Medicare Costs Too High Three Medicare Proposals That Would Make You Pay Even More
This week, lawmakers in the House and Senate adjourned for a week-long holiday recess. They are expected to return to Washington on Tuesday, June 5th. In the meantime, many Members of Congress will be attending local events or hosting town hall meetings in their home states and districts. .By Representative Alan Nunnelee (MS-1) .The Medicare Hospital Trust Fund is Running Out of Money … Continued
Tscl Legislative Update For Week Ending July 19 2019
Action on Capitol Hill slowed down this week as Members of Congress returned to their home states and districts for the week-long holiday recess. Meanwhile, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) announced its support for Medicare fraud prevention legislation, and one key bill gained a new cosponsor. .The fraudsters enlist unscrupulous doctors to approve the test and the doctor receives a kick back from the recruiting company for each prescription. Medicare receives a bill that can range from ,000 to ,000. Victims have later reported that they did not even know the doctor who prescribed the test. Law officials warn that health fairs, senior centers and even church events are magnets for the scam, where recruiters take cheek swabs for genetic testing and collect Medicare numbers. .Computed tomography or CT scans are diagnostic tests that are covered by Medicare when medically necessary and ordered by your healthcare provider. Medicare most typically covers the tests under Part B when you are an outpatient, or the tests would be covered by Part A if you receive the CT scan as an inpatient during a hospital stay. … Continued
Last week the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report that revealed Medicare outpatient plans are three times more expensive for the same drugs as those covered by Medicaid. .TSCL believes the increased use of observation stays is denying Medicare beneficiaries access to medically necessary skilled nursing care. All days spent in a hospital should count toward Medicare's three-day hospital stay requirement. TSCL supports the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act (H.R. 1179) introduced by Representatives Joseph Courtney (CT-2) and Tom Latham (IA-3), and (S. 569) introduced by Senators Sherrod Brown, (OH) and Susan Collins (ME). The legislation would deem time an individual spends under observation status eligible towards satisfying Medicare's three-day requirement. .The Social Security Administration is required to withhold in benefits for each you earned above the limit until the year in which you reach full retirement age. The year in which you reach full retirement age, you are allowed to earn more. The amount you may earn is adjusted annually. In 2007 when you retired, it was ,960 (,080 per month) for retirees like you who were under full retirement age. .He predicted that lawmakers will pass a six-month "doc fix" later this month in order to buy more time for the offset discussions. If Congress takes that route, the temporary pay patch would expire at the end of September – the same time that funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will run out. Rep. Price suggested that a permanent repeal of the SGR would likely be rolled into a package with CHIP's reauthorization. .This week, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) announced its support for new legislation that would strengthen and expand the Social Security program, and the federal government reopened after lawmakers and President Donald Trump approved a short-term continuing resolution (CR). .Some Members of Congress are calling for Congress to strike a deficit reduction deal of their own. Although gridlock may occur and would hardly be surprising, TSCL remains adamantly opposed to a key proposal that would change the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) calculation. The proposal, which would affect not only future retirees but ALL retirees, would switch to a more slowly-growing consumer price index known as the "chained" CPI to calculate the annual COLA. This proposal that would reduce the lifetime Social Security income of seniors by potentially tens of thousands of dollars is one of the few areas of agreement between both Democrat and Republican negotiators. TSCL also strongly opposes proposals that would increase what seniors have to pay for the Medicare benefits. .These higher Medicare Part B premiums, in turn, contributed to ongoing flat growth in Social Security benefits in subsequent years — even when a 2 percent COLA became payable two years later in 201The Medicare Part B premium took the entire 2 percent COLA of about half of all beneficiaries — the half with lower benefits. Many beneficiaries did not see any growth in their net Social Security benefits until they received a 2.8% COLA in 2019. .Many believe that Sen. Conrad's plan entails a fair balance of spending cuts and revenue increases, and they are pleased that he has revived the Fiscal Commission's recommendations. Others, however, have expressed concerns about some of the entitlement spending cuts that it calls for. TSCL in particular is concerned about the adoption of the Chained Consumer Price Index, which could significantly reduce the lifetime benefits collected by future Social Security recipients. .The explosive cost of specialty drugs, that offer major treatment advances for people with life-threatening diseases, is not only threatening access to these treatments, but threatens to drain retirement savings, and leave widows and widowers in poverty after the death of a spouse. Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, and health insurance plans covering working-age adults, Medicare Part D has no annual out-of-pocket maximum to protect people with the highest drug costs.