S 20 Social Security Lock Box Act
If you've received a medical bill for services that you thought were covered by your health insurance you already know what surprise medical billing is. But as a reminder, "Surprise medical billing" is a term commonly used to describe charges received by someone who has health insurance but they received care from a health care provider who is not included in their insurance coverage. This situation could arise in an emergency when the patient has no ability to select the emergency room, treating physicians, or ambulance providers. Surprise medical bills might also happen when a patient receives planned care from an in-network provider (often, a hospital or ambulatory care facility), but other treating providers brought in to participate in the patient's care are not in the same network. This can end up costing patients thousands of dollars they thought their insurance would pay. .In fact, according to TSCL's annual survey of senior costs, Social Security benefits have lost more than one-third of their buying power since 2000 because COLAs underpay recipients. TSCL supports using the CPI-E to determine COLAs that better take into account the spending patterns of older people. For well over a decade, TSCL has lobbied Congress to make the COLA more fair and accurate. TSCL is mobilizing seniors nationwide to contact Members of Congress. .Downsizing doctor networks is one way that Medicare Advantage insurers are dealing with the sizable cuts. Some insurers have also begun to increase premiums and out-of-pocket costs that enrollees pay. Austin Pittman, President of UnitedHealth, told the Wall Street Journal: "It's no secret that we are under substantial funding pressure from the federal government … That's what's driving our actions." … Continued
Legislative Update Week Ending October 26 2018
Welcome to the month of February! This week, President Donald Trump addressed the nation in his first State of the Union, and The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) monitored negotiations at one Senate hearing. In addition, four key bills gained new cosponsors in the House and Senate. .Eliminating the tax on Social Security benefits that currently applies to individuals with incomes as low as ,000 and married couples with incomes less than ,000. .As a result of the inadequate funding, both the both the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and the Disability Insurance (DI) programs have been struggling to serve the public. More than one million applicants are currently waiting to hear whether they qualify for DI benefits, and those who have appealed recent rejections must wait 600 days or longer for their cases to be re-heard. In 2017, 10,000 individuals died while waiting on their DI eligibility decisions. While waiting, they had no access to DI benefits or Medicare coverage, which recipients with long-term disabilities can receive after they are enrolled in the program for two years. … Continued
That leaves Grassley with a ticking clock to build enough support for his proposal to get it through the Senate and to convince House leaders to take it up as well. House leadership has its own signature drug pricing measure that is closer to Trump's own order than Grassley's bill. .The Social Security 2100 Act — In the 115th Congress, Congressman John Larson's (CT-1) Social Security 2100 Act gained the support of more than 170 cosponsors, but unfortunately it was not brought to the House floor for a vote. In TSCL's December meeting with Congressman Larson's staff, he agreed to re-introduce the bill at the start of the 116th Congress, and to convene several hearings on the bill as the new Chairman of the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee in the 116th TSCL is confident that the bill will be advanced by the House of Representatives by the end of this year. .This is all good news. In addition to the cost of pharmaceuticals, the simple availability of them is crucial for seniors, especially during times like this. .The extra time was needed because although both houses of Congress were finally able to pass the needed legislation, the bill was nearly 5,600 pages in length. It is probable that no member of Congress actually read the entire bill and likely very few Congressional staff members read it either. .After a much-anticipated mid-term election and an active "lame duck" session on Capitol Hill, the 114th Congress has officially begun and The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) is gearing up for another busy year. With the November elections behind them, lawmakers will finally be able to focus on some of the complex policy issues that sit high on their agendas, like deficit reduction, Social Security reform, and an overhaul of the immigration system. .While that may solve one problem in trying to find the most affordable health care, it's not clear it will solve many others that still exist. .The report continues, "Two House panels last week approved legislation adding vision, hearing and dental coverage to Medicare. Dental is by far the most expensive and complicated of the three to roll out: the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office previously estimated that such coverage would cost 8 billion over 10 years, compared with billion for vision and billion for hearing coverage. .How Can My Sister's Son-In-Law Work And Claim Disability? .TSCL supports several bills in the House that would strengthen your Social Security benefits by indexing the COLA using the CPI-E. Visit us at www.SeniorsLeague to learn the latest on this legislation and what you can do to help move this legislation in Congress!