• Social Security Medicare Questions August 2011 Advisor Feed

    This week, Members of Congress returned to Washington following a two-week recess and quickly began working on legislation to prevent a government shutdown. In addition, House Republicans revived the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would repeal and replace most of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if adopted. Finally, one House Subcommittee met to discuss fraud prevention within the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) program. .Doing nothing and allowing the Social Security recipients to go with just a 1.3% COLA, would be highly detrimental to the Social Security income of all retirees, and would not extend program solvency. TSCL is working to make Members of Congress aware of the need for providing this boost to your Social Security benefits both to strengthen your retirement income and to protect you from huge spikes in the Medicare Part B premium. .Compare costs. Before making any decision to drop your current plan ask for a breakdown of costs of the plan you are considering. However, keep in mind the information supplied by an insurer or agent may be incomplete or omit important cost information. Don't sign anything without consulting several outside sources of information. … Continued

  • Congress Should Boost Social Security Benefits And Increase The Amount Of Wages Subject To Payroll Tax

    That's because the small increase would equal only an extra a month for someone getting a ,000 check, based on estimates released last week. And that's after Social Security recipients saw no raise at all for 2016 — only the third time in four decades that has happened. The final figure for 2017 should be released in the fall. .You might better be able to help your brother by reminding him of doctor visits and seeing that he gets to appointments. You can also help by monitoring his care plan, and making sure he understands how and when to take prescriptions and any other forms of therapy. .Congressman Elijah Cummings (MD-7) – Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee – announced his committee's investigation into twelve of the largest pharmaceutical companies in January. He said, "The goals of this investigation are to determine why drug companies are increasing prices so dramatically, how drug companies are using the proceeds, and what steps can be taken to reduce prescription drug prices." The first hearing that his committee held in the 116th Congress examined the causes of rising drug prices. … Continued

Democrats have delayed the start of the program in part because of its cost and an agreement to limit the overall spending in the Biden budget bill to .5 trillion. There is some talk on Capitol Hill of offering seniors limited vouchers to use toward dental benefits before 2028 as a compromise. .Super Committee Running out of Time .TSCL is a non-partisan organization which means we work with whomever supports our legislative agenda, regardless of what party they belong to. We look forward to working with the new chairmen and women of the various Senate committees and with the minority members of the committees in achieving our goals. .For example, one Maine resident worked in the private sector, paying into Social Security for fifteen years before she returned to the teaching profession. Her earned Social Security benefits would have totaled 0 a month. However, due to the WEP, she receives only 0 each month from the program. She is also unable to collect Social Security spousal benefits due to the GPO, even though her spouse paid into the system throughout his entire career. In retirement, she must rely almost entirely upon her teaching pension, which is modest since she spent only a decade in the profession. She told the National Education Association, "If I had known the severe financial penalty I was to pay for returning to teaching, I don't think I would have done it." .To learn more about how the SSA calculates the COLA you can find that info here. .But it's no "small change," warns The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors groups. In fact, it could reduce lifetime Social Security benefits by tens of thousands of dollars over a retirement. .On Wednesday, the budget conference that was created in last month's deal to raise the debt ceiling and re-open the government met publicly for the first time. Each of the twenty-nine members – including seven House members and all twenty-two members of the Senate Budget Committee – made opening statements to establish their positions. As expected, many of the conferees seemed split along party lines on Wednesday, but each of them stressed a strong desire to reach an agreement. ."Let's have some discussion about what the government would actually be measuring," Johnson says. "It would not be direct measurement of the growth in the costs of specific goods and services as is the case under the conventional CPI," she says. "Yet that's what most people think of when we talk about inflation," she says. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the chained CPI measures the amount of additional resources that an individual would need to maintain the same standard of living this year as last year. "That's not the same thing, especially for people dependent on fixed incomes," Johnson notes. .This week TSCL Board member and Legislative Liaison, Doug Osborne, was in Washington. D.C. Mr. Osborne began his visit by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for Veteran's Day with TSCL's parent organization, TREThe Enlisted Association. Together with TSCL Executive Director Shannon Benton and TSCL Legislative Consultant Larry Madison he spent the next two days on the "Hill" speaking with Congressional staff members about legislation TSCL is lobbying to pass in Congress. The focus of our efforts was on Social Security issues, specifically the "Notch" issue and the "Windfall Elimination Provision," (WEP) both of which affect many TSCL supporters.