Health Care Legislation For Seniors Unveiled In The Senate
Your Member of Congress appears to be referring to "value-based healthcare." The idea is that by keeping people healthy we can reduce government spending on healthcare. .Specialists are already warning that under the new "quality initiatives" some patients may have difficulty finding services under the new system as doctors join larger practices or stop accepting patients. As doctors reorganize and move into new HMO - like Accountable Care Organizations, all sorts of new questions are coming up. Does this payment system create an incentive to send unprofitably sick patients with complicated conditions elsewhere for care? How will the government measure quality, and what evidence will the Administration use to determine successful doctor performance? .Have you had a similar experience? Share your experience with TSCL. … Continued
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"Many of the most-expensive medications are the biologic treatments that we often see advertised on television," Mulcahy said. .TSCL's annual survey of senior costs indicates that Social Security benefits have lost more than 34% of their buying power since 2000 because the current inflation measure, the Consumer Price Index for Workers (CPI-W) doesn't accurately account for the larger share of income that seniors spend on healthcare. .It's clear that Congress has failed mature workers and their families. We need to do more to create jobs and ensure mature workers have the skills needed for today's job market. … Continued
Consequently, Medicare spent billion in 2013 but paid out billion by 2017 for these treatments. In addition, neurology medicines, mostly those used to combat multiple sclerosis, accounted for more than 50% of total Medicare payments, despite representing just 4% of all claims filed. .The Social Security COLA is provided to help protect the buying power of benefits when costs rise due to inflation. Yet even under the current method of adjusting benefits, Social Security benefits have lost 30 percent of buying power since 2000, according to a recent report released by TSCL. "Switching to the chained CPI would mean the erosion in the buying power of Social Security benefits would occur at faster rates than is already occurring today," says Johnson. "That puts retirees at higher risk of depleting retirement savings more quickly than expected, going into debt, and going without." According to Johnson's analysis, if the proposal were to take effect this year, average benefits would be about per month lower by 2026, and about per month lower in 20 years. .As a result of the inadequate funding, both the both the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and the Disability Insurance (DI) programs have been struggling to serve the public. More than one million applicants are currently waiting to hear whether they qualify for DI benefits, and those who have appealed recent rejections must wait 600 days or longer for their cases to be re-heard. In 2017, 10,000 individuals died while waiting on their DI eligibility decisions. While waiting, they had no access to DI benefits or Medicare coverage, which recipients with long-term disabilities can receive after they are enrolled in the program for two years. .In addition, on Wednesday, the Social Security Administration announced that seniors will receive a 1.5 percent Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2014, which is slightly lower than 2013's 1.7 percent COLA, and is far lower than the 3 percent average COLA over the past thirty years. Officials also announced on Wednesday that the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax will increase in January from 3,700 to 7,000. In a press release, SSA noted that about 10 million workers will pay higher taxes in 2014 as a result of the increase. .The report found at least 6.5 million active Social Security numbers belonging to people who are now at least 112 years old. While people are living longer these days, they're not living that much longer. According to a story by Stephen Ohlemacher of the Associated Press, as of last fall there were only 42 people known to be that old in the entire world. ."Even though our new Congress may remain divided, these five areas of broad agreement could be potentially used as a legislative roadmap that would provide greater retirement security and reduce needlessly high Medicare costs," Johnson says. The Senior Citizens League is working for passage of legislation that would boost Social Security benefits, and supports efforts to lower Medicare costs. .Many seniors have been confused by Medicare Advantage plans, because they are aggressively marketed as offering Part D drug coverage, in addition to hospitalization and doctor's insurance. Some seniors have enrolled in the plans thinking they were getting drug coverage only to add to supplemental coverage they already had. .The House-passed bill eliminates the medical expense deduction, which approximately 5 million taxpayers over the age of sixty-five rely upon when their out-of-pocket medical costs total more than 10 percent of their annual income. The elimination of this deduction would be a catastrophic financial loss for those who find themselves in need of costly in-home or nursing home care. Congressman Kevin Brady (TX-8) – the chairman of the bicameral conference committee – said this week that he hopes to keep the deduction in place, but discussions remain up in the air. .Second, two new cosponsors – Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS) – signed on to the bipartisan Concentrating on High-Value Alzheimer's Needs to Get to an End (CHANGE) Act (S. 2387), bringing the total up to eight. If adopted, it would direct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to create programs that would promote early identification of Alzheimer's disease, improve support for family caregivers, and provide continuous care for those battling many forms of dementia.