• Issues Social Security Reform

    Medicare recently announced that a big change is coming to Medicare cards. To prevent identity theft and to help protect the program from fraud, Medicare will be dropping Social Security numbers from Medicare cards and issuing new cards starting next year. .Telephone scammers are bilking Medicare out of billions of dollars, and bombarding millions of older U.S. consumers with multiple daily automated phone calls for everything from "free" back braces to genetic tests. While Medicare scams have been with us for decades, what's new is the use of automated calling technology, and the massive international scale of the scams. .As a result, experts have been saying that even people who have been vaccinated should continue to wear masks and keep their distance from others. … Continued

  • Q A

    "People should watch for mail from their drug or health plans explaining cost changes for 2018," Johnson says. You can compare plans and make changes during the Medicare Open Enrollment period, which runs October 15th through December 7th. You can get free one-on-one counseling from your state Health Insurance counselors (SHIP) by contacting your local Area on Aging, or senior centers. Ask for help comparing Medicare drug plans. .This week, lawmakers in the House and Senate voted to begin conference negotiations on legislation to overhaul the tax code. Representatives in the House passed their tax reform bill last month, and Senators in the Senate passed their version last Friday, with a vote of 51-4Members of the bicameral conference committee have been busy ironing out the differences between the two bills this week, and they hope to have a deal reached before they adjourn for the holiday recess on December 22nd. .Changes are looming for Medicare and Social Security. Make your opinion count. Visit TSCL online at and take our monthly poll. We'll announce the results in upcoming issues of this newsletter. … Continued

Here are two actual cases from the Social Security Administration's Office of Inspector General, and estimates of what the cost would be over a 20-year period by Advisor editor, Mary Johnson. .If signed into law, H.R. 973 would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) – two federal provisions that unfairly reduce or eliminate the earned Social Security benefits of millions of teachers, firefighters, peace officers, and other state or local government employees each year. .Wall Street economists are in the midst of a growing debate over whether we are in for "the return of inflation." (Oh, go ahead and snort. I did too when I first read about this.) .This week, the Obama administration released its much-anticipated 2013 budget proposal, and the House-Senate conference committee compromised on a deal to prevent payment cuts to Medicare physicians and extend the payroll tax holiday. In addition, four new cosponsors signed on to the Social Security Fairness Act. .As we all know, senior citizens are the most likely to be hospitalized or die from the Covid-19 virus -- by a wide margin. .Social Security's combined Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds will be fully funded until 203At that point, if nothing is done by Congress, Social Security will still have the funds to pay out 79 percent of scheduled benefits using tax revenues. The Trustees also estimated that Medicare's Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund will be fully funded until 2026, at which point the program will still be able to pay out 88 percent of scheduled benefits using tax revenues. .In December — just before the 115th Congress came to a close — The Senior Citizens League's (TSCL's) Board of Trustees member and Legislative Liaison Joe Kluck traveled to Capitol Hill to thank lawmakers who sponsored key legislation that would strengthen and protect the Social Security program for current and future beneficiaries. .Wages were lower than expected and initial retirement benefits for Notch Babies were calculated on lower average earnings. Thus, benefits were lower than anticipated. In addition, inflation grew at double-digit rates over the same period, yet the new benefit formula failed to fully account for inflation for many Notch Babies, especially those who delayed their retirements (5). .Set up a healthcare worksheet with your basic expenses. That can include Medicare premiums for Part B (deducted from your Social Security), Medicare supplement premiums and Part D premiums OR Medicare Advantage premiums. You also need to include deductibles, out-of-pocket co-pays or co-insurance. In addition, include the costs for premiums or out-of-pocket costs for services that Medicare does not cover, including dental, vision and audio. Include the cost of glasses and hearing aids and batteries if you use them.