The Advisor Volume 16 May 2011 Feed
If the COLA were calculated using the methodology used in 1990, this year's COLA would not be 1.7 percent – it would be 5.2 percent. And if the COLA were calculated using the 1980 methodology, this year's COLA would be 9.4 percent. As a result of the CPI's manipulation over the past three decades, Social Security beneficiaries have lost over 20 percent of their purchasing power, according to our research. Next year's projected zero COLA will put them even further behind. .Your total earnings, including your earnings now until you stop working. .Depending on your income, you may qualify for Medicare Extra Help, which can cover most or all of your prescription drug premium and out-of-pocket costs. Your SHIP counselor may also know of special programs in your state. … Continued
Tscl Grassroots Spotlight
This week, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill following a two-week spring recess, and one member of The Senior Citizens League's (TSCL's) Board of Trustees visited Capitol Hill to advocate for legislation that would improve the Social Security and Medicare programs. In addition, two key bills gained support in the House and Senate. .TSCL has been working to get legislation enacted that would require a minimum COLA of no less than 3%, even in years when inflation falls below that amount. There's a lot of money at stake for retirees. An analysis prepared by Advisor editor Mary Johnson estimates that Social Security benefits for anyone retired since 2009 would be 18% higher today had Social Security recipients been protected by such a 3% minimum. An average benefit of ,075 in 2009 has increased to ,229.60 in 201But had beneficiaries received a minimum COLA of no less than 3%, that benefit would be ,453.10 per month today — more than 3.50 per month higher! .Second, two new cosponsors – Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) and Representative Abby Finkenauer (IA-1) – signed on to the Social Security 2100 Act (H.R. 860), bringing the total up to 20This bill, if adopted, would comprehensively strengthen and reform the Social Security program. … Continued
Beneficiaries are telling other Mexicans about the Social Security benefits. .WWII Vets Break Through Shutdown Barriers .The state of Virginia, however, offers retirees a chance to retain certain parts of coverage but "opt out" of others. If Paula "opted out" of Part D drug coverage, for example, and took medical, dental, and vision coverage alone, she would pay 6 per month. The portion of the premium for the drug coverage through the state of Virginia was a whopping 4 per month. .TSCL will be keeping a close eye on the budget discussions in the weeks ahead since a government shutdown could impact the Social Security and Medicare programs negatively. We will post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website, or over on our Facebook page. .TSCL is fighting the plan to chain COLAs and believes seniors need a COLA that more adequately protects the buying power of their Social Security benefits. "Members of Congress are more likely to re-think voting for legislation when they see a large number of seniors are adamantly opposed to cutting COLAs," says Hyland. To learn more about proposals that would affect your Social Security benefits, get tips on reducing your Medicare costs, and sign up for TSCL's free online newsletter The Social Security & Medicare Advisor, visit TSCL at . .TSCL Announces Support for H.R. 4104 .TSCL supports legislation that would provide a more fair and accurate COLA by basing it on a senior index like the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). If seniors received a COLA based on the CPI-E, TSCL estimates that seniors with average benefits of ,200 per month in 2014 would receive ,753 more over a 30-year retirement. By their final year, their benefit would be ,652 per year more than if the CPI-W were used. .Despite progress on the bill's movement in the House this week, the AHCA appears to have a tough road ahead. TSCL will be keeping a close eye on it in the days and weeks ahead since its passage would negatively impact the health and financial stability of older Americans. For updates, follow TSCL on Twitter, or visit the Legislative News section of our website. In addition, we encourage our members and supporters to call their representatives in Congress to request their opposition to the AHCA. Contact information can be found HERE. .Only a little more than half of the nation's nursing homes had received inspections, according to data released earlier this month, which prompted Medicare and Medicaid chief Seema Verma to direct that states complete the checks by July 31 or risk losing federal recovery funds.