Category Issues Medicare Part D Faqs Page 5
It is times like these when Social Security benefits are increasingly important, when "the best laid plans" are going awry for millions of seniors. As Congress considers changes to the Social Security system, TSCL is urging Congress to make the need for adequate and stable benefits a priority. .TSCL looks forward to working with these veteran lawmakers, along with new Representatives and Senators, on the following issues in the 114th Congress: .This week, Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-1), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, revealed that Congress will not consider legislation that would permanently repeal and replace the SGR – the flawed formula that sets payment rates for doctors who treat Medicare patients – before the March 31st deadline. Instead, they will likely pass another short-term "doc fix" in order to avert a 21 percent pay cut for physicians that is set to hit on April 1st. … Continued
COLAs Reach All Time Lows At Same Time Seniors Report Expenses Higher Than Ever .In a letter to the bill's sponsors, Ed Cates – Chairman of TSCL's Board of Trustees – wrote, "When family caregivers don't receive the support they need, they often must leave their jobs, take on significant debt, or move their loved ones out of their homes and into costly assisted living facilities. TSCL and its members believe the growing problem must be addressed as soon as possible." We look forward to working with the bill's sponsors in the months ahead to continue building support for the important bill. .The Social Security Administration maintains a special Earnings Suspense File of wage reports that don't match the name and Social Security number of those in Social Security records. According to data from the Social Security Administration, an average of 9,762,500 wage reports per year with invalid names or Social Security numbers were received from 2000 through 2007 for an average of .68 billion in wages per year. That much in wages would be worth more than billion per year in Making Work Pay tax credits in 2009 and 2010 if those trends continue. … Continued
The Social Security Administration calculates benefit withholdings based on the amount you report that you will earn for the year, and then will withhold all benefit payments for a certain period of months to cover excess earnings. For example, say you received a Social Security benefit payment of 0 per month in 2007 (,800 for the year). Let's say that during 2007 you worked and earned ,450 or ,490 over the earnings limit (,450 - ,960). Social Security would withhold ,745 in benefit payments covering slightly more than 6 months of your payments. .Healthcare would be more efficient and convenient for patients. Value-based payment systems provide incentives for health providers to make it easy for patients to get all the services related to managing their condition in one "medical home." Payments to providers are "bundled," covering the patients' full care cycle, or for chronic conditions covering longer periods of time like a year or more. .TSCL is also concerned about the debt limit because in prior debates to lift the ceiling, Social Security benefits have been used as a bargaining chip, and retirees have seen unexpected benefit cuts. For example, in 2015, following the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act, millions of seniors already eligible for Social Security benefits learned a popular claiming method called "file and suspend" would no longer be available to them. The unexpected change received no public debate, it went into effect almost immediately, and it hit seniors who were just months away from retirement. .But last Monday the drug company executives announced they would not be going to the White House meeting. A spokesman for PhRMA, the giant lobbying group for many of the biggest drug manufacturers, said the White House talks were a distraction. .Sources: "Feds Announce Biggest-Ever Medicare Fraud, Totaling 0 Million," Scott Cohn, CNBC, May 4, 201"Report: Suspect Billings At 2,600 Drugstores," Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, The Associated Press, May 13, 201"Obstacles To Collection Of Millions In Medicare Overpayments, Office of Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services, May 2012. .In order to keep Social Security checks coming, in full and on time, Congress will need to work promptly to raise or suspend the debt limit in coming months. Failing to do so would be irresponsible, especially when more than 60 million Americans rely on Social Security and Medicare. TSCL believes that Congress has better options than benefit cuts for strengthening Social Security. What do you think? Please take our new online 2019 Social Security survey here. .In 2017, there was a tiny 0.3% COLA and raising Sally's benefit from ,000 to ,00But in 2017 the Medicare Part B premium took a stiff jump to Once again, because the COLA was so low, Sally's share of the Medicare premium was adjusted downward so that her Social Security benefit would not be reduced. However, virtually all of her .00 per month COLA was put toward the increased Part B premium, and today Sally pays a monthly Part B premium of 7.90. .This study looks at 39 expenditures that are typical for people age 65 and up, comparing the growth in the prices of these goods and services to the growth in the annual COLAs. Based on consumer price index data through April 2021, it appears that the next COLA will be considerably higher in 202The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) is forecasting that the 2022 COLA could be 4.7%, making it the highest since 200But with such a high level of inflation volatility, this estimate could change several times before the COLA is announced in October 2021. .On Tuesday, President Obama released his .901 trillion budget blueprint for fiscal 201The proposal calls for more than 0 billion in new revenues by closing certain tax loopholes, and it would replace the "sequester" beginning in 2016 with .2 trillion in new spending cuts. It adheres to the caps for discretionary spending that were set back in December, but it also proposes billion in extra investments through the so-called "Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative."