Benefit Bulletin July 2013
TSCL is working for legislation that would provide an emergency COLA. The Seniors and Veterans Emergency (SAVE) Benefits Act (S. 2251, H.R. 4144) introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Representative Tammy Duckworth (IL-8), would provide Social Security beneficiaries with a one-time emergency COLA of 3.9 percent. For the average retiree, the emergency COLA would amount to around 0 dollars. To learn more, visit . .A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that undocumented immigrants who receive work authorization are eligible to receive Social Security and Medicare benefits on the basis of their work history. Under current law there's no citizenship requirement to receive benefits, but individuals must be lawfully present in the U.S. That will mean higher spending on Social Security and Medicare in the future, the CBO said. While the CBO said new payroll taxes would boost Social Security and Medicare's financial condition in the short term, in the long term federal spending would increase significantly as those people became eligible for benefits. .Budget Cuts Taking Toll on Congressional Staffs … Continued
Benefit Bulletin July 2020
The revenues from taxation of benefits are earmarked for funding Social Security and Medicare benefits. "Those revenues take on added importance for the 2020 tax year, as the coronavirus takes a significant toll on Social Security and Medicare payroll tax revenues," Johnson says. .Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans are administered by private insurers and cover all your Medicare Part A hospital, Part B doctors benefits. Many include Part D prescription drug benefits as well. They may also include coverage for benefits that aren't covered by Medicare, like vision or hearing services, as part of the premium, or you may pay extra for the coverage. You can enroll during your initial Medicare enrollment period or during the fall Open Enrollment Period that runs from October 15 through December To learn more about Medicare Advantage plans in your area, check your 2014 copy of Medicare & You. Call Medicare toll free at 1-800- MEDICARE ( 7) or visit Medicare.gov. .In addition, the bill would help finance Part D benefits. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill will save Medicare billion over a decade and save beneficiaries billion in out-of-pocket costs over the same period. … Continued
The lack of growth in Social Security benefits is eroding the buying power of more than 60 million people who depend on Social Security. There was no annual boost again this year. But according to a recent TSCL survey of more than 1,100 people age 62 and over, retiree household expenses continued to climb. Some 72 percent of survey respondents reported their monthly expenses grew by more than in 2015. .Grassley has previously said he needs at least 25 Republican co-sponsors to get his bill to the floor and sees backing from the White House as important in getting more votes. About a dozen Republicans other than Grassley have so far publicly expressed support for the legislation. .Medicare has three Parts: A (hospital), B (doctors and hospital outpatient) and D (prescription drugs). Each has a deductible and each increases every year. In 2007 the Medicare deductibles (annually) are: .Second, Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-8) also signed on to the CPI for Seniors Act (H.R. 2016), bringing the total up to six cosponsors. If adopted, this bill would require the Bureau of Labor Statistics to create and publish a new inflation index specifically for seniors so that lawmakers can better understand the price increases older Americans are experiencing. .The debts in question involved cases decades old, and debts many taxpayers never even knew about — for benefits that were paid to their parents or guardians when they were children. If an overpayment is made on behalf of a child (such as survivors benefits) the child could be held liable years later as an adult. .Spousal and survivor strategies also are important. One example is file-and-suspend, which allows a spouse to claim a spousal benefit while the individual defers claiming. Another is "claim now, claim more later," where the high earner in a married couple claims a spousal benefit based on the lower earning spouse's record, while delaying his or her own retired worker benefit. The idea is to generate higher benefits both for the individual as well as higher survivor benefits for widows. .This week, The Senior Citizens League was pleased to see support grow for three bipartisan bills that would improve the Medicare program and reduce prescription drug prices. .The absence of a Social Security cost-of living adjustment (COLA), or even an extremely low one, triggers a provision of law that, while a valuable protection of Social Security benefits, has led to several steep increases in the Medicare Part B premium over the past decade. The deep recession caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus and shortages have caused consumer prices to plunge, then rise like a roller coaster in 2020. If consumer prices remain low through September 2020, it is likely there will be an extremely low annual Social Security COLA for 2021, and this provision of law will be triggered to some extent again. .When asked how Congress should address the lack of coverage, 79 percent of poll respondents said Medicare coverage should be expanded, while 14 percent said private Medicare Advantage plans that sometimes cover more of these services should be better promoted. Only 7 percent of respondents said Medicare's coverage of dental, vision, and hearing services should remain unchanged.