Senate Committee Hearing To Focus On High Drug Costs
Access to work authorization is a key issue for Social Security. With work authorization, non-citizen workers can become eligible for Social Security and Medicare benefits. Under current law workers become fully eligible for Social Security benefits after ten years of work. A new survey by the Pew Hispanic Center indicates that an estimated 6.4 million illegals have been living in this country for at least 10 years and thus potentially would be in line for Social Security and Medicare should they receive work authorization. .To shop and switch to a new Medicare Advantage health plan, visit www.Medicare.gov and click on the link to "Find health and drug plans." View the videos supplied to help you learn how to use the tool. If you feel you need more help, free one-on-one counseling is available through State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP) that operate through many local area agencies on aging. To find the agency in your area, try the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-111To learn more about Medicare, visit MedicareInteractive.org, an online tool that can answer your Medicare questions, created and maintained by the Medicare Rights Center. .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. … Continued
Legislative Update Week Ending November 28 2014
Recently I had a chance to learn how to do a better job at decision - making by taking a course through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Virginia. Instructor Terry Newell's work focuses on values-based leadership, ethics, and better decision making — skills for which there is very high demand — but all too short supply. Here are some insights from Dr. Terry Newell: .Big bills for uncovered charges are surprising some seniors after some hospital stays that aren't considered inpatient services by Medicare. The problem occurs when the hospital classifies your stay as "observation" which is billed as outpatient care under Part B, rather than inpatient care which is billed under Part A. Your physician may order your admission as an inpatient, but in some cases the hospital later reverses the status retroactively. Whether you are an inpatient or an outpatient is extremely important, though, because it will determine how much you pay out-of-pocket, especially if you later need nursing home care. .TSCL believes these three Medicare improvements were long overdue, and we were pleased that lawmakers reached across the aisle earlier this year to address them once and for all. For more information about the Bipartisan Budget Act and the other Medicare improvements TSCL is advocating for on Capitol Hill, visit our website at . … Continued
How can I get in contact with Medicare? .Please donate today to support TSCL's work to help save the integrity of your benefits! .We worked with members of Congress who supported ending the practice, although we were unable to get legislation passed. One of our key allies in the fight was Sen. Lamar Alexander (R- Tenn.). He was a champion of our cause but, unfortunately, he is retiring at the end of this year. We will certainly miss his leadership on the issue but we pledge to continue to fight to end the practice in 2021. .Too many doctors are prescribing large quantities of narcotics and addictive drugs that may be finding their way onto the streets, or putting patients at risk of addiction. The doctors, in turn, are accepting kickbacks and other "incentives" while billing Medicare for the cost. The following are just three of the examples from a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General: .Assistance in paying for low cost home weatherization to make your home more energy efficient. .SSA Implements New Security Policy .Should Social Security benefits be adjusted annually using a locality – based payment rate? Some of you, particularly those of you who are retired federal employees know far more about locality - based pay adjustments than I do. I hope you folks can set us straight on a new legislative proposal that would use locality- based pay adjustment rates to adjust Social Security benefits. My question to you — is this a good idea? Why or why not? .In addition, since 1992 there has been a significant change to the government's bottom line. For the government fiscal year ending September 30, 2000, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported a surplus of 6 billion- billion of which comes from non Social Security revenues. The CBO estimates the 10-year non-Social Security surplus to be about .1 trillion. .This week, one new cosponsor – Rep. Robert Scott (VA-3) – signed on to Rep. Peter DeFazio's (OR-4) Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E) Act (H.R. 1030). The cosponsor total is now up to ten. If signed into law, Rep. DeFazio's bill would base the Social Security COLA upon the spending patterns of seniors. Currently, it is based upon the way young, urban workers spend their money – a method that underestimates the spending inflation that seniors experience. A study conducted by TSCL in 2012 found that seniors have lost 34 percent of their purchasing power since 2000 – a clear sign that the current COLA is growing too slowly.