• Category Issues Cola Bills Feed

    Sources: The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019, Description of the Chairman's Mark, Senate Committee on Finance, July 25, 201"GOP Senators Distance Themselves From Grassley and Trump's Efforts to Cut Drug Prices," Emmarie Huetteman, Kaiser Health News, July 25, 2019. .Older adults age 65 and up have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-1Because retirees depend on Social Security for a major share of their income, they tend to spend their benefits on essentials right away. We feel that boosting the inflation adjustment is an important way to get crucial extra cash to older Americans and back into our nation's economy. .As a result of the agreement, Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) switches places with Senator Mitch McConnell (R- Ky.). Schumer now becomes the Senate Majority Leader and McConnell becomes the Senate Minority Leader. … Continued

  • Legislative Update Social Security Trust Funds

    It accelerated the closing of the "doughnut hole." Under prior law, the Medicare Part D coverage gap or "doughnut hole" was set to close in 2020. The Bipartisan Budget Act accelerated the closing of the gap so that it will occur one year earlier, in 201Instead of paying a coinsurance rate of 30% in the "doughnut hole," beneficiaries will pay 25%. And instead of brand-name drug manufacturers providing 50% discounts in the doughnut hole, they will begin providing 70% discounts. This means that more than one million Medicare Part D beneficiaries will pay less for their prescription drugs next year when they reach the gap in coverage. .As far as the other three orders are concerned, it has been reported that consumers may not notice immediate changes since the orders must be carried out by the federal bureaucracy and could face court challenges. .Recently we learned of a woman, now in her 80's, who has moved twice in the past decade to be close to her daughter. Her first move was from the family home in Connecticut to an up-scale retirement community in Virginia, and more recently following her daughter to Arizona after her son-in-law's job changed. Her former Virginia home has been sitting on the market for months. That's posing a drain on her resources, adding unanticipated costs for new housing at a time when her need for caregiving services is growing. Her daughter worried that the former facility wasn't handling things well. … Continued

Based on projections in the Trustees Report, Social Security beneficiaries should expect to see a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) between 2.4 percent and 3.0 percent in 201Medicare Part B premiums will likely increase by around .50 next year, so the typical beneficiary will pay 5.50 per month. If the estimates from the Trustees are correct, most Social Security beneficiaries will see modest increases in their net Social Security benefits next year after Part B premiums are deducted. .House Postpones Thursday AHCA Vote .Social Security defines an overpayment as "any time beneficiaries receive more than they should have." This occurs for a number for reasons, but most frequently when Social Security isn't notified of changes, such as a death of a beneficiary or excess earnings when working. Overpayments can also be due to errors by the Social Security Administration, but even when the overpayments are Social Security's own fault, the beneficiary must prove he or she is not at fault. .Officials working on the plan have not yet settled on many of its details. The Trump administration first proposed the approach in 201Three officials familiar with the matter said it remains under consideration and has not been ruled out, despite Trump's endorsement for the Grassley-Wyden bill. .Anthony Cummings, a fugitive on the run from a child rape indictment in Georgia, improperly collected thousands of dollars in Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) payments until the law finally caught up with him. The SSI program, which is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), will continue to pay fugitives at least million annually unless state fugitive files can be used to prevent such payments, the agency`s Inspector General recently warned. Auditors estimate that fugitives have collected between 8 million and 0 million in SSI benefits over the past four years. The SSA hopes to negotiate agreements by July to obtain fugitive records from all states. .The Social Security website,, has a number of tools and retirement planning to get you start planning, including benefit estimators. You should set up a "my Social Security" account that will give you online access to your earnings record, because you will need that for an accurate estimate of your benefit. .In making the 1977 changes, Congress, wanting to avoid an abrupt change, allowed persons born from 1917 through 1921 to use a special transitional benefit formula or the new 1977 formula, whichever would yield the higher of the two benefits. The transition benefit formula never delivered the promised benefit protection, however, because it did not yield a higher benefit amount. Instead, the new benefit formula most often yielded the higher amount. .At Wednesday's hearing, members of the committee heard from Jonathan Blum, the Deputy Administrator and Director of Medicare at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Blum stressed the need for Congress to act before January 1st, since the cost of repealing the SGR is the lowest it has been in years. He also asked members of the committee to build upon the work that CMS has already done instead of starting from scratch. "We shouldn't step back, we should step forward," he said. In addition, he urged committee members to advance a plan that would create a five-year transition period and allow CMS to continue experimenting with different payment models, like accountable care organizations and medical homes. .In a letter that was delivered along with the petitions, Art Cooper – Chairman of The Senior Citizens League's Board of Trustees – wrote: "This bill would better protect the purchasing power of benefits while improving the solvency of the trust funds for decades to come … If you are already a cosponsor of this critical bill, please accept my gratitude. If you are not, please consider the requests of these eight hundred petition signers and cosponsor it before the end of this year."