• Benefit Bulletin July 2018

    While the reasons for that are still being explored, it is likely the wearing of masks, frequent hand washing and staying away from crowds contributed to those results. .How to Protect Yourself and Others .A study on the buying power of Social Security benefits by Johnson has found that Medicare Part B premiums are the single fastest growing cost that retirees have, increasing 195 percent since 2000. Most retirees also have premiums for a Medicare supplement (Medigap) and Part D drug plan, or a Medicare Advantage health plan with drug coverage. Medigap premiums have increased 158 percent since 2000, and out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs increased 188 percent. … Continued

  • Legislative Update Septemberoctober 2017

    Higher-income beneficiaries. People with modified gross incomes above ,000 (individuals) or 0,000 (couples) in 2017 are required to pay higher Part B premiums. The amount they pay varies depending on income. According to Medicare Trustees, their premium increases will range from to per month. .7 million immigrants have a Social Security number issued in their names — obtained either by using a fraudulent birth certificate, or overstaying a visa that has expired. The actuary said this group can "work, pay taxes, and have earnings credited to their record for potential benefits in the future." . Four Key Bills Gain Support in Congress … Continued

The Strategic National Stockpile will maintain the supplies while additional surge manufacturing is built up, a senior administration official said Thursday. The stockpile will include testing supplies that were not maintained in the past. .Last week House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) reiterated the need for Congress to prevent an unintended and unanticipated Social Security benefit reduction – caused by the pandemic recession — that will affect certain beneficiaries, after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an updated estimate of this effect. .You are asking yourself the right questions. Many people buy life insurance to replace the income that would be lost when the policyholder dies and no longer is paid a salary. Once you stop working, most of your income is likely to come from retirement savings, pensions, annuities, and Social Security, which pays survivors benefits, if you or a spouse dies. There can be special needs, however, and for some retirees, life insurance may make sense. Here are a few major considerations: .Last week we told you that President Trump issued four executive orders concerning prescription drug prices. We explained that we at TSCL are taking a "wait and see" approach because of concerns about the orders and the limitations that are involved with them. .Under current law, the Medicare program excludes coverage of most routine and emergency dental care, leaving around 70 percent of seniors without comprehensive dental insurance coverage. Will you support the Medicare Dental Benefit Act (S. 22) to ensure that seniors have access to essential health care? .Common sense suggests that the slowdown in rising Medicare costs is unlikely to last long. Medicare spending results for two main reasons: .As a representative of thousands of senior citizens in Western Pennsylvania, and as a senior myself, I strongly believe that all Americans should be able to enjoy their golden years without financial or medical hardship. Retirement should be a time of great reward and good health, not unnecessary anxiety. As a member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, it has been a priority of mine to work on policies that protect Social Security and ensure its long-term viability for all Americans who have paid into the system. Over the past several years, I have proudly worked with fellow legislators on both sides of the aisle to craft specific policy solutions that will benefit seniors everywhere. .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. .Prices like these are not only unaffordable for most Medicare recipients, these costs also place pressure on Medicare's finances, since Medicare pays 80% of Part D costs during the catastrophic phase of coverage. Although drug plans vary significantly, the 2019 "standard Part D benefit" has a 5 deductible and a 25% co-insurance up to an initial coverage limit of ,820 in total drug costs. That includes both what consumers and their drug plans pay. Once total costs exceed that amount, beneficiaries hit the Part D "doughnut hole" or coverage gap. Under that stage of coverage, beneficiaries pay 25% coinsurance on the discounted price of brand name drugs, and 37% co-insurance for generics until they have spent a total out-of-pocket of ,100. At that point beneficiaries enter the catastrophic phase of coverage, but are still on the hook for 5% of the cost of their prescriptions.