• Seniors Hurt By Intolerable Mail Delays

    But he cautions that the amount of benefit from flu vaccination could be different in a different group of people. "There is a protective effect," he says. "How much is something that needs to be quantified with a more intensive study." .Sources: "Under New Cost-Cutting Medicare Rule, Same Surgery, Same Place, Different Bill," Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News, March 23, 2021. .Lower spending on prescription drugs. Under our current Medicare system, experts warn that Americans are taking too many unnecessary drugs for dubious reasons. A value-based system would tie the price of prescription drugs to its value in the treatment of the patient. For example, patients with high blood pressure would receive their blood pressure medications for the lowest price or even no co-pay. Value-based systems could lead to reducing the number of unnecessary prescriptions and over-the-counter medications that patients take, while improving their health. … Continued

  • Medicare Costs Are Rising Heres Where You Are Most At Risk

    In order to learn more about what services you are eligible for under Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE ( 7), a State Health Insurance Assistance Program counselor at your Area Agency on Aging, or your Member of Congress. .Another bill that would improve the COLA – the Guaranteed 3 Percent COLA Act (H.R. 991) – also gained support this week. Congressman Gene Green (TX-29) signed on to it, bringing the cosponsor total up to five. If adopted, H.R. 991 from Congressman Eliot Engel (NY-16) would base the COLA on the CPI-E and guarantee a minimum annual Social Security benefit increase of at least 3 percent. .That spells trouble for people living on fixed incomes. "When COLAs fall down on the job of protecting benefit buying power, seniors face working longer, digging deeper into retirement savings, or falling into debt and poverty," says Ed Cates, Chairman of TSCL. … Continued

Please join us in our efforts by signing our Social Security Fairness petition to Congress, or by calling your elected officials and asking them to support CPI-E legislation. .The annual COLA increased Social Security benefits in January of 2021 by just 1.3 percent. While the lack of inflation in 2020 did somewhat improve the buying power of Social Security benefits by 2 percentage points by the month of January 2021 — from a loss in buying power of 30 percent to a loss of 28 percent — that improvement was completely wiped out by soaring inflation in February and March of this year. .Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (TX-8) said in a statement on Tuesday evening: "We are pleased with the progress we are making and we remain on schedule to take action and approve a bill at our Committee beginning next week." Ranking Member Richard Neal (MA-1), however, urged Republicans on the Committee to slow down. In a letter to Chairman Brady, he said: "I write to urge you in the strongest possible terms to slow this tax reform process to a pace that will allow for reasonable, informed deliberation." .For more information about legislation that would strengthen the Social Security and Medicare programs, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. For frequent updates from TSCL on Capitol Hill and to view photos from this week, follow us on Twitter. .In case Congress is not able to come to an agreement concerning legislation to lower prescription drug prices, there are reports that President Trump is considering executive action to cut drug prices ahead of the 2020 election as he enters his re-election seeking to rebut Democratic criticism that his policies have hurt U.S. health care. .Homeowners: Are You Covered For The Next Disaster? Maybe Not .A recent study by TSCL, which examines the price changes in the goods and services typically purchased by retirees, found that Social Security benefits lost 30 percent of their buying power since 2000. The loss of buying power jumped 7 percent in just one year, rising from 23 percent in 2016, to 30 percent in 201The steep one-year loss of buying power occurred as costs rose far more rapidly than the COLA and it is an early indication that the COLA for 2018 will likely be higher than usual. .TSCL believes the drug problem could explode this year. Citing massive "sequester" budget and staff cuts, federal officials are set to scale back or drop investigations into Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse cases. The Department of Health and Human Services may lose a total of 400 staffers and the existing staff is stretched so thin that it was unable to investigate about 1,200 cases of Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse last year. .As you know, the medical expense deduction is essential for older Americans who disproportionately experience high medical costs for prescription drugs, medical equipment, or services like nursing home care. Around 5 million taxpayers, most of whom are over the age of sixty-five, rely upon the tax deduction when their out-of-pocket medical costs total more than 10 percent of their annual income.