• Payroll Tax Cuts Worsen Social Security And Medicare Funding Issues

    Other priorities in 2015 will include advocating for a more fair and accurate Social Security cost-of-living adjustment, monitoring the continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and protecting Medicare Advantage enrollees from harsh and unforeseen benefit cuts. .But it's no "small change," warns The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors groups. In fact, it could reduce lifetime Social Security benefits by tens of thousands of dollars over a retirement. .Sources: "Verifying Eligibility for Certain New Tax Benefits Was A Challenge for the 2010 Filing Season," Treasury Inspector General, September 30, 2010, Ref. No. 2010-41-128 … Continued

  • How Long After Passage Will It Take To Award Notch Benefits

    If signed into law, the Social Security Fairness Act would repeal the windfall elimination provision (WEP) and the government pension offset (GPO), which have long prevented certain civil servants from receiving the full Social Security benefits they have earned. TSCL believes these two provisions should be repealed, and we were pleased to see support grow for the Social Security Fairness Act this week. .Source: "Senators Introduced Medicare Reform Plan: The Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act," Paul.Senate.Gov, March 15, 2012. .Fortunately, H.R. 3 is not the only legislation in either house of Congress that could lower drug prices and accomplish the other things necessary to fix Medicare and Social Security. … Continued

Protection of the Social Security Trust Fund – Ensuring that the program's assets are locked out of the general budget. .Here are some ways to trim the cost of visits to the vet: .Debt among older Americans is rising and affecting a growing number of retirees. According to the Survey of Consumer Finances, the percentage of households with debt headed by an adult age 65 and older increased from 41.5% in 1992, to 60% in 201Medical debt poses the biggest challenge over the course of a retirement. .In setting prices, drug makers rarely acknowledge the considerable federal funding and research that have helped develop their products; they have not offered taxpayer-investors financial payback. .Co-pays and coinsurance: This refers to the portion of the cost of services that you pay out-of-pocket. Co-pays are a fixed amount that you will pay for each service. For example, in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be billed a co-pay of to see a primary care physician and to see a specialist. On the other hand, coinsurance is a variable amount. It is a percentage of the cost of the service. Theoretically if the total cost of the service is ,000 and you pay 20% coinsurance, your cost could be about 0. Under Medicare Advantage your health plan negotiates the cost of service, thus you would want to call your plan to get an idea what your total out-of-pocket costs would be, and whether your provider is a preferred provider. Under most Medigap policies, the Part B co-insurance cost is covered in large part, but there still could be some "excess charges" that you pay out of pocket. .Individuals with incomes below ,000, and whose Part B premiums are automatically deducted from their Social Security benefits, are protected from a reduction in their Social Security benefits when Part B premiums increase more than their Social Security benefits. The provision was triggered twice in recent years, in 2016 when there was no COLA, and in 2017 when the COLA was just 0.3%. .For more information, or to see if your Members of Congress have scheduled town halls during the August recess, contact their local offices. You can find contact information HERE, and for a list of sample questions, click HERE. .Congress Adjourns for Memorial Day Recess .In the midst of all this, a new study by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) found that the drop in average wages in recent years coupled with no cost-of-living-adjustments (COLAs), and projections of extremely low COLAs, is reducing the amount retirees can count on in Social Security benefits over their retirement.