Weekly For March 27 2021
The trillion Senate Republican stimulus proposal comes with a measure that could curb federal spending in the future by reducing costs tied to Social Security, Medicare, and highway trust funds. .Failure to balance between price and services. Assisted living and continuing care communities can be very expensive and more people are living longer in these facilities. It's important to make finances last while maintaining access to the best care. When exploring options, don't be afraid to look into facilities in areas that have lower costs of living, even if you won't be able to visit with your family every single day. What you give up in fancy features, you may trade off with more affordable rents, and service fees, more personal attention, while still getting high standards of care. .The Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act (H.R. 2575) also gained one new cosponsor this week, bringing its total up to seven in the House. If signed into law, the bill from Congressman Raul Ruiz (CA-36) would simplify the Medicare enrollment process and ensure that those nearing eligibility are adequately informed about the program's benefits. Its new cosponsor is Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-12). … Continued
Benefit Bulletin July 2012
There's no need for such radical changes to the system in order to preserve Social Security for future generations. The Social Security system can be made solvent for generations to come by adopting some of the relatively modest policy changes proposed by the Social Security Trustees. We certainly shouldn't undermine the entire Social Security program with some harebrained privatization scheme that bankrupts Social Security in the short run and offers no guarantee of decent benefits in the long run. ."The president's plan to import policies from socialized health care systems abroad is disrupting our work [on Covid-19 therapies] and diverting our focus away from those life-saving efforts," the spokesperson said. "We remain willing to discuss ways to lower costs for patients at the pharmacy counter. However, we remain steadfastly opposed to policies that would allow foreign governments to set prices for medicines in the United States." .This week, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) announced its support for new legislation that would improve the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). … Continued
While the cost of the prescription is affordable, the drug causes a number of serious side effects. Susan needs to see her doctor more frequently for monitoring and blood tests. Her biggest prescription cost surprise was learning that her prescription vitamin, folic acid, which she needs to fight the side effects, was not covered under Medicare. Her Part D plan wanted 0.00 for a one-month supply. Susan instead orders an over-the-counter supply of 400 pills for .99 on Amazon, taking 7 pills every day to get to the required dosage, which is still not as effective as the prescription version of folic acid. Now her doctor is considering a different medication. .The committee found that AbbVie inflated prices for the drugs while its executives pocketed growing bonuses. The committee's two-year investigation found that AbbVie "pursued a variety of tactics to increase drug sales while raising prices for Americans, including exploiting the patent system to extend its market monopoly, abusing orphan drug protections to further block competition, and engaging in anticompetitive pricing practices." .TSCL is urging older Americans to speak out to Members of Congress about earned benefits like Social Security and Medicare. What do you think? Visit to participate in TSCL's annual Senior Survey. .TSCL is hopeful that the bill will fail to win passage in the House since it would negatively impact older Americans if adopted. The AHCA would restructure the Medicaid program, which helps fund health care for 11 million – or around 1 in 5 – Medicare beneficiaries. It would also base premium subsidies on age instead of income, and allow private health insurers to charge older Americans more than they charge younger folks for their coverage. In addition, it would deplete Medicare's Hospital Insurance Trust Fund by eliminating a key revenue source, and the program would face an immediate funding crisis. .A 2.8 percent COLA would be the largest since 2012, but according to The Senior Citizens League's Social Security Policy Analyst Mary Johnson, "Retirees may be disappointed when they learn what the cost of their Medicare premiums and prescription drugs will be for 2019." .This week, Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-1), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, revealed that Congress will not consider legislation that would permanently repeal and replace the SGR – the flawed formula that sets payment rates for doctors who treat Medicare patients – before the March 31st deadline. Instead, they will likely pass another short-term "doc fix" in order to avert a 21 percent pay cut for physicians that is set to hit on April 1st. .Early data show that the vaccines may help keep people from spreading COVID-19, but we are learning more as more people get vaccinated. .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%. .However, leaders in the House postponed the vote and the discussion grew complicated after President Obama made a last-minute request to include funding for the training of Syrian rebels in the CR. "This is substantive policy change … Of course I would rather pass a clean, simple CR," said Rep. Mike Rogers (MI-8), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, following the President's request.