SSA with evidence of earnings reports from unauthorized employment prior to receiving their SSN. Their earnings will be reinstated under their valid SSN. In addition when a person files for benefits, a SSA employee reviews the earnings record with the worker and assists to establish any earnings that are not shown or are not correctly posted. .Get signed up for Medicare now in order to have your coverage start the month you turn 65! .Get unbiased counseling. NEVER, EVER drop your Medicare supplemental or switch Medicare Advantage plans based solely on the sales pitch of an insurance agent! This is especially true if the agent is trying to pitch you from a table set up in a discount store, or pharmacy window. DO NOT do business at all with anyone who calls on the phone or knocks on your door, regardless of who they say they are. There have been very widespread reports of con artists who tell seniors they are calling from Medicare or Social Security. You have no safe way of confirming who they are. Don't respond. Hang up and keep your doors locked! .However, in tough economic times, our seniors — many of whom live on fixed incomes — get hit the hardest. From increasing medical expense costs to the rising cost of living, our seniors are facing greater economic insecurities. This is why we must protect Social Security from cuts and work to lower medical costs for this generation and the generations to come.