S 1904 Social Security 2100 Act
While hold harmless provides valuable protection from reductions in benefits due to rising Part B costs, low inflation and high Medicare costs restrict the growth of net Social Security benefits. This occurs when Part B increases take the entire COLA. This leaves less Social Security income to cover all other rising costs such as out-of-pocket medical expenses, food and housing, requiring people to spend more of their retirement savings or to go into debt. .We at TSCL are not doctors or scientists. But with all the different voices being heard about what the right thing is to do or not to do, what we do urge you to be is very cautious. It makes sense to us to listen to the trained professionals in medical and scientific fields as we deal with our current health care situation. .Senate investigators recently explored one such astonishing case. They took a closer look at a disability attorney and retired Social Security judge who practiced along the border area of Kentucky and West Virginia. Some 10 to 15 percent of the entire population of the area — about three times the national average — is on disability. … Continued
Legislative Update December 2015
Each state operates their own LIHEAP program and has different rules about when to apply, how to apply, and the criteria to be met in order to get help. Although income requirements vary by location household incomes must be less than: .The Senate was not in session and is scheduled to return on January 25th. .TSCL surveys confirm that costs for older Americans continued to climb despite no COLA this year. A recent TSCL survey found that 72 percent of respondents reported that their monthly household expenses rose by more than in 2015. … Continued
This week, lawmakers in the Senate continued working on plans to reform the healthcare system. In addition, The Senior Citizens League saw five key bills gain new cosponsors in the House. .To avoid significant cost increases and unexpected benefit cuts next year, TSCL encourages its members and supporters to examine all MA plan offerings closely before making a selection or allowing a plan to automatically renew. The open enrollment period ends on December 7th, and coverage begins on January 1st. In the meantime, TSCL will continue to monitor the status of the MA program and advocate for legislation like the Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights Act, which would protect MA enrollees from unfair and abrupt changes to physician networks. .Key Bills Gain New Cosponsors .As we've found out in our meetings with Congressional staff members, Congress is hearing thousands of complaints from voters who want surprise billing stopped. But, they are also hearing from the health care providers who are making a lot of money from surprise billings and they are fighting back to try and stop or modify legislation. Because of the pressure Congress is receiving from opposing sides, getting legislation to fix the problem is more complicated than you might expect. There are four bills in the Senate to deal with the issue and five in the House. .Before recommending the zero premiums, I helped Paula estimate potential costs. New managed care Medicare Advantage plans differ from traditional Medicare supplements by charging co-payments that can be substantial for each hospitalization, visit to the doctor, or other service received. Supplements tend to charge high premiums, but cover most, or all, of the co-insurance costs, leaving beneficiaries to pay little or nothing when they receive a service. If Paula had to be hospitalized or developed a serious illness, the co-payments charged by the Medicare Advantage plan could quickly add up to be just as much, possibly more, than what she would pay in premiums for her state retiree Medicare supplement. .Seniors and Baby Boomers nearing retirement have every right to object and that doesn't make anybody greedy for doing so. After 1983, when the Social Security Trust Fund began building up reserves, our government proceeded to use all excess funds, and replaced that money with .6 trillion in special non-marketable bonds, or I.O.U.s. Seniors are frequently told those I.O.U.s are backed by the full faith of the U.S. government which has never defaulted on its debt. But now that the U.S. Treasury must borrow to pay the interest due to the I.O.U.s held by the Trust Fund, lawmakers are considering plans that would cut promised Social Security benefits. If a government default on the U.S. savings bonds held by public investors is unthinkable — why is cutting obligations to Social Security beneficiaries any less so? .This week, House and Senate lawmakers remained in their home states and districts for a week-long spring break. They are expected to return to Capitol Hill on Monday, March 25th. Until then, many Members of Congress will be hosting town hall meetings and attending events in their home states and districts. .So, which one should you take? .Apply for pharmacy assistance programs from your drug manufacturer. Medicare maintains a list of pharmacy assistance programs by drug name. To learn if there is a program for your drug visit: http://www.medicare.gov/pharmaceutical-assistance-program/index.aspx.