• Ask The Advisor April 2012

    If our annual COLA works as intended, this should not happen. .Seventy-eight percent of the prescriptions ordered by one Florida physician were for Schedule II drugs. For one beneficiary, this physician prescribed a 605-day supply of morphine, a 52day supply of oxycodone, a 460 - day supply of fentanyl, and a 34day supply of hydromophone. .As a result of the COVID-19 economic crisis, Social Security's Average Wage Index is likely to drop in 2020. Because of how Social Security benefits are calculated, this will reduce Social Security benefits for future retirees who were born in 1960, as well as others who become eligible for Social Security in 202Affected beneficiaries would face a permanent reduction in benefits. … Continued

  • Legislative Update Week Ending October 13 2017

    House Passes Prescription Drug Legislation .How Does TSCL Project the Social Security COLA? .At the same time that Social Security and Medicare rolls are increasing, the funding for Social Security and Medicare, which depend on payroll taxes withheld from wages, has fallen. Payroll taxes are not withheld from people who have no earnings. … Continued

The goal is to prevent fraud and combat identity theft by removing the Social Security numbers. Fraud And Abuse Are Costing Medicare — (And You Too!) The federal government made more than billion in erroneous payments to Medicare Advantage health plans last year. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently testified that nearly 10% of payments to Medicare Advantage plans were improper. Those improper payments are driving up costs not only for Medicare, but also for every person in Medicare Part B. Government To Issue New Medicare Cards Watch Out For Scams! .As of yet, the text of the bills has not been released but TSCL will be closely monitoring these bills to determine if we will be supporting them. Coverage of dental and hearing care are two of our priorities and we are hopeful this legislation will provide the solution for one of those goals. .Why ban the use of earnings from unauthorized work to determine Social Security benefits? Under current law Social Security uses all earnings to calculate Social Security benefits. That means earnings of unauthorized immigrants from jobs worked under invalid and fraudulent Social Security numbers (SSN) can be used both to qualify for benefits and for the calculation of the initial retirement benefit. There is no official published data on the amount of wages on file attributable to aliens working without authorization, but the Social Security Administration maintains an earnings suspense file that represents an estimated 3.5 billion in wages from 2000 through 2010[2], most of it believed to be attributable to illegal workers. Under immigration reform, that could mean a huge new liability for Social Security in the future, triggering more rounds of cuts and higher taxes. .The decision on when to start benefits is complicated and you should get counseling. The Social Security Administration website has a great deal of information on survivor's benefits at as well as contact numbers to reach counselors. For more information about working after starting benefits see How Work Affects Your Benefits Publication Number 05-10069. .TSCL disagrees, and we fear that if triggered, the IPAB's recommendations could result in increased costs for beneficiaries or decreased access to quality medical care. In the weeks ahead, we will continue to advocate for legislation to repeal the cost-cutting board in the House and Senate, and we will post updates here in the Legislative News section of our website. .On Tuesday, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee approved legislation that would repeal and replace the sustainable growth rate (SGR), which is the flawed formula that is currently used to determine reimbursements for physicians who treat Medicare patients. The SGR regularly calls for steep pay cuts for doctors and other providers, threatening beneficiaries' access to medical care. .TSCL enthusiastically supports H.R. 2745, H.R. 3118, and H.R. 1795, and we were pleased to see support grow for each of them this week. .My sister's son-in-law lost his job several years ago, and not long after filed for disability. My sister says that after a recent tornado, he made "good" money cleaning up storm damage. I thought disability rules disqualified people from benefits if they work. Has this changed? .To pay for the boost, advocates propose lifting the payroll taxable maximum so that higher earners pay Social Security taxes on their fair share. In 2017 workers pay Social Security taxes on the first 7,200 in income. But the highest earners, like highly paid CEOs, don't pay anything on earnings over that amount.