• Time Close Social Security Tax Loophole

    MedPAC Delivers Report, Testimony to Congress .Your doctor or provider accepts "assignment" or the Medicare approved payment, as payment in full. There may be some doctors in your area that accept assignment, but fewer do that anymore. You will need to call your doctor to find out if he or she accepts assignment. Many are charging more than the Medicare-approved amount and you or your Medigap plan will need to cover the "excess" charges. Even if you do locate a doctor who accepts assignment, a growing number of doctors are not accepting new Medicare patients. To find a doctor who accepts assignment call the customer service number of your Medigap supplement. Then call the physician to find out if he or she is accepting new Medicare patients. .Most Americans contribute 6.2 percent of every paycheck to Social Security, but due to the payroll tax cap, people earning more than 8,400 contribute nothing over that amount. Eliminating the payroll tax cap would extend the solvency of the program responsibly, without cutting benefits for seniors. Do you agree? … Continued

  • Backdoor Medicare Cut Could Raise Your Out Of Pocket Costs

    Can your husband do the work he did previously? If he can, your husband would not qualify. .While Congress continues to discuss similar changes to the Social Security benefit formula today, Notch Reform remains a legislative priority for TSCL. TSCL estimates that 2.7 million Notch babies and their spouses or widows would benefit from passage of The Notch Fairness Act. The legislation would provide Notch Babies, born 1917 through 1926, ,000 payable in four annual installments, or an improved monthly benefit. Representative Mike McIntyre (NC-7) introduced the legislation in the House where it has 17 cosponsors, and Senator David Vitter (LA) has introduced a corresponding bill in the Senate. TSCL continues to work for passage. .The study examined the increase in costs of 40 key items between 2000 and January 2020. The items were chosen because they are typical of the costs of most Social Security recipients, and include expenditures, like the Medicare Part B premium, that are not measured by the index currently used to calculate the COLA. Of the 40 items analyzed, 26 exceeded the COLA over the same period while 14 were lower than the COLA. … Continued

Obamacare is not the first government program in which major implementation glitches had disastrous consequences for large numbers of beneficiaries. In 1977 changes that Congress made to the Social Security benefit formula created a major inequity in benefits that cost retirees tens of thousands of dollars in Social Security benefits over their lifetimes. The seniors affected are among the oldest and most vulnerable today. Born during 1917 through 1926, and known as "Notch Babies," they received substantially lower benefits than other seniors close to them in age with almost identical work and earnings records. The name refers to the plunging "V" notch when benefits of Notch Babies are charted on a graph. .New regulatory threats, some at the urging of the pharmaceutical industry, could make it impossible for seniors to purchase certain products like vitamins and minerals without a prescription. It may sound outrageous, but seniors could soon be limited in their access to things as simple as protein shakes, vegetable juice and even herbal hand lotion without a prescription. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently began imposing new regulations on products used in "Complementary and Alternative Medicine" (CAM). TSCL is concerned the expensive federal regulations will restrict seniors' access to commonly available items and drive up costs for those that remain on the market. .By Representative Larry Bucshon (IN-8) .The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation have boosted previous estimates and now say that switching to the chained consumer price index (C-CPI) will cut Social Security and other federal retirement benefits by 8 billion and increase taxes by 2 billion over the next 10 years. The loss to beneficiaries would compound over time and grows deeper each year as illustrated in the following chart. As seniors grow older and more likely to develop costly health conditions, their Social Security benefits would become less adequate to cover rising costs more quickly. .The federal government shutdown that occurred from midnight December 22, 2018, until January 25, 2019, was the longest in U.S. history. It was so disruptive that an analysis from Standard and Poor's (S & P) estimated that the shut down cost the U.S. economy .6 billion. While the government shutdown was terrible for all affected, failing to raise the U.S. debt limit, also called the debt ceiling, could make the recent shut down look like a tea party. .This week, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill following a two-week spring recess and quickly began working on legislation to fund the federal government past Friday, April 28th. At the time of writing this week's update, a continuing resolution (CR) had not yet been adopted by either chamber, but votes are expected by Friday evening. .The Social Security Fairness Act, if signed into law, would amend the Social Security Act by repealing the government pension offset (GPO) and the windfall elimination provision (WEP). These two provisions unfairly reduce the earned Social Security benefits of millions of teachers, firefighters, peace officers, and other state or local government employees each year. TSCL believes that Congress should repeal the GPO and the WEP so that dedicated public servants receive the retirement security they deserve. .Call your plan's mail-order service and compare the prescription costs, including any shipping. Often you can get a three-month supply of your prescription by mail for less money than you would pay for a one-or two-month supply purchased at a standard retail pharmacy, and pay nothing for shipping. But using mail order requires advance planning on your part because you need to allow up to two weeks for delivery. .Second, one new cosponsor – Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17) – signed on to the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E) Act (H.R. 1251), bringing the total up to fifty-two. If adopted, the CPI-E Act would base Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) on the more fair and adequate CPI-E. Currently, COLAs are based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners (CPI-W), and they fail to keep pace with the inflation experienced by older Americans.