Ask Advisor September 2018
However, it remains unclear if lawmakers will be able to successfully negotiate an omnibus before the December 11th deadline. Many in Congress are hoping to attach language to the spending measure that would block funding for an immigration executive order that President Obama is set to announce in the coming weeks. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (MD), Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, called the request a "deal-breaker," and said that it would likely result in a veto from President Obama. .In fact, generic medicines represent around 90 percent of all prescriptions dispensed in the U.S., and we depend on China for 80 percent of the core components to make our generic medicines. .More than 10,000 people died waiting for a disability decision from the Social Security Administration in 201The rising death toll coincides with the growing backlog of people awaiting a decision about their eligibility for Social Security disability insurance benefits. But even after a disabled individual has been found eligible, he or she must wait 5 months for benefits to begin, and 2 whole years before Medicare benefits start. The long waits, especially for Medicare, have forced many low to middle-income disabled beneficiaries to deplete their savings while they wait. … Continued
Supreme Court Decision On Immigration May Have Big Implications For Social Security Medicare
Assuming you might need 9 (100/ml of Lantus) every 90 days, here's how the Medicare Drug Plan Finder shows typical costs: Please note this example is from the state of Virginia, and costs vary somewhat depending on where you may live. .In the weeks ahead, The Senior Citizens League will continue to advocate tirelessly for the adoption of the CPI-E Act (H.R. 1251). We will also be keeping a close eye on the 2019 Social Security COLA announcement that is set to occur next Thursday, on October 11th. For updates, follow TSCL on Twitter or visit the Legislative News section of our website. .Catastrophic Coverage Period: When your total out-of-pocket spending reaches ,350, you hit the catastrophic stage of coverage. Your co-insurance drops to 5% coinsurance or co-pays of .60 generic, .95 brand, whichever is higher. You remain in the Catastrophic coverage period until December 31, 2020. … Continued
Despite all the tragedy and difficulty coming out of the pandemic emergency there is a little good news, in our opinion. The spread of the coronavirus has reignited the push in Congress to expand domestic manufacturing of drugs, and renewed concerns the U.S. relies too much on foreign medicine makers. As we have been seeing, the need for medications can be urgent during a pandemic and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have raised alarms about possible shortages. .TSCL is relieved that Members of Congress came to an agreement this week, since another government shutdown like last year's would have severely affected Social Security and Medicare benefits for seniors. However, lawmakers will need to revisit the spending debate in ten short weeks since the temporary bill expires on December 11th. TSCL will continue to monitor the discussions in the meantime, and we will post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website. .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. .Easier Said Than Done: Public Unconvinced That Medicaid Spending Should Be Cut .However, others at Tuesday's hearing focused on the skyrocketing prescription drug costs for Medicare Part D beneficiaries. In his opening statement, Ranking Member Ron Wyden (OR) said, "The fact is, seniors are getting pounded by drug costs. And in my view, there is an enormous amount of work that has to be done to guarantee that seniors have affordable access to the medications they need." .Finally, two new cosponsors – Senator John Hoeven (ND) and Senator Angus King (ME) – signed on to the Concentrating on High-Value Alzheimer's Needs to Get to an End (CHANGE) Act (S. 2387). The cosponsor total is now up to twelve. If adopted, the bill would direct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to create programs that would promote early identification, improve support for family caregivers, and provide continuous care for those battling many forms of dementia. .Congressional leaders have already given up on the idea of fully funding the government for the entire 2022 fiscal year and instead the current plan is to pass a "continuing resolution" (CR) that will fund the government at current levels until December The idea is to give them more time to craft the legislation needed to fully fund the new fiscal year. .In the past five years the annual adjustment has averaged just 1.4 percent — less than half the 3 percent average of the prior two decades starting in 1990. Retirees and disabled Social Security recipients are reporting that the COLA is doing a poor job of what it's intended to do — protecting the buying power of their Social Security benefits. According to an annual survey performed by TSCL, Social Security benefits have lost 31 percent of their buying power since 2000. ."Reducing the cost of prescription drugs is essential for both Medicare beneficiaries and Medicare's finances," says Mary Johnson, a Medicare policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). The average monthly Social Security retiree benefit is just ,552, while spending on prescription drugs is the fastest growing cost that most retirees face in retirement," she says. Over time, drug costs take a growing portion of Social Security income, because prices are rising several times faster than annual cost of living adjustments (COLAs).