• Legislative Update Week Ending August 26 2016

    For progress updates or for more information about these and other bills that would strengthen Social Security and Medicare programs, visit our website at .On top of unexpected coverage shortfalls, TSCL's 2017 annual Survey of Senior Costs indicates that homeowners' insurance was the fastest growing housing cost over the past year. In fact, since 2000, the national average homeowners premium rose 154%, a rate of about 9.6% per year! .As you have learned, there's a long lag time between the year you earned the money and when you get the notice from Social Security. Social Security makes the adjustments based on your W2s and tax returns. Making matters worse, the earnings limit is adjusted annually and was even lower in prior years. In 2018 the limit was ,040 and in 2017, ,920. In addition, the notice you received would likely only pertain to one year of earnings, and you possibly could receive a similar notice next year and go through the process of withheld benefits all over again. … Continued

  • Where Are All The Covid 19 Vaccines

    New retirees often fail to understand just how rising Medicare costs can result in less Social Security income than anticipated. The Social Security Administration automatically deducts premiums for Medicare Part B from Social Security benefits. This year, the Part B premium is 4.00 per month for retirees with incomes under ,000 and the Medicare Trustees estimate it will rise to 5.50 for 2019. .Unfortunately, no. The highly controversial U.S. Social Security Totalization Agreement with Mexico that was signed by the Bush Administration is still pending. The agreement has not been submitted for review to the President or Congress, but that could quickly change, particularly in an election year. TSCL believes that if put into effect as it currently is written, the agreement would drain funds away from Social Security that are needed for the benefits of U.S. senior citizens. Totalization agreements were designed to eliminate dual taxation that occurs when a workers from one country works in another country and is required to pay Social Security taxes to both countries on the same earnings. .Super-Committee Republicans offer a 300 billion dollar tax-revenue concession. After an initial pledge not to raise taxes over the next decade, Republicans are willing to allow tax increases to help meet the 1.2 trillion dollar debt-reduction mandate by November 23rd. … Continued

That report estimates the Social Security trust fund could be depleted by 2030, five years earlier than the official government estimate, because of the recession and long-term near-zero interest rates triggered by the pandemic. .If his income is too high to qualify for either, your daughter may want to find out if the 0 penalty is really accurate. If she can find evidence that her father-in-law had qualifying health insurance coverage after turning age 65, such as through a former employer, even for a few years, that coverage may potentially reduce the amount of the Part B delayed enrollment penalty. This sort of digging can be difficult if her father-in-law has cognitive or memory issues now. Another family member or a former coworker may be able to help though, and at 0 a month, it's worth a few calls. .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. .Our next issue of interest this week is Surprise Billing. Surprise billing does not affect seniors on Medicare as much as it affects seniors under age 65 who still have health insurance through their employer or who are paying for their own health insurance. Surprise billing usually refers to expensive, unexpected medical bills that patients receive from hospitals and doctors' offices even when they have health insurance that they expect will cover the majority of treatments cost. Congress has been getting an earful from voters who are very upset about this situation and there seemed to be a fair amount of optimism that legislation dealing with surprise billing may be able to pass. If it does, there could be an effort to attach legislation dealing with drug prices to that bill. .Social Security is by far and away the nation's most successful and popular insurance program. .Contact Social Security and ask about placing a "block" on your account. This would prevent changes from being made regarding your address and payment deposit. The "block" would require that you visit your local Social Security office in person to authorize changes. .Two Key Bills Gain Cosponsors .Medicare pays the plans a pre-determined monthly amount for each enrollee. Higher rates are paid for sicker patients, and lower amounts for people in good health. The "risk adjustment" policy is intended to avoid the problem of plans cutting corners on healthcare to boost profits. But the audits found pervasive problems with many plans overstating the severity of enrollees' medical conditions, with little documentation of the medical conditions being claimed. .First, one new cosponsor – Representative Conor Lamb (PA-18) – signed on to the Social Security 2100 Act (H.R. 1902), bringing the total up to 17If adopted, H.R. 1902 would strengthen Social Security benefits by improving the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), increasing monthly benefits by 2 percent, creating a new Special Minimum Benefit equal to 125 percent of the poverty line, and providing a tax cut to millions of Social Security beneficiaries. To cover the cost of these changes and to extend the solvency of the program through the year 2100, it would apply the payroll tax to annual income over 0,000 and gradually increase the payroll tax rate by 0.25 percent.