Legislative Update Week Ending June 9 2017
Regrettably, this uncertainty persists during the on-going deficit reduction discussions. Those who received services paid for by Medicare will not be affected by the automatic budget cuts due to the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reach a compromise. Nevertheless, I am concerned that providers are not also shielded from those cuts. That is why I am co-sponsoring H.R. 3519, legislation to protect Medicare providers from the 2 percent cuts that were part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. .The President ordered a payroll tax deferral, not a cut, meaning the taxes will not be collected for a while but they will still be due at a later date. However, some observers have suggested that rather than give employees the additional money and then try to collect it back from them at the end of the year, employers will simply hold onto the money so that the employees would never see it in their paychecks. .The amount you pay for your CT scan will vary by your Medicare Advantage plan and whether you get your CT scan from a preferred provider. You will need to call your plan to learn the out-of-pocket cost details, and to make sure the facility, doctors, and medical technicians performing the CT scan are preferred providers with your Medicare Advantage plan. You could pay considerably more if you use providers who are not under contract with your Medicare Advantage plan. Call the customer service number on the back of your health plan's card, have your questions written down and be ready to take notes. … Continued
The Advisor Volume 16 June 2011 Part 2 Feed
"Hello seniors!" the voice bellows. "Medicare covers a remarkable new device that can give you freedom from lower back pain! Hold the phone to find out how to get your free, Medicare-covered back brace. " While free usually sounds good, this call is worse than a pain in the lower backside. It's. Feds Bust 243 People In Biggest Medicare Fraud Yet In what the U.S. Department of Justice is calling the largest nationwide crackdown on Medicare and Medicaid fraud ever, some 243 people were recently arrested and charged for bilking Medicare out of 2 million. Those charged include 46 doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals. .The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide a case in June that could have far -reaching implications for Social Security and Medicare. The Obama Administration has asked the Supreme Court to reinstate its executive action plan on immigration. The plan would give temporary relief from deportation and work permits to almost 5 million unauthorized immigrants. Should the Supreme Court find in favor of President Obama, his Administration would have 7 months to implement the program before his term ends. .The Social Security Administration (SSA) website provides free calculators which are somewhat useful to estimate retirement benefits, but they don't provide guidance on when to claim your benefit. These calculators require you to input information, and you will receive rough estimates. A much more useful estimate with less work can be obtained when you set up your "my Social Security" account. You can receive benefit estimates based on your own earnings records that the SSA actually has on file for you. Still, these estimates lack the most recent earnings information, and don't give you a monthly estimate if you were to retire mid - year. … Continued
This week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Senior Medicare Patrol – a voluntary fraud prevention effort comprised of seniors – recovered at least .1 million last year, which is up from million in 2012. .August Recess Continues for House Lawmakers .If he proceeds, Trump would force drug companies to accept lower payments from Medicare for treatments administered in doctors' offices. The rule would apply to certain drugs bought by the "Part B" section of Medicare. .This week, TSCL announced its support for the Savings on Medical Expenses for Seniors Act of 2014 (H.R. 4104), which was introduced by Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA-35) on February 27th. The bill, if signed into law, would make permanent the 7.5 percent threshold for the medical expense tax deduction for those sixty-five and older. The threshold is currently scheduled to increase to 10 percent of adjusted gross income in 2017, which would mean that fewer seniors would qualify for much-needed relief. .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. .New criminal cases were filed in April against a Michigan doctor accused of pushing Vitamin C injections as a treatment, and a former "naturopathic" physician accused of peddling a "dynamic duo" of substances on Facebook that he claimed could kill the virus. .The Senior Citizens League strongly believes allowing the HHS Secretary to negotiate with the drug companies is one important way to reduce the costs of drugs for seniors. We will be continuing our efforts to get Congress to pass legislation that would make this possible. .There is one trend that of particular concern for all consumers. "There's a relentless march upward in the cost of foods, especially sources of protein, (meats, poultry, seafood), dairy, as well as fruits and vegetables, Johnson says. Some categories of food prices especially for fresh fruits and vegetables have climbed in recent years due to widespread damage from severe weather and wild fires. "COVID-19 simply added another layer of disaster cost due to loss of restaurant and school lunch markets, labor shortages for growing, harvesting and food processing, and transportation disruptions," Johnson says. "This is the year to plant a vegetable garden," Johnson says. .Members of the House were scheduled to vote on a stopgap funding measure on Tuesday, but leaders have delayed the vote until next week due to a lack of support. It remains to be seen whether or not lawmakers will successfully avert the shutdown, but Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (KY-) remains optimistic. He said of the delay this week: "We've got some time left here, and conversations are taking place among the various elements … It's not time to panic."