• Legislative Update Week Ending February 3 2017

    Major findings: .TSCL's Board of Trustees on Capitol Hill .We could, alternatively, allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices — a proposal that has been raised by politicians and beaten back by industry again and again. We would then need to restrict markup for a COVID-19 vaccine for the private market. Otherwise, we would get the kinds of results emerging from the COVID testing industry, where Medicare pays 0 for the test but some labs charge insurers over ,000. … Continued

  • Benefit Bulletin April 2012 Advisor

    However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) refused to bring the bill up in the Senate for debate or a vote. As a result, Congressional leaders have been struggling over the past few weeks to come up with legislation to deal with those issues to help those Americans who have been hurt so badly by the virus and the horrible economy that has resulted. .Since the government transitioned from paper checks to less expensive electronic payment methods, the Social Security Office of Inspector General (OIG) has been investigating unauthorized changes to direct deposits that redirect seniors' benefit payments into accounts set up by crooks. As of June 1, 2013, the OIG's office has received more 50 reports per day involving attempts to make such a change, most often involving redirecting benefits to the prepaid Direct Express debit card accounts. .Living on a Social Security budget can make gift-giving tough. Here are five thoughtful ideas for do-it-yourself gifts that will make the season merrier for all: … Continued

It's smart to compare your health insurance options. Your Initial Enrollment period for Medicare begins three months before you attain age 65, the month you turn 65, and ends three months after you attain 6If you decide in favor of starting Medicare as soon as you are eligible, then you would want to shop and compare coverage costs now. .Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who was the Senate Majority Leader at that time, refused to even bring the bill up for a vote on the Senate floor. .In addition, the full retirement age — the age at which individuals qualify for full, unreduced Social Security benefits, is rising. Retiring prior to the full retirement age permanently reduces benefits by as much as 30 percent. The full retirement age, which is currently is 66, goes up by 2 months per year for people born after 1954 through 195It is 67 for those born in 1960 and thereafter. .With respect to cookies: The Senior Citizens League uses cookies to record session information, such as items that visitors add to their shopping cart. .Notch Babies receive lower benefits than other seniors near to them in age with similar earnings histories. For example, in 2012, the average benefit of 95-year old Notch Babies was ,31Yet the average benefit of 96-year old seniors was ,390, a monthly difference of Under normal circumstances the benefits of retirees who are younger are usually slightly higher, because wages used to determine benefits tend to increase over time. This is not the case with people born during the Notch period. .Worst of all, patients don't qualify for Medicare coverage of follow-up nursing home care, because Medicare requires three consecutive days in the hospital as an "inpatient." That leaves the patient and their families on their own to figure out how to pay nursing home bills, or to go without. .The cost of additional coverage varies significantly. There are pros and cons that need to be weighed for the type of selection you make for your additional coverage. For example, you should ensure that your Part D or Medicare Advantage plan is selected based on the drugs you take, and the doctors and hospitals you actually use. (A Medicare benefits counselor will check this information for you on the Medicare website.) While the cost of this additional coverage varies, the coverage offered may be identical, and that is why we recommend getting help from a SHIP counselor, who can help you find coverage to keep your costs to a minimum. Medigap insurance, for example, costs more for the premium, but you would have minimal out-of-pocket costs. On the other hand, you might pay less for the premium of a Medicare Advantage plan, and perhaps get some additional benefits like vision care, but you would have co-pays or co-insurance for each service. In Central Virginia, for example, a Medigap G policy may be found for about 0 per month, and roughly per month for the drug plan (or even less). .According to experts, the risk of catching the coronavirus on a plane is relatively low if the airline is following the procedures laid out by public health experts: enforcing mask compliance, spacing out available seats and screening for sick passengers. .While hold harmless provides valuable protection from reductions in benefits due to rising Part B costs, low inflation and high Medicare costs restrict the growth of net Social Security benefits. This occurs when Part B increases take the entire COLA. This leaves less Social Security income to cover all other rising costs such as out-of-pocket medical expenses, food and housing, requiring people to spend more of their retirement savings or to go into debt.