Q January 2019
Even though I'm not on Medicare yet, these new quality initiatives will, one way or another will affect most patients, even those like me who are still under the age of 65 as doctors reorganize. I felt dumped. .Low and middle-income earners pay taxes on all of their earnings. In recent years, however, the share of total wages earned in the U.S. and subject to Social Security payroll tax has declined because the earnings of the most highly paid workers have grown rapidly. Most of the proposals to increase the taxable maximum would also raise benefits of the affected workers by counting earnings above the old cap in the benefit formula. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that eliminating the taxable maximum would extend the Social Security solvency as much as 50 years. .To learn more about President Obama's Executive Action On Immigration, see TSCL's F.A.Q.: "What Does "Executive Action" On Immigration Have To Do With Social Security and Medicare?" … Continued
Congressional Corner New Rx Drug Bill Aimed At Saving Seniors Money Feed
It would eliminate two waiting periods that approved DI recipients must endure. Under current law, approved DI beneficiaries must wait five months to begin receiving monthly benefits, and two years to begin receiving Medicare coverage. .In his opening statement, Dr. Conway said, "This proposal is part of the Administration's broader strategy to encourage better care, smarter spending, and healthier people by paying for what works, unlocking health care data, and finding new ways to coordinate and integrate care to improve quality." .TSCL believes that the Supplemental Poverty Measure is a more fair and appropriate measure of poverty today. We encourage you to ask Congressional candidates where they stand on programs to reduce poverty affecting older Americans. … Continued
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." .Candidates campaign for office saying they don't support cutting Social Security benefits of current retirees, or those close to retirement. Yet the two recently - enacted changes went into effect almost immediately after passage. People who are under the age of 66 by the end of April 2016 may no longer use file and suspend, and those who were under the age of 62 by the end of 2015 will no longer be able to use restricted applications for spousal benefits. .Locality pay adjustments are currently used to adjust the paychecks of federal workers. Federal employees receive a two-part pay adjustment that includes base pay (which is established by a specific formula set by law) and locality pay adjustments. The locality pay adjustment varies depending on where the employee works. The parameters aren't set by law but use metropolitan statistical areas to define locality pay areas. .We need to focus on putting the "Security" back into Social Security, and providing real relief from rising Medicare costs, by avoiding double digit premium increases to begin with. Congress can accomplish both by providing an emergency COLA in 202That one action would negate the need for any Medicare Part B premium cost shifting and double-digit premium increases. Providing a benefit boost would also reduce the need to adjust Part B premiums for those with the lowest benefits in the future. .We are still learning how effective the vaccines are against variants of the virus that causes COVID-1Early data show the vaccines may work against some variants but could be less effective against others. .TSCL is working for the re-introduction of the Notch Fairness Act. This legislation would allow Notch Babies born from 1917 through 1926, or survivors who receive benefits on a Notch Baby's account, to choose a lump sum of ,000 payable in four annual installments of ,250, or an improved monthly benefit. .This legislation would require the Federal Trade Commission to update its website to include a searchable database of scams targeting seniors. It would have to work with media outlets and law enforcement to distribute the information. The FTC also would be required to send Congress a report with policy recommendations to prevent scams targeting older individuals, especially during national emergencies. .In addition, should your husband improve and regain the ability to work, he would be allowed to earn ,580/month in 2021 before his benefits would be temporarily reduced due to Social Security's earnings restriction rules. Under disability rules, your husband could not earn more than ,310/month without losing eligibility for disability benefits altogether. Should your husband continue to improve, he could earn more by the year he attains full retirement age. .Health care for seniors is also one of the top issues on our agenda at TSCL and we have been talking to Congressional offices about our concerns. That's why we were happy to see progress this week regarding the issue of surprise medical billing. Surprise billing has been a real problem for some seniors who have Medicare Advantage. It's an issue that TSCL has been discussing with Congress and that we've written about for the last few weeks.