Legislative Update For The Week Ending September 23 2011 Feed
Medicare health plans also have new rules about co-pays and co-insurance. Copayments can vary drastically between MA plans, but through 2018, individual plans were required to offer all enrollees in the plan's service area access to the same benefits at the same level of cost - sharing. In 2019, MA plans have the option of imposing tiers for the cost - sharing of contracted providers, as an incentive to encourage enrollees to seek care from specific providers. Plans that utilize tiered cost-sharing must disclose tiered co-pays and co-insurance amounts to enrollees and providers, ensure that services at each tier of cost-sharing are available to all enrollees, and ensure that all enrollees are charged the same amount for the same service from the same provider. .The Senior Citizens League enthusiastically supports H.R. 2276, H.R. 4957, S. 2387, and S. 2671, and we were pleased to see support grow for them this week. For more information about these and other TSCL-backed bills, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. .The "defined benefit" pension plan has become rare, only available to about 16 percent of private sector workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most companies have transitioned from traditional pension plans that offer a fixed benefit to 401(k) plans, that are invested in the stock and bond markets, and vary on the amount of income that can be expected, depending on investment performance and the economy. … Continued
New Legislation Limits Stiff Increase Expected For 2021 Medicare Part B Premium
The FTC Advisory Group would bring together relevant government agencies, consumer advocates, and industry representatives to collect and develop model educational materials for retailers, financial institutions, and wire transfer companies to use in preventing scams on seniors. The FTC would coordinate efforts to educate the public and even the employees of key industries who often find themselves on the front lines of anti-scamming activities. .This week, Members of Congress remained in their home states and districts for the month-long August recess. .The temporary funding measure negotiated this week is expected to buy time for President-elect Donald Trump and members of the 115th Congress to negotiate a broad funding bill that will likely include language to fast-track the Affordable Care Act's repeal. In the months ahead, TSCL's legislative team will be following these discussions closely, and we will continue to advocate for legislation that would reduce any negative effects on beneficiaries of the Medicare program. Visit the Legislative News section of our website for updates. … Continued
To address this issue, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (AZ), suggested that the Committee focus on waste, fraud, and abuse, since it's a topic that generally has bipartisan support. He stated, "Some people fear the solution has to be a cut in benefits. There may be very substantial savings that can be achieved through efficiencies." Most at the hearing seemed to agree with him. .The reserves held in the Social Security Trust Fund are special non-marketable bonds, or I.O.Us — money that the U.S. Treasury owes to the Social Security Trust Fund for revenues borrowed during years since the late 1980's when more payroll taxes were received than needed to pay benefits. "The federal government used those excess funds received in the past for other spending and replaced the funds with I.O.Us," Johnson explains. Since 2010 however, more has been paid out in benefits than revenues received. The reserves held by the Trust Fund are not actual cash revenues but bonds, so the funds that those I.O.U.s represent must be borrowed. Medicare benefits must also be provided for, which has led to major budget clashes in Congress in recent years. .Sources: "Miami Actor, Cable Station Founder, Arrested In Medicare Fraud Takedown," Jay Weaver, The Miami Herald, May 14, 2013. .We want to assure you that we will try to report the facts as we understand them and keep elective politics out of it. .This week, TSCL's legislative team, which is led by former Congressman David Funderburk and Mrs. Betty Funderburk, met with several Members of Congress and their top staff to discuss issues of critical importance to seniors. The following bills, among others, were discussed this week: the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E) Act (H.R. 1030), the CPI for Seniors Act (H.R. 2154), the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 1795), the Notch Fairness Act (H.R. 155), the No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act (H.R. 2745), and the Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act (H.R. 574). .This year, Social Security beneficiaries received no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) despite a national survey indicating a majority reported higher costs. Do you support legislation that would give seniors an emergency COLA before the end of this year? .The approach taken in the Scott bill is also the approach favored in the Senate bills. Ways and Means Chairman Neal said they will start negotiating a compromise between the two House bills that will also be agreeable to the Senate and he is optimistic they can reach a solution soon. This approach is opposed by conservative groups such as the National Taxpayers Union, which have opposed what they call "rate-setting." .Among the bills that make up the GOP plan is one that would establish congressional review boards to examine the long-term solvency of the three trust funds, a topic that long has been politically fraught. .The fact is there isn't much information yet— even though doctors and their staff are reporting huge amounts of data mandated by the 2010 health law. Based on what I've been able to learn, the Administration is still tinkering with the system.