• Colas Go Flat Seniors May Get 1 7 Cola In 2014

    TSCL enthusiastically supports the bills mentioned above, and we look forward to helping build support for them in the coming months. .The first is H.R. 446, the Protecting Seniors from Emergency Scams Act. .Medicare Advantage plans have somewhat different costs. If the stay is considered observation care, however, that is covered under Medicare Part B, which means you will have a copayment for each individual outpatient hospital service. In addition, Part B doesn't cover most prescription drugs that are received in an outpatient setting. Perhaps even more importantly, the lack of inpatient status also disqualifies you from receiving Medicare-covered care in a skilled nursing facility or nursing home. … Continued

  • Issues Prescription Drug Policies Feed

    "Switching to a more slowly growing CPI is not the only change affecting seniors that deficit negotiators are looking at," notes Hyland. "Members of Congress from both parties are already considering changes that would make seniors pay a bigger share of their Medicare, and reducing government Medicaid payments at the same time," he adds. .Despite tightening the law, Congress did not fix a policy loophole that would be inadvertently triggered with the passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation. When determining entitlement for insured status, and when calculating the initial retirement benefit, the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses all reported earnings from covered employment in the United States, even if the earnings were from illegal or "unauthorized" work. (2) .Deciding when to file is the biggest decision you face. Social Security benefits are calculated using a formula called the primary insurance amount, or PIA. Seniors who wait to start receiving Social Security until their full retirement age (currently 66) receive 100 percent of PIA; taking benefits at 62, the first year of eligibility, gets them 75 percent of PIA. By waiting until age 70, they'll receive 132 percent of the PIA – nearly double the monthly income for the rest of their lives. Those benefits are enhanced by an annual cost-of-living adjustment, which is added back in for any years of delayed filing. … Continued

A study conducted by TSCL has found that Social Security benefits have lost 30 percent of buying power since 2000 over the same period that Medicare Part B premiums grew by 195 percent. Social Security benefits on the other hand have grown by only 43 percent. The findings represent an especially big loss in buying power of 7 percent from January of 2016 to January of 2017. .To learn more about President Obama's Executive Action On Immigration, see TSCL's F.A.Q.: "What Does "Executive Action" On Immigration Have To Do With Social Security and Medicare?" .The benefit reduction would be caused by a feature of the Social Security benefit formula that is sensitive to economic recessions and high unemployment. The first step in calculating benefits is to adjust the individual's earnings using the average wage index (AWI) in order to convert the value of past earnings into today's dollars. The AWI is also used to adjust the earnings levels that determine the portion of their average monthly earnings that people are allowed to keep as their benefit. .Will the Government Shut Down in 10 Days? .That is why TSCL is fighting so hard for legislation to reduce drug prices and for increased COLAs that reflect the true cost of living for our nation's seniors. .This week, The Senior Citizens League saw support grow for three key bills that would strengthen and improve the Social Security and Medicare programs if adopted by Congress. .The new RAND report is based on 2018 data and compares U.S. drug prices to those in other countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. .Because Medicare doesn't negotiate drug prices, there are huge variations in cost for the same drug between drug plans, and even between pharmacies in the same plan. The difference in drug prices between the lowest and highest costing plans and pharmacies can be in the hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. The high cost of drugs are the single biggest reason that people don't fill a prescription! But the most frequent reason that a drug costs so much more in the highest costing plan is lack of coverage by the drug plan —the drug is not listed on the plan's formulary. Sometimes, the pharmacy is not in the plan's preferred "network", and even preferred pharmacies can have significantly higher costs. For example, the lowest cost plan for Sovaldi, a drug used to treat Hepatitis C, charges ,600 in co-insurance (for a one-year treatment). The highest cost drug plan charges 0,800, the full cost of the drug, because Sovaldi is not on the plan formulary. The lowest cost plan for Advair Diskus, which is used to control and prevent symptoms of pulmonary disease, charges a co-pay of .33 per month from a mail order pharmacy, or the highest cost plan charges 6.62 per month because the drug is not on the plan's formulary. .TSCL Tells Congress —"Leave Social Security and Medicare out of Budget Negotiations"