• Category Tscl In The News Feed

    The Medicare portion of spending, officials say, grew 6.2 percent in 2011, after growing just 4.3 percent in 20A major factor holding down costs was the recession. As tens of thousands of working seniors lost jobs, and their healthcare coverage, other seniors were hit by the crash of retirement savings and real estate values. This was followed by two years without any cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2010 or 2011. .Almost 53% of retirees say they don't have dental insurance, and more than 55% of that group say they have postponed dental procedures due to costs, according to TSCL's recent Senior Cost Survey. Despite limits on what dental insurance covers, it may provide some help, especially for routine preventive care, but finding the right coverage takes some shopping around, and you may need to wait for more than a year before coverage starts for more extensive services like crowns and bridge work. .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

  • Ask Advisor Februarymarch 2017

    We encourage you to tell incumbent Members of Congress who are running for re-election what you expect from the lawmakers who represent you. Outline the changes you support for Social Security and ask the candidates if they are willing to end the tax breaks for the wealthy so that all working Americans can enjoy a more secure retirement. .This week, four new cosponsors signed on to the bipartisan Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act (H.R. 711), bringing the total up to 11The new cosponsors are Reps. Don Young (AK-1), Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), and Erik Paulsen (MN-3). .This week, lawmakers passed legislation to avert a government shutdown and those in the majority party continued working on legislation to reform the tax code. In addition, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw several key bills gain support in the House and Senate. … Continued

The wage reports held in the Social Security Earnings Suspense file also represent a huge hidden time bomb for Social Security and Medicare. Under current Social Security policy, all earnings, even if based on illegal work, are used to determine entitlement to benefits. If at some point an illegal worker gains valid work authorization, as he or she would under an "amnesty" or a Totalization agreement, and can produce proof of earnings like old W2s, those earnings would be reinstated to their new Social Security account. Eventually the individual could file a claim for benefits that might be based, at least in part, on illegal work. .Who Will Decide the Future of Your Benefits? .More than 10,000 people died waiting for a disability decision from the Social Security Administration in 201The rising death toll coincides with the growing backlog of people awaiting a decision about their eligibility for Social Security disability insurance benefits. But even after a disabled individual has been found eligible, he or she must wait 5 months for benefits to begin, and 2 whole years before Medicare benefits start. The long waits, especially for Medicare, have forced many low to middle-income disabled beneficiaries to deplete their savings while they wait. .Congress recognized that benefits would be lower under the new benefit formula provided by the 1977 law changes, but they sought to address the problem of abrupt benefit cuts for those nearing retirement (3). Congress provided a "transitional benefit formula" to phase in the changes for those who would become eligible for Social Security within the first five years of the changeoverЧthose born from 1917 through 192This group of retirees had their benefit calculated two waysЧunder the new benefit formula and under the transitional benefit formula and they received the higher of the two benefits. According to a comprehensive economic analysis by noted economist John Haldi, Ph.D., the transitional benefit formula, however, had significant flaws and in almost every case failed to provide any benefit protection (4). Thus, benefits were sharply and rapidly reduced. .President Obama Releases 2015 Budget .While most in Washington acknowledge this dilemma, and House Republicans have put forward a plan to address the issue, our leaders have yet to agree upon a solution to preserve the program for seniors beyond that date, and instead are pitting each other against seniors. .Warning: Scams prey on seniors and others .On Tuesday, the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare programs released their annual reports on the current and projected financial status of the two programs. As expected, the Trustees found that both programs currently face manageable financial challenges. .For some tips on how to reduce taxes on your Social Security Benefits, here's an article by Emily Brandon, author of Pensionless: The 10-Step Solution for a Stress-Free Retirement. Emily Brandon's Planning to Retire Blog can be found at: