• Notch Bulletin How Long Have Notch Babies Been Underpaid

    TSCL agrees with Rep. Johnson, and we believe Congress must begin formulating a serious plan to fix the program's finances. Recently, we announced our support for two pieces of legislation that we believe are long overdue. One bill (S. 499 / H.R. 918) would prevent beneficiaries from collecting both unemployment benefits and disability insurance benefits at the same time. The second bill (S. 1198 / H.R. 1936) would ensure that evidence from convicted felons and other criminals is excluded when determining whether an individual is eligible for disability benefits. .Sources: National Health Expenditures 2011 Highlights, Department of Health and Human Services, January 8, 2013. .Federal records and senior advocates indicate that many observation patients who call Medicare about the billing problem are told there is nothing that Medicare can do to help. Hospitals are not required to tell patients they are under observation. Patients only learn they were receiving observation services when the bill arrives. By then it's too late because hospitals and doctors are prohibited from reclassifying observation patients as inpatients once they've been discharged. … Continued

  • Legislative Update For Week Ending November 8 2013

    Medicaid already uses this strategy to lower drug costs, and pays much lower prices than Medicare for the same drug. In June we reported that Medicare spending on the highest price category of prescription drugs, called "specialty drugs," increased from .7 billion in 2010 to .8 billion in 201Spending on the same drugs under Medicaid, the program that provides healthcare for low-income Americans, grew much more slowly over the same period, rising from .8 billion to .9 billion. .You don't need to be a doctor to understand that Medicare-for-all would mean access to quality health care for none. So, as presidential candidates continue their road trip to ruin for rural America, remember that the hollow promises of a trillion government-run proposal would disproportionately affect the families who work every single day to feed and clothe you and your families. .While disability benefits may pay slightly more than early retirement benefits at age 63, starting the disability application and determination process is an arduous, bureaucratic procedure that can take a long time before benefits actually start — sometimes years. Many people find they must hire an attorney. According to data from the Social Security Administration, only one quarter of applicants are determined eligible for disability benefits the first time they apply. Filing an appeal has about 49% chance of succeeding, but the process can result in long waiting periods to be found eligible for benefits, which often takes more than two years. By the time your husband might be found eligible for disability benefits, he may only receive them for a year or two before he would age into his full retirement benefit. … Continued

Proponents of cutting benefits argue that Social Security, as it is currently structured, is unstainable because there are fewer workers to support current retirees. Social Security is estimated to run short of funds in about 15 years. Without changes and soon, Social Security benefits would have to be reduced by about 22% to match the amount of revenues that the program receives. .Commodities and Services Pricing Survey, an establishment survey of businesses selling goods and services to consumers, used to provide the price data for the CPI .Thus beneficiaries will continue to be hit with steep costs when they fall into the coverage gap in the foreseeable future. To keep prices as low as possible in the doughnut hole, beneficiaries can look into using mail-order pharmacies, which require 90-day prescriptions and are often cheaper per dose than a 30-day supply. People with limited incomes may also qualify for Extra Help or other pharmaceutical assistance programs. TSCL also recommends that Part D beneficiaries talk to their doctors at each visit to discuss potential alternatives to their high-cost prescriptions. .Investigate insurance company ratings. You want a company that will still be here 30 years from now when you are. Check with rating agencies like Standard & Poor's or A.M. Best and only do business with insurance companies having the highest two ratings. .How have you been affected by COVID-19? Share your story with us at . .According to the group, the plan would reduce the deficit by trillion and it would save enrollees approximately ,500 per year, but it's controversial for two major reasons. First, it would completely eliminate traditional Medicare, whereas many other reform proposals would keep it as an option. Second, those already enrolled in Medicare would be affected by the transition, which would have a 2014 start date. Other reform proposals would delay implementation to protect seniors from any drastic or sudden changes. .Newly Eligible People with Medicare .To stay updated on TSCL's legislative efforts and their progress in Congress, visit the Legislative News section of our website. You can also find us on Facebook or Twitter for more frequent legislative updates. .TREA Senior Citizens League Backs New Approach to Correcting the Notch