Legislative Update August 2011 Advisor Feed
It will also amend existing law to allow the Secretary of Agriculture and the Commissioner of Social Security (SSA) to administer Combined Application Projects (CAP) in at least 10 additional states, which will streamline application procedures for SSI and SNAP. Seventeen states currently participate in this program. .The first few months of this year were spent encouraging lawmakers to re-introduce critical legislation. So far, TSCL's most vital bills have been re-introduced, including the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E) Act, the Notch Fairness Act, the Social Security Fairness Act, and the Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act. More recently, TSCL's focus has shifted to building support for these and other bills, and already, many legislators have signed on to them as co-sponsors. .Often, consumers don't even know they signed such an agreement because the clauses are buried in the fine print. … Continued
Legislative Update For Week Ending December 16 2011
Your chance to make some changes is coming up, November 15 through December 3Since Medicare's open enrollment period is in the middle of Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, your best bet is to do your homework by starting now. Here are some things you should know: .To learn more about proposals that would affect your Medicare and Social Security benefits, to get tips on reducing your Medicare costs, and to sign up for TSCL's free online newsletter, The Social Security & Medicare Advisor, visit TSCL at . .About 30 percent of the "other than legal " immigrants who were living in the U.S., and age 62 in 2000, would be eligible to receive retiree benefits. … Continued
"Addressing our fiscal challenges will require many tough choices and policy changes—but switching to the chained CPI represents neither. Such a change offers policy makers the rare opportunity to achieve significant savings spread across the entire budget by making a technical improvement to existing policies. As such, across-the-board adoption of the chained CPI should be at the top of the list for any deficit reduction plan or down payment." .Medicare Savings Programs cover the cost of the Medicare Part B premium, saving a person 8.50 per month in 202Depending on income, those with the lowest income may also qualify for additional benefits that cover the Part B deductible and out-of-pocket costs. People with incomes in 2020 of up to ,456 per month (individual) or ,960 (married couples) might be eligible if they have limited savings and resources of ,860 (individuals) or ,800 (married couples). These limits are slightly higher for Hawaii and Alaska. This program is administered through state Medicaid programs and states may have guidelines that allow people with slightly higher income to enroll. If interested ,contact your local Medicaid office to apply. .TSCL believes a better approach to Medicare Advantage "risk adjustments" is needed, and should be written into law, rather than left to the discretion of politically appointed Medicare administrators. Congress could do this by writing a method for calculating the adjustment into the law. This approach would make payment for MA plans more like payment for other Medicare providers. .Last October's debt deal contained surprise Social Security changes that will cost some Baby Boomer couples tens of thousands in anticipated Social Security income. While proponents say the changes were necessary to "close filing loopholes," TSCL feels the cuts included people who are too close to retirement. Worse, these changes were struck in a secret, closed-door "must pass" debt deal with no public debate. .While the reasons for that are still being explored, it is likely the wearing of masks, frequent hand washing and staying away from crowds contributed to those results. .According to the results, TSCL's members and supporters would prefer to see a more permanent solution. Forty-eight percent of respondents said the DI program should tighten its eligibility requirements and conduct more continuing disability reviews to reduce fraud, and 51 percent said high wage earners should be required to pay Social Security taxes on all of their incomes. .Congress and President Obama are battling over the federal budget, but supporters in Congress aren't about to forget Notch Babies. The Notch Fairness Act bills (H.R. 155) and (S.90) were introduced by Representative Mike McIntrye (NC-7) and Senator David Vitter (LA). They were among the first bills to be re-introduced in the new session. The bills would provide Notch Babies born from 1917 through 1926, or spouses who receive benefits on their account, a choice of ,000 payable in four annual installments or, an improved monthly benefit. .TSCL Announces Support for PRIME Act .TSCL is opposed to this new rule. It is not possible to reduce the costs of prescription drugs by taking actions that end up making those who need the drugs pay more.