Social Security Medicare Questions January 2015
In addition to Medicare Part A and B, you will need additional insurance. Medicare alone does not cover everything, and there are considerable out-of-pocket costs that would suck your life savings right out of any nest egg you might have. You will need to decide between a supplemental insurance policy, known as Medigap, and a free-standing prescription drug plan, or to join a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage. TSCL strongly recommends that you get free, unbiased counseling, to learn your options and to find the most reasonably-priced coverage for your needs. All areas of the country offer this Medicare counseling through State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP). Although the actual name of the program in your area may vary, you can find the programs operating through your area agency on aging, senior center, or get contact info here: https://www.shiptacenter.org .The issue of physician choice and access to care for Medicare recipients arises time and again as Congress has taken last minute action to prevent drastic cuts to physician reimbursements. Only repeated, last-minute actions have saved doctors from substantial pay cuts. Cutting reimbursements for doctors has surface appeal because it does not require seniors to pay additional dollars out-of-pocket. However, there is a hidden cost. Physicians who live under constant fear of substantial cuts may opt to stop serving Medicare patients, resulting in loss of access to care for many seniors. .Why Does My Doctor's Office Need to Call My Insurer Before Scheduling a CT Scan? … Continued
The Cost Of Illegal Earnings Under Totalization With Mexico
In a letter of support to Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-8) – the sponsor of H.R. 711 – TSCL's Chairman Ed Cates wrote: "According to a recent study completed by TSCL, Social Security beneficiaries have lost over 20 percent of their purchasing power since 2000. Those who are subject to the WEP have undoubtedly fallen even further behind. It is now more important than ever for Congress to address the inequities that have been created by the WEP, and TSCL believes the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act is a fair and responsible solution." .The Senior Citizens League enthusiastically supports the four bills mentioned above, and we were pleased to see support grow for them this week. For more information about these and other bills that have been backed by The Senior Citizens League, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website. .This week, the Social Security Administration (SSA) revealed that it has been overpaying almost half of all Disability Insurance (DI) enrollees, and The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw one key bill gain critical support. … Continued
House Passes Prescription Drug Legislation .If you are interested in helping TSCL make the most of the 113th Congress, give us a call at 800-333-TSCL to help us start a local chapter or plan a town hall meeting in your area. .TSCL believes this is good news for the Social Security and Medicare systems, but there is no doubt that if the deferred taxes are never re-paid, it will cause major damage to both programs. .The bill would limit price increases in drugs covered by Medicare Part D plans to the rate of inflation or drug makers would be forced to pay a penalty in the form of a rebate. "Since Social Security benefits only grow at the rate of inflation, it would help level the playing field if the cost of prescription medications were required to be adjusted in like fashion," Johnson notes. Research on typical retiree costs conducted by Johnson has found that from 2000 to 2019, annual cost – of – living adjustments (COLAs) increased Social Security benefits by 50 percent but spending on prescription drugs grew five times faster — 253 percent — over the same period. .Canada Bans Sending Drugs to U.S. .Major findings: .The report adds that, "The pharmaceutical industry has already shattered records this year, spending an unprecedented million to lobby the federal government in the first three months of this year, according to the CSP, including .7 million from PhRMA. Stephen Ubl, the CEO of PhRMA, criticized H.R. 3 last month, claiming it would ‘destroy an estimated one million American jobs.' The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the biggest lobbying spender this year, has also come out against the bill, comparing it to ‘government price controls' and claiming it would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. .First, one new cosponsor – Representative Conor Lamb (PA-18) – signed on to the Social Security 2100 Act (H.R. 1902), bringing the total up to 17If adopted, H.R. 1902 would strengthen Social Security benefits by improving the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), increasing monthly benefits by 2 percent, creating a new Special Minimum Benefit equal to 125 percent of the poverty line, and providing a tax cut to millions of Social Security beneficiaries. To cover the cost of these changes and to extend the solvency of the program through the year 2100, it would apply the payroll tax to annual income over 0,000 and gradually increase the payroll tax rate by 0.25 percent. .It will take true leadership in Congress and the White House to save Medicare and face the reality of the situation: if we do nothing, which has been the status quo for years, Medicare as we know it will cease to exist. I am committed to doing all that can be done to ensure a strong and healthy Medicare program for America's seniors.