• Congressional Corner Cola Tabulation Is Broken

    "If the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and Congress take no action to lower the Part B premium, most of those who were protected by "hold harmless" will need a hefty COLA in order to raise their benefit just to cover the cost of Medicare Part B premiums in 2018," Johnson says. .In addition, since 1992 there has been a significant change to the government's bottom line. For the government fiscal year ending September 30, 2000, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported a surplus of 6 billion- billion of which comes from non Social Security revenues. The CBO estimates the 10-year non-Social Security surplus to be about .1 trillion. .TSCL's all-volunteer Board of Trustees and legislative team – including former Congressman David Funderburk and Mrs. Betty Funderburk – look forward to working with both new and veteran lawmakers on the issues that are important to senior citizens, like those mentioned above. We will work tirelessly in the 113th Congress to ensure that seniors receive the retirement security they have earned and deserve. … Continued

  • Legislative Update For Week Ending January 17 2014

    Essential Drugs Need to be made in the U.S. .Even Republicans who support changing the regulations are opposed to putting it in the NDAA and they may support an effort to pass it and try to override the President's veto, which would be the first of his presidency. .TSCL Announces Support for New Bill … Continued

Although law forbids work without authorization, immigrants use invalid SSNs to get jobs. When employers provide W2s in which the name and SSN do not match those in the SSA's records, the wage report is held in the Earnings Suspense File (ESF) until the discrepancy can be corrected, according to the Social Security Administration's Office of the Inspector General. This can occur even years later when a claim is filed for benefits. .While felony fugitives are prohibited from receiving SSI payments, there is no such prohibition on benefits from Social Security`s main program, which pays retirement, survivors, and disability benefits. Auditors have asked Congress to bar fugitives from receiving payment from Social Security`s other programs as well. Congress is `studying` the recommendation. .Without passage of the waiver legislation the Office of Management and Budget will impose the Medicare payment cuts at the end of the current congressional session. While Social Security, low-income programs such as Medicaid, and veterans' benefits are exempt from sequestration, Medicare payments can be reduced up to 4%. .TSCL Endorses Social Security Administration Fairness Act .How much would your Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) be worth if it was more accurately based on your spending patterns as a retiree? Social Security legislation under debate in the U.S. House would tie the annual boost for inflation to the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). Had that index been used to calculate the COLA for 2020, your annual boost would be 1.9%, versus the 1.6% that Social Security recipients are actually getting. .You can apply for widow benefits as early as age 60, but if you start prior to your full retirement age, your benefits will be reduced. In addition, your benefits would be further reduced if you earn more than the annual earnings limit, which is ,640 in 2012 (,220 per month). More on this in a moment. .This week, one new cosponsor – Rep. David Loebsack (IA-2) – signed on to the Preventing and Reducing Improper Medicare and Medicaid Expenditures (PRIME) Act (H.R. 2305). The total is now up to sixty-two. If signed into law, the PRIME Act would take a number of steps to comprehensively 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. .As a result of the agreement, Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) switches places with Senator Mitch McConnell (R- Ky.). Schumer now becomes the Senate Majority Leader and McConnell becomes the Senate Minority Leader. .Your guaranteed issue rights for Medigap. If you want to purchase a Medigap policy, you need to do so during your Initial Enrollment Period. If you miss your Initial Enrollment Period, Medigap supplemental insurers can impose month waiting periods for pre-existing conditions that can leave you footing the bills until your coverage finally kicks in. On the other hand all Medicare Advantage plans offer guarantee issue rights, without exclusions or higher costs for pre-existing conditions or age during Medicare's fall annual enrollment periods.