2016 Shopping Medicare Coverage First Time
Since people often move when they retire, under locality pay adjustment rates, the area they choose to live in during retirement could significantly impact the amount of Social Security they receive. Would retirees crowd into areas of the country with high locality pay adjustments? .Source: The Federal Government's Long-Term Fiscal Outlook, Government Accountability Office, October 201"Monitoring Medicare+Choice, What Have We Learned?" Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., August, 2004. .The Senior Citizens League agrees with Senator Brown, and we oppose the proposal since it would negatively impact Social Security's finances and the retirement security of future beneficiaries. In the days ahead, Senator Marco Rubio (FL) and Senator Joni Ernst (IA) are expected to introduce the proposal as legislation, and TSCL's legislative team will monitor its movement closely. For updates, follow TSCL on Twitter or visit the Legislative News section of our website. … Continued
June 2013 Silobreaker
The proposal to switch to the chained CPI has come up numerous times during past budget negotiations over lifting the federal debt limit. Most recently the proposal appeared last December in a 2016 House bill that would reform Social Security, and in an alternate fiscal year 2017 budget proposed by the Republican Study Committee. The proposal remains a key provision of debt reduction plans, because so many federal benefit programs and the tax code are adjusted using the CPI. The CPI-U has recently been proposed to index Medicaid payments in the Senate health bill. Economists have estimated that adopting the chained CPI would cut Social Security by 0 billion over ten years. .The Scott bill passed the Education and Labor Committee on Tuesday of this week. It has a different approach for dealing with surprise bills that limits the arbitration process and sets forth a benchmark payment rate. Scott's bill would force doctors to accept a benchmark rate for bills under 0 and go through arbitration in disputes over bills higher than 0. .How many members does TSCL have? … Continued
Over the past nine years, COLAs have averaged just 1.4%, so it comes as a frustrating surprise to retirees to learn that, in the decade prior to 2000, COLAs averaged 3% per year, more than twice the average today. Because COLAs compound, and the monthly benefit grows over time, lower COLAs mean less Social Security income than retirees might have planned for. That in turn means spending through retirement savings more quickly than planned. .Resources: The Medicare Rights Center has an online tool called "Medicare Interactive" that can answer more of your questions about prescription drug coverage. Try it at www.MedicareInteractive.org. .The payraise goes into effect automatically unless denied by legislation, or adjusted by a provision of law that prevents Congress from receiving a percentage of pay increase that would be greater than any payraise received by the General Schedule to federal workers. When Congress passed legislation in December of 2010 that froze the pay of federal workers through December 31, 2012, they effectively froze their own pay as well. No similar provision of law, however, prevents Congress from receiving a bigger COLA than seniors. The adjustment for Congress is not determined like the COLA for seniors, which is based on changes in consumer prices. Instead the Congressional COLA is based on changes in private sector wages and salaries as measured by the Employment Cost Index. Members of Congress were originally scheduled to receive a pay adjustment in January 2010, of 2.1%, and in 2011 of 0.9% had legislation not prohibited it. .Deficit hawks on Capitol Hill agree that the current inflation index is inaccurate, but instead of adopting a method that actually measures seniors' spending, many have been advocating for an index that would further trim COLAs. The "chained" CPI has been lauded by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle – including President Obama – as a small technical correction that would factor in the substitution that occurs when the prices of certain goods increase. However, since medical care – a major expense for seniors – cannot be substituted for something cheaper, this index would unfairly affect them. After ten years, adopting the "chained" CPI would result in an monthly benefit cut for the average retired couple, and that loss would continue to compound. .However, there is news of importance to seniors that hasn't gotten nearly as much attention. .Given that disabled beneficiaries would receive on average 0,000 prior to transferring to Social Security benefits, even the smallest error in determining eligibility can result in significant overpayments. TSCL believes that the government should make every effort to perform timely continuing disability reviews (CDRs) to ensure that benefits are only paid out to those who are eligible. The Social Security Administration estimates that every spent on medical CDRs yields about in SSA program savings over ten years. Currently the CDR backlog stands at 1.2 million. SSA's goal for FY2013 is 435,000 CDRs based on the current level of funding. .With a majority of seniors today depending on Social Security for at least half of their income over a 20 to 30 years retirement, TSCL opposes proposals that would cut the benefits of current retirees and those nearing retirement. We are continuing to monitor this proposal and waiting to see what legislation may develop. While TSCL believes that changes are needed to ensure that Social Security continues pay scheduled benefits, changes must be kept as small as possible, and phased in over as long a period as possible to allow for future retirees to learn about and adjust their plans. .It sounds as though your daughter's father-in-law didn't sign up for Medicare Part B by his enrollment deadline and is now subject to a late enrollment penalty. For each 12-month period he delayed enrollment in Medicare Part B, he will have to pay a 10% Part B penalty. A penalty of as much as an extra 0 per month in addition to the current premium of 8.50 for 2021, suggests that he is being penalized for a 16-year period he did not have Medicare coverage. That suggests that he didn't enroll at age 6That would mean his base Medicare Part B premium could be 8.50 per month when he enrolls. .Use BenefitsCheckup.org to screen for programs in your area. If you don't have a computer, ask a friend or family member to help you do an online Benefits Checkup. The service asks you a series of questions about where you live, your income, and a number of other qualifications, and matches you up with programs that can provide help with medications among a menu of other valuable benefits.