Doug Osborne Legislative Liaison
When working Social Security recipients who are younger than full retirement age earn more than the annual earnings limit amount, their benefits will be reduced. The Social Security Administration likes to point out that these benefit reductions are "not truly lost because your benefit will be increased at your full retirement age to account for benefits withheld due to earlier earnings." But as you have discovered, you can sometimes wind up owing money to Social Security that was not withheld properly. .By Jessie Gibbons, Legislative Assistant .The 2% COLA will raise the average Social Security benefit (currently ,258) about But the overwhelming majority of Social Security recipients will never see it. Medicare Part B premiums for most people will rise considerably and completely offset the COLA increase, after being held at lower adjusted levels, as required by law, over the past two years when there was no COLA. This provision of law that protects Social Security benefits from reductions is known as the "hold harmless" provision. … Continued
Using Generic Drugs Could Save Billions Of Dollars
With many seniors spending 30 or more years living in retirement, a COLA that keeps up with rising costs is essential protection for making retirement savings last, and for preventing seniors from falling into poverty. Yet over the past five years, Social Security benefits have grown on average about 1.4% per year — less than half the average rate of growth in previous years. Recent projections by the Congressional Budget Office for 2015 suggest another low COLA of 1.6% next year. .According to consumer price index data through August, ten of the biggest price jumps for Social Security recipients over the past 12 months are illustrated in the following chart: .Obviously we will continue to push for passage of those bills and keep you updated about their progress as things develop. … Continued
Recently we heard from Susan Gross, a 66-year old retired office assistant living in Central Virginia, who spends most of her day caregiving. Her 46-year-old son. who is disabled from cerebral palsy, lives with her, as does her mother, who is now 9All three receive their healthcare coverage through Medicare. .You can also sign a petition to your Members of Congress, find contact information for your Senators and Representatives, and stay updated with the latest news on Capitol Hill. .Senate Drug-pricing Bill to get Renewed Push .This week, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) announced its support for two new bills that would prevent a looming Medicare premium hike for around 15 million beneficiaries. In addition, one key bill gained a new cosponsor. .The rule would require drug companies to give Medicare beneficiaries rebates that now go to insurers and PBMs. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates it would increase taxpayer costs by 7 billion over 10 years. .In 2015, the Senate Finance Committee came up with a simpler explanation for high drug prices. After reviewing 20,000 pages of company documents, it found that Gilead Sciences had what the committee's ranking Democratic member, Ron Wyden of Oregon, called "a calculated scheme for pricing and marketing its hepatitis C drug based on one primary goal, maximizing revenue." .I retired seven years ago at age 65 when I started Social Security and Medicare. I have difficulty budgeting my healthcare costs. I never seem to learn what they will be until I start getting the bills. Can you help? .TSCL Urges Action on Debt Ceiling .If signed into law, H.R. 711 would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) – a provision of the Social Security Act that unfairly reduces the earned benefits of millions of public employees by as much as one-half each year. H.R. 711 would establish a new formula for the non-covered earnings of teachers, police officers, and other public servants, and it would modify the WEP for current retirees who are affected by it.