• The Senior Citizens League Weekly Update For Week Ending November 1 2019

    Drug companies and some patient groups have long criticized proposals like this last rule, saying it would reduce innovation and access to certain medications. In addition, drug makers are particularly leery of the approach since Democrats want to use it more broadly to allow Medicare to directly negotiate prices. .TSCL believes the drug problem could explode this year. Citing massive "sequester" budget and staff cuts, federal officials are set to scale back or drop investigations into Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse cases. The Department of Health and Human Services may lose a total of 400 staffers and the existing staff is stretched so thin that it was unable to investigate about 1,200 cases of Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse last year. .Click here for more information about our legislative agenda. There you can also sign a petition to your Members of Congress, view bills that have been recently introduced in the House and Senate, and stay updated with the latest news on Capitol Hill. … Continued

  • Cola Cuts Come Under Study

    As a member of Congress, I have sought to protect Social Security and have advocated for seniors. From writing to President Obama urging him to exclude chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) from his 2015 budget to drafting legislation to help seniors save on tax deductions for medical expenses — I have fought to ensure Congress does not try to balance the budget on the backs of seniors. .Since people often move when they retire, under locality pay adjustment rates, the area they choose to live in during retirement could significantly impact the amount of Social Security they receive. Would retirees crowd into areas of the country with high locality pay adjustments? .Usually, your doctor's order is necessary. Before you need emergency care, put a plan into place, including someone to help take care of you should you become seriously ill. Often, doctors will order observation care when you are too sick to safely go home from the emergency room. Although this can still occur even with the best-laid plan, you may be able to reduce the length of an observation stay if you have someone who will take care of you once you are released. If you learn that your patient status was changed after your admission as an inpatient you have a right to appeal decisions about healthcare payment, coverage of services and prescription drug coverage. … Continued

SSA Reports Massive DI Overpayments .Do you know what the poverty line is? It's ,880. Who could live on that? .When Medicare Part B premiums spiked in 2015, Congress was not focused on the adequacy of the COLA. Instead, it was focused on the Medicare Part B funding lost when beneficiaries were protected from paying increased premiums. While the subsequent Medicare Part B premium increase for 2016 was reduced, it was still a very substantial increase of 16%, and all beneficiaries were required to repay the costs in higher Part B premiums in following years. Beneficiaries saw no growth in their net Social Security benefits in 2016, again in 2017 when the COLA was just 0.03% and, about half of all beneficiaries were once again affected in 2018 when a 2% COLA became payable. .For example, one Maine resident worked in the private sector, paying into Social Security for fifteen years before she returned to the teaching profession. Her earned Social Security benefits would have totaled 0 a month. However, due to the WEP, she receives only 0 each month from the program. She is also unable to collect Social Security spousal benefits due to the GPO, even though her spouse paid into the system throughout his entire career. In retirement, she must rely almost entirely upon her teaching pension, which is modest since she spent only a decade in the profession. She told the National Education Association, "If I had known the severe financial penalty I was to pay for returning to teaching, I don't think I would have done it." .The President believes tying drug prices in the U.S. to those in other countries will bring down the prices here. However, the effect of his order won't be seen for some time and will only cover certain prescription drugs. The executive order requires that the secretary of Health and Human Services immediately test a payment model for Medicare to pay "no more than the most-favored-nation price," meaning the lowest price paid in other developed countries, for specific "high-cost" prescription drugs and products. .Grassley has previously said he needs at least 25 Republican co-sponsors to get his bill to the floor and sees backing from the White House as important in getting more votes. About a dozen Republicans other than Grassley have so far publicly expressed support for the legislation. ."The ability to withstand major downturns in the economy is particularly important in retirement, yet extraordinarily difficult for today's retirees and those nearing retirement," says Johnson. "There are a number of factors that are reducing available retirement income from traditional sources," Johnson says. .Benefit Bulletin: February 2014 Before Obamacare & 8220;Glitch,& 8221; There Was The Notch Glitch .Wages were lower than expected and initial retirement benefits for Notch Babies were calculated on lower average earnings. Thus, benefits were lower than anticipated. In addition, inflation grew at double-digit rates over the same period, yet the new benefit formula failed to fully account for inflation for many Notch Babies, especially those who delayed their retirements (5).