Seniors Lose 34 Buying Power Since 2000
The Medicare Hospital Trust Fund is Running Out of Money .There is one trend that of particular concern for all consumers. "There's a relentless march upward in the cost of foods, especially sources of protein, (meats, poultry, seafood), dairy, as well as fruits and vegetables, Johnson says. Some categories of food prices especially for fresh fruits and vegetables have climbed in recent years due to widespread damage from severe weather and wild fires. "COVID-19 simply added another layer of disaster cost due to loss of restaurant and school lunch markets, labor shortages for growing, harvesting and food processing, and transportation disruptions," Johnson says. "This is the year to plant a vegetable garden," Johnson says. .Which Medigap plan is best for you? To learn about Medigap plans and the coverage they offer you can find a chart comparing the coverage of plans A through N in the "2016 Medicare & You" publication on page 10You can download a copy online at www.Medicare.gov or call 1-800-Medicare ( 7) to request a copy. … Continued
Government Turns Over Copy Of Totalization Agreement With Mexico Feed
This week, The Senior Citizens League was pleased to see support grow for two key bills that would strengthen the Social Security program. First, one new cosponsor – Representative Peter Visclosky (IN-1) – signed on to the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act (H.R. 2302), bringing the total up to eight cosponsors. .Congress should allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices by tying U.S. prices to prices paid in other industrialized countries like Canada, Great Britain and Japan where prices are lower. — 85 percent support, 13 percent not sure, and only 2 percent opposed. .The number of people receiving benefits. … Continued
Just how bad is it? We were stunned to learn just how big the disparity in drug prices can be. Recently I compared the highest and lowest prices of the top ten most-prescribed drugs in the U.S. using the Medicare drug plan finder. In my area, a monthly supply of diabetes drug Lantus Solostar for example, ranges from a high of 2.00 from the mail order pharmacy of First Health Part D Value Plus plan to a low of .75 from the network retail pharmacies for SilverScript Choice. In fact, the cost difference between the highest and lowest-cost plans for the ten drugs compared averaged 3 per month! .Sources: "Congress Kills Social Security Claiming Loopholes," Alicia Munnell, Market Watch, November 11, 2015. .Beyond funding the government and raising the debt ceiling, TSCL was pleased that the Bipartisan Budget Act included the following three improvements to the Medicare program: .Proponents of the measure, which include some Democrats, say that addressing the projected shortfalls now would prevent draconian cuts or tax hikes later. The legislation would create congressional panels mandated to draft bipartisan legislation that restores solvency of the trust funds, and the bills would receive fast-track consideration in each chamber. .This week, five new cosponsors signed on to the Notch Fairness Act (H.R. 1001). They are: Reps. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL-2), Collin Peterson (MN-7), Maurice Hinchey (NY-22), Elton Gallegly (CA-24), and Christopher Smith (NJ-4). These cosponsor additions bring the total up to 35. .Popular with Medicare recipients, Medicare Advantage plans typically offer very low, or even no, monthly premiums, lower costs for some services than traditional fee-for-service Medicare, and coverage for some services that traditional Medicare does not cover, such as dental and vision care. Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has more than doubled over the last decade, from 11.1 million in 2010, to 24.1 million in 2020. Ensuring the proper payment level is important not only for the federal government, but also for beneficiaries, since overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans drive up overall Part B costs and cause higher Part B premiums for all beneficiaries, even those not enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. ."This year's zero COLA combined with next year's insufficient increase will have a devastating impact on the long term adequacy of Social Security benefits for millions of Americans … we hope that you will act swiftly and responsibly before the end of this year," the letter stated. .Sources: "Appeals Panel Weighs Fate of Obama's Immigration Overhaul," Michael Shear, The New York Times, April 17, 201"Effects Of Unauthorized Immigration On The Actuarial Status Of The Social Security Trust Funds," Actuarial Note 151, Social Security Administration, April 2013. .The Senior Citizens League believes it is time to focus on the adequacy of Social Security benefits to meet rising Medicare costs. COLAs have been insufficient to cover the Part B premium in five out of the past ten years — 2010, 2011, 2016, 2017, and 201This is a clear indication that Social Security COLA is not adequate, and not doing the job it was intended to do. .