Legislative Update For Week Ending September 20 2013
3 Social Security scenarios show vastly different results .As the number and scope of extreme weather events and disasters grow, some homeowners are learning that their insurance coverage doesn't provide all the protection they were expecting it to. According to Consumer Reports, the greater the damage costs, the higher the likelihood that there will be a disagreement over the claim, especially when you have a very large claim of ,000 or more. .For those planning retirement however, it is the estimated dollar amount in Social Security benefits, not the replacement rate, that what one uses to determine a retirement budget, or how much more one will need to save for retirement. When one retires, it is the actual benefit amount, not the replacement rate that one must live on. One of the most frequent requests for services received by Social Security Administration is for an estimate of benefits. While no promises of benefits are made, millions of estimates are made annually. If the rules are changed abruptly, as they were for those born during the Notch period, this leaves no time to save for the shortfalls in benefits (if they can be foreseen ahead of time). … Continued
Ask The Advisor Marchapril 2013
Shop around regularly. You can save hundreds of dollars a year in premiums by shopping around. Some state insurance department websites publish rate comparisons for standardized coverage that can help you find the best deals. Another way to compare is to shop from an independent insurance agent who sells from multiple carriers. You can also try online sites like Insure.com, NetQuote.com and SelectQuote.com. When considering a less expensive insurer, consider getting auto coverage from the same company for savings of up to 30 percent. .To identify people in the country illegally, Medicare relies on information from the Social Security Administration in order to deny claims. The Social Security Administration receives data from the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies but CMS doesn't always receive information relating to unlawful presence in a timely manner, according to the Inspector General. .Allowing individuals to import prescription drugs from abroad. Many Medicare beneficiaries spend thousands of dollars every month on lifesaving medications under the Part D program. The bipartisan Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act (S. 61) would allow these individuals import their prescription drugs from approved pharmacies in Canada, where medicines are often half the cost. This critical bill would improve access to affordable medication for older Americans, and it would bring down costs nationwide by increasing competition in the American marketplace. … Continued
The CBO also notes that increasing the payroll tax rate or subjecting more earnings to the payroll tax could improve Social Security's financing. .I spent the better part of last year trying to determine the cause of, and best treatment for, a mysterious chronic cough. A non-smoker, I'm usually obnoxiously healthy. Last year, though, I went through a battery of four specialists, a long menu of tests, underwent surgery and spent a night in the hospital. Yet by January of this year the cough was worse than ever. .Eleven new cosponsors signed on to the Preventing and Reducing Improper Medicare and Medicaid Expenditures (PRIME) Act (S. 1123 and H.R. 2305) this week, bringing the total up to twenty in the Senate and thirty in the House. If signed into law, the comprehensive bill would take a number of steps to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse within the two programs – a problem that TSCL believes must be addressed in order to ensure that scarce program dollars are being spent properly. The new cosponsors are: Sen. John Boozman (AR), and Reps. Duncan Hunter (CA-50), Steve Stivers (OH-15), Dan Benishek (MI-1), Martha Roby (AL-2), Dennis Ross (FL-15), Thomas Rooney (FL-17), Shelley Moore Capito (WV-2), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Allyson Schwartz (PA-13), Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), and Edward Royce (CA-39). .An abrupt jump in inflation in February and March of this year wiped out a short-lived improvement in the buying power of Social Security benefits in 2020, according to TSCL's latest study on rising senior costs. The study, which compares the growth in the Social Security cost of living adjustments (COLA)s with increases in the costs of goods and services typically used by retirees, found that, while consumer prices flatlined in 2020 through January 2021, costs are now sharply increasing. .According to the Associated Press, the AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, which is being used in Great Britain, does more than prevent people from falling seriously ill — it appears to reduce transmission of the virus and offers strong protection for three months on just a single dose, researchers said last week in an encouraging turn in the campaign to suppress the outbreak. .In Washington, my priority is helping improve the lives of the American people, and that includes addressing our nation's retirement system to ensure it serves our seniors more effectively. One way Congress did this was by passing the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 201This bill, which passed with my support, will streamline and update our nation's retirement system in several ways, including removing the age limitation on IRA contributions, increasing access to retirement plans by allowing small businesses to join together to offer plans, and allowing penalty-free distributions from a retirement account for the birth or adoption of a child. This legislation isn't perfect, but it is a step forward, and I am glad the SECURE Act was passed into law at the end of 201While approximately half of American households still don't have an option for work-based retirement plans, as a nation we must continue to work to advance access to retirement savings vehicles and decrease barriers to entry for small employers who want to offer savings plans to their employees. .Congressional Recess Comes to a Close .Do not engage with these calls or provide any personal information! If you get such a call or any call demanding your Social Security or bank account number, hang up. Don't respond to any recorded message. If you tend to get such calls, consider setting your phone up to allow an answering machine or voice mail to record or prescreen your calls. .This week, five new cosponsors signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 1795), bringing the total up to one hundred and twenty-eight. The new cosponsors are Reps. Brian Higgins (NY-26), Greg Walden (OR-2), Andre Carson (IN-7), John Barrow (GA-12), and Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18). If signed into law, H.R. 1795 would repeal the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) – two federal provisions that unfairly reduce the earned Social Security benefits of millions of teachers, fire fighters, peace officers, and other state or local government employees each year.