• Legislative Update Week Ending October 5 2018

    It closed the Medicare outpatient therapy cap. Before the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act, Medicare coverage for various forms of outpatient therapy – including physical therapy and speech therapy – was arbitrarily capped at ,500 per year. For years, lawmakers sought to repeal this cap since it limited the care older Americans could receive under Medicare. TSCL advocated tirelessly for Congressman Erik Paulsen's (MN-3) bipartisan Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (H.R. 807), and we were thrilled that a similar provision was included in this year's bipartisan budget agreement, repealing the therapy cap once and for all. .The sharp plunge was the result of changes that Congress made in 1977 to a. Could Your Benefits Be Notched? The Notch Fairness Act Introduced in the House and Senate .This week, one House Subcommittee heard from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) about its most recent report to Congress, which was titled Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System. In addition, the 2013 recovery estimate was released for the Senior Medicare Patrol, and The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) saw support grow for two key bills. … Continued

  • Congressional Corner Fighting Back Against Senior Scammers

    Without passage of the waiver legislation the Office of Management and Budget will impose the Medicare payment cuts at the end of the current congressional session. While Social Security, low-income programs such as Medicaid, and veterans' benefits are exempt from sequestration, Medicare payments can be reduced up to 4%. .The deal will likely move to the House and Senate for a vote before the Presidents Day recess begins. .Your Initial Enrollment Period starts three months prior to turning age 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after you turn 6Advisor editor Mary Johnson, who has helped dozens of friends and neighbors with their Medicare, highly recommends starting the Medicare enrollment process 3 months before you turn 65, in order to have your new coverage become effective in the month you turn 6Enrolling in Medicare is done online through the Social Security website at Look for the box that says, "Enroll in Medicare". Or you can get assistance to help you with this. … Continued

Drug Companies start effort on New Drug Treatments .Using the tool takes computer know-how, and interpreting the results can take some special training. You can get free unbiased help through your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Call your local Area Agency on Aging. Check the number in your local phone book and when you call, say you need help comparing drug plans. .Can you tell me how I can find out what my benefit and probable income from Social Security would be? I've heard some complaints about conflicting information. I turn 62 later this year. .Sources: "Choices for Debt Reduction," The Congressional Budget Office, November 2012. .This week, the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R.1205, S.915) gained one new cosponsor in Congressman Steve Stivers (OH-15), bringing the new cosponsor total up to 16In the Senate, the bill gained six new cosponsors in Senator Bill Nelson (FL), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA), Senator Mazie Hirono (HI), Senator Jack Reed (RI), and Senator Patrick Leahy (VT). If signed into law, the Social Security Fairness Act would repeal the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) – two Social Security provisions that unfairly reduce the earned benefits of millions of public employees each year. .What is likely to happen if the test is not done? ."Opting out" of a former employer's coverage on occasion might be able to save you money, but it requires careful cost comparisons and sound guidance. Never make any change without first getting the unbiased advice from a trained Medicare benefits counselor. The service is provided free of charge through your State Health Insurance Program and is available at many local Agencies on Aging. Check your local yellow pages. .The Senior Medicare Patrol informs and empowers beneficiaries so that they may better detect, report, and protect against Medicare fraud. Volunteers focus on identity protection, and they also teach seniors to identify potential scams and to properly read their Medicare Summary Notices. There were more than fifty active Senior Medicare Patrol projects as of last year, with at least one in each state. To learn more about the Senior Medicare Patrol or to find a program near you, click HERE. .Chairman Johnson said: "I know that fixing Social Security will require tough choices that will affect the lives of millions of Americans. Congress has a responsibility to the American people to make these choices. And the longer we wait, the harder it gets. If we wait until the Trust Funds are exhausted, some options won't even be available anymore. We must take this responsibility seriously. Americans want, need, and deserve nothing less."