• Weak Support Among Older Americans For Medicare For All More Support For A Medicare Buy In

    Key Bills Gain New Cosponsors .The Social Security Fairness Act, if signed into law, would amend the Social Security Act by repealing the government pension offset (GPO) and the windfall elimination provision (WEP). These two provisions unfairly reduce the earned Social Security benefits of millions of teachers, firefighters, peace officers, and other state or local government employees each year. TSCL believes that Congress should repeal the GPO and the WEP so that dedicated public servants receive the retirement security they deserve. .In its June 2018 Long Term Budget Outlook, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that earnings will grow faster for higher-income people than for others over the next 30 years. The CBO expects that trend to lead to a decrease in the amount of payroll tax receipts that otherwise would flow into Social Security, as a greater share of earnings will be above the maximum amount subject to Social Security payroll taxes. … Continued

  • Social Security And Medicare Solvency Why Its Time For A Contingency Plan

    Sources: "Under New Cost-Cutting Medicare Rule, Same Surgery, Same Place, Different Bill," Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News, March 23, 2021. .At Wednesday's hearing, members of the committee heard from Jonathan Blum, the Deputy Administrator and Director of Medicare at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Blum stressed the need for Congress to act before January 1st, since the cost of repealing the SGR is the lowest it has been in years. He also asked members of the committee to build upon the work that CMS has already done instead of starting from scratch. "We shouldn't step back, we should step forward," he said. In addition, he urged committee members to advance a plan that would create a five-year transition period and allow CMS to continue experimenting with different payment models, like accountable care organizations and medical homes. .Recently, three lawmakers – Sen. John Cornyn (TX), Rep. Phil Roe (TN-1), and Rep. Linda Sanchez (CA-38) – introduced the Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act, and it quickly gained the bipartisan support of more than two hundred legislators. Upon introducing the bill, Rep. Sanchez said, "When it comes down to questions of how to cut costs, we think it's better left to the Members of Congress who have constituents that we're answerable to." … Continued

TSCL believes several of the proposals under consideration would make the program unaffordable over time for the majority of beneficiaries. According to a new TSCL survey, more than one quarter of Medicare beneficiaries spend as much as 50% of their Social Security payments just to cover healthcare costs. TSCL recently delivered a listing of hundreds of thousands of petition signers from supporters to almost every Member of Congress and is continuing to convey concerns about plans to cut Social Security and Medicare. .With more than 17 million Medicare Advantage enrollees, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services hasn't been able to ensure that their risk scores are accurate. When CMS has checked, nearly one - third of the scores were too high. "Given the size of Medicare Advantage, even a small error can add up to billions in overpayments," says TSCL Executive Director Shannon Benton. "TSCL believes that home visits should be focused on providing better care to the patient, not boosting health plan profits." .On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee held a confirmation hearing for Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President Obama's nominee for the position of HHS Secretary. Burwell was nominated back in April, shortly after Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that she would be stepping down. If confirmed, she will oversee the Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security programs, and she will also manage the continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act. .Dental insurance works differently than health insurance. Standard Medicare, for example, has an 80/20 structure. Traditional Medicare pays about 80% of the Medicare approved cost, while the patient, or the patient's supplemental insurance, pays most, or all of the balance. On the other hand, dental insurance can follow a 100-80-50 structure. If you use in-network dentists, dental plans may pay 100% of routine preventive services, such as x-rays, cleanings and exams. The plan may pay only 80% for basic procedures such as fillings, root canals, and extractions. And major procedures such as crowns, implants and gum disease treatments may only be reimbursed at 50%, which can set you back with significant out-of-pocket costs. .If the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) were based on a more accurate measure of inflation for seniors, beneficiaries would not be receiving a record-low 0.3% increase this year. They would be receiving an increase of 2.1% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Do you support legislation that would base the COLA on a more accurate inflation index like the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly? .The prices that insurers pay for in-network services are typically much lower than the provider list prices. .The Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act (H.R. 574) also gained a cosponsor – Rep. Pete Gallego (TX-23) – this week, bringing the total up to thirty-five. If signed into law, H.R. 574 would repeal and replace the SGR, bringing increased stability to the Medicare program for both physicians and beneficiaries. ."The ability to withstand major downturns in the economy is particularly important in retirement, yet extraordinarily difficult for today's retirees and those nearing retirement," says Johnson. "There are a number of factors that are reducing available retirement income from traditional sources," Johnson says. .My Mom Is Applying For Assisted Living: Why Must She Agree To Mandatory Arbitration?