• The Senior Citizens League Weekly Update For Week Ending November 29 2019

    TSCL is hopeful that the bill will fail to win passage in the House since it would negatively impact older Americans if adopted. The AHCA would restructure the Medicaid program, which helps fund health care for 11 million – or around 1 in 5 – Medicare beneficiaries. It would also base premium subsidies on age instead of income, and allow private health insurers to charge older Americans more than they charge younger folks for their coverage. In addition, it would deplete Medicare's Hospital Insurance Trust Fund by eliminating a key revenue source, and the program would face an immediate funding crisis. .The Social Security website,, has a number of tools and retirement planning to get you start planning, including benefit estimators. You should set up a "my Social Security" account that will give you online access to your earnings record, because you will need that for an accurate estimate of your benefit. .To make the COLA more fair and accurate, TSCL believes that Congress must fully implement the CPI-E, and use it to provide a more realistic annual benefit boost. We support a number of bills before Congress that would do just that, including the CPI-E Act (H.R. 1030), the Guaranteed 3% COLA Act (H.R. 1585), the CPI for Seniors Act (H.R. 2154), and the Social Security Guarantee Act (H.R. 1275). Each of them would go a long way in ensuring that seniors receive the retirement security they deserve. … Continued

  • Category Issues Medicare Part D Articles Page 9

    But here's the real kicker. A statute of limitation loophole is hamstringing Medicare from recovering overpayments. Federal law allows a Medicare claims contractor to reopen a payment determination for "good cause" at any time within 4 years of the date the original payment determination was made. But another provision of law bars the recovery of overpayments from providers that are "without fault." And the law states that a provider is deemed to be without fault 3 years after the year in which the original payment was made unless there is "evidence to the contrary." .I read that the Medicare Part D doughnut hole is closing. What does that mean? I recently started on Lantus insulin, which my drug plan covers, but with the other drugs I take, I expect to hit the doughnut hole with my April refill. .That is why we are letting you know that the American Medical Association said this week that neither doctors nor the general public should use coronavirus antibody tests to determine whether someone is protected from the pathogen. … Continued

There is a misconception that all veterans can get health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs. But that is not true. To get health care there a veteran must have a VA-rated disability. .We recently moved my mom from another part of the state to live with us. She's starting to have memory problems and it's too risky for her to live on her own. Recently when we went for a visit to her new doctor, I discovered that her Medicare health plan isn't accepted in our area. Can she enroll in a new plan now that Open Enrollment is over? .The Neal bill was passed by the Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday of this week. It would ban surprise billing using an arbitration process favored by hospitals and specialty physician groups but opposed by insurers, employers and labor unions. Neal's legislation would send all the disputes that can't be settled between the parties to arbitration but require mediators to consider median contracted rates used by health plans, with the mediators prohibited from considering "usual and customary charges," also known as "billed charges." .TSCL is hopeful that lawmakers will pass a stopgap measure before the October deadline, since a government shutdown could negatively impact Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries. We will keep a close eye on the evolving negotiations over the next two weeks, and we will post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website. .I Thought My Co-pay Would Be Why Did I Have To Pay 3.45? .After spending four days at a local hospital being treated for a broken elbow and pelvis, 93-year-old Lois Frarie went to a nearby nursing home to build up her strength. Her family was later shocked to learn they would have to pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket since two of the days she spent in the hospital were considered "observation care" as an outpatient. Because she wasn't an inpatient for at least three consecutive days, she didn't qualify for Medicare's nursing home coverage. .The DOJ in late March arrested a man in Southern California who allegedly orchestrated an investment scheme involving a bogus injectable cure for Covid-1A week later, the DOJ filed charges against a man whose treatment allegedly involved a combination of Vitamin C, bee pollen, hydrogen peroxide, and prayer. ."Sorting this out isn't easy for most seniors or family members who try to help them," Johnson admits. "Medicare Part D can befuddle all of us," Johnson says. "But comparing plans saves so much -- where else are you going to get this sort of return for your time?" Johnson wryly notes. "Just do it. If you don't have computer access, or just are not sure how to start, get the help of a Medicare benefits counselor from your State Health Insurance Program (SHIP), " Johnson urges. Many of the programs operate through local Area Agencies on Aging or you can call the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116, or call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE ( 7). .The TSCL legislative team continues to work diligently to promote the issues affecting our members. While much of this week's success was focused on current bills, our team also strives to stay on top of forth-coming legislation yet to be formally introduced. The work of our committed legislative team enables TSCL to keep capable eyes and ears on Congress' inner-workings to better represent the concerns of our valued members.