• How Covid 19 Affected Typical Retiree Costs In 2020 Seniors Need A Boost

    Because Medicare doesn't negotiate drug prices, there are huge variations in cost for the same drug between drug plans, and even between pharmacies in the same plan. The difference in drug prices between the lowest and highest costing plans and pharmacies can be in the hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. The high cost of drugs are the single biggest reason that people don't fill a prescription! But the most frequent reason that a drug costs so much more in the highest costing plan is lack of coverage by the drug plan —the drug is not listed on the plan's formulary. Sometimes, the pharmacy is not in the plan's preferred "network", and even preferred pharmacies can have significantly higher costs. For example, the lowest cost plan for Sovaldi, a drug used to treat Hepatitis C, charges ,600 in co-insurance (for a one-year treatment). The highest cost drug plan charges 0,800, the full cost of the drug, because Sovaldi is not on the plan formulary. The lowest cost plan for Advair Diskus, which is used to control and prevent symptoms of pulmonary disease, charges a co-pay of .33 per month from a mail order pharmacy, or the highest cost plan charges 6.62 per month because the drug is not on the plan's formulary. .Have you calculated how much you might need? How much income would be lost if you or your spouse were to pass away? There's a loss of retirement income, particularly when the higher benefit spouse dies. The couple's Social Security benefit is cut by one-third to one-half, and a couple's private pension benefit (if any) is either cut in half, or disappears completely if you have not opted for a joint-and survivor annuity. If you have a large estate, thriving business, valuable real estate and savings, would there be estate taxes to pay? Some families choose to keep life insurance because the death benefits are tax free to heirs, and can give the surviving spouse a financial cushion. .The benefit reduction would be caused by a feature of the Social Security benefit formula that is sensitive to economic recessions and high unemployment. The first step in calculating benefits is to adjust the individual's earnings using the average wage index (AWI) in order to convert the value of past earnings into today's dollars. The AWI is also used to adjust the earnings levels that determine the portion of their average monthly earnings that people are allowed to keep as their benefit. … Continued

  • Legislative Update For Week Ending December 2 2011

    Oxford's study, however, found that the vaccine not only prevented severe disease but appeared to cut transmission of the virus by two-thirds. The study has not been peer-reviewed yet. .TSCL recently submitted comments on the draft FDA regulations, stating "classifying CAM products as drugs, the cost of access would increase, as consumers may have to visit and pay a doctor for a prescription, instead of being able to choose their own vitamins, minerals and dietary supplement intake." TSCL is further concerned about the impact such regulation would have upon Medicare beneficiaries. Currently, Medicare reimburses few CAM therapies and products and seniors must pay out of pocket. Most Part D drug plans, for example, don't cover vitamins and supplements. TSCL called on the FDA to withdraw the regulations. .It's hard to say until you crunch the numbers. You may qualify for Social Security benefits with as little as ten years of work through your self-employment. But even if you do, you will be subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) which reduces Social Security benefits when you receive a pension based on non-covered government employment. … Continued

A Humana Medicare Advantage plan in Florida improperly collected nearly 0 million in payments in 2015 by overstating how sick some of its enrollees were. A new audit by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is seeking to get the money back. If successful, the audit penalty would be what has been described as "by far the largest" ever imposed on a Medicare Advantage company. But Humana has sharply disputed the OIG's findings, and has said that the recommendations "do not represent final determinations, and Humana will have the right to appeal." .TSCL is deeply concerned about the prospect of cuts to benefits and COLAs. Seniors can ill afford any reduction in benefits once they have already retired and are depending on them for their daily expenses. We urge you to learn how Congressional candidates stand on changes to Social Security and Medicare. To learn whether your U.S. Representative or Senators support legislation of interest to you, visit the TSCL website at or call toll free 1-800-333-8725. .What tips do you have for job hunting seniors? ."If more retired taxpayers aren't paying taxes on their Social Security benefits, that's good news for their tax liability, but would also mean their adjusted gross income was lower than in 2019," says Johnson. "And that could mean those households might be living too close for comfort to the federal poverty level," she adds. .Low-income beneficiaries who receive Medicaid in addition to Medicare. State Medicaid programs pay the Part B premiums for people who qualify due to low income and resources. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, there are approximately 10 million dually-eligible beneficiaries representing about two-thirds of those who are not protected by hold harmless. .To help with your planning process, TSCL has pulled together a number of resources that can help. Visit TSCL's Retirement Resource Center. .She had a very tempting decision. If she "opted out" and decided not to take supplemental coverage through her former employer, she could join a new Medicare Advantage plan and pay Often, consumers don't even know they signed such an agreement because the clauses are buried in the fine print. .Social Security and Medicare Public Trustees Recommend Raising Eligibility Age and Benefit Formula Changes .The federal government negotiates prescription drug prices for Medicaid and for veterans, but it is barred from negotiating lower prices for Medicare beneficiaries. As a result, senior citizens enrolled in Part D often pay much higher prices for their prescriptions. What are you doing to correct this unfair policy? .Case 2— A man born in Mexico worked under his father's SSN for 9 years and then had these wages transferred when he acquired his own SSN before collecting retirement benefits. From 1999 to 2002 he collected approximately ,441 in retirement benefits, including benefits for dependents based on his account. Estimated benefits over 20 years — ,300. .TSCL's Three Legislative Wins For Disabled And Older Americans .By doing her research now, your sister can start learning about her options in the area where she would like to live. She needs to get an idea of how much senior living options cost, how the options are financed, and what she needs to do to get ready for such a move. There are companies that specialize in helping older adults downsize, and she may need to talk to a financial planner and real estate agents to get her home ready to put on the market. .However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) refused to bring the bill up in the Senate for debate or a vote. As a result, Congressional leaders have been struggling over the past few weeks to come up with legislation to deal with those issues to help those Americans who have been hurt so badly by the virus and the horrible economy that has resulted. ., Editor .Create a family documentary. Create a family scrap-book with old photos and memorabilia. If you have access to a computer and scanner or a friend with one, scan old photos for a digital family scrapbook you can share online. If a family member is good with making videos, consider doing a mini-documentary. Think of the questions you have about your ancestors and ask yourself the same. Like how you and your spouse met, how your family coped during a particularly hard time, or document a skill or craft that you love. This is also a good way to teach cooking your favorite family foods! Upload the video to YouTube to share with your family and send a link in a holiday email. premiums for her hospitalization, doctors' and outpatient coverage. In addition, the plan also offered hearing, vision, dental and Part D drug coverage. .Sources: Impact of Alien Nonpayment Provisions on Field Offices Along the Mexican Border, Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, February 2011 A-08-10-20140. Impact of Unauthorized Employment on Social Security Benefits, Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, December 2006, A-14-05-14042. .A couple of weeks ago we told you about a recent study that made it clear that we are on the right track as we carry on the fight for lower prescription drug prices. When prices are so high, not only does it affect the financial well-being of individuals, but it also affects their physical well-being and can even have fatal consequences.