In counting out-of-pocket spending, Medicare does not include the cost of monthly Part D premiums or the cost of any drugs that aren't listed on your drug plan's formulary. And, even after hitting ,350, out-of-pocket spending would not end there, because Part D has no annual out-of-pocket maximum. The TrOOP cost is the amount you must spend before you qualify for the catastrophic stage of Part D coverage, when Medicare steps in and co-insurance goes down. But you still are required to pay a minimum of .60 for generic drugs or a 5% coinsurance for brand drugs..TSCL is highly concerned that paying benefits based on illegal work rewards people for breaking the law while weakening program financing for people who paid into the system the legal way. Concerned about this issue? Sign a petition!.Rep. Matt Cartwright represents Pennsylvania's 17th Congressional District, which includes Schuylkill County and portions of Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, and Northampton Counties. Cartwright serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform..The problem is well known, but so far Congress has taken no action to address it. The Medicare Trustees have for years described in their annual report how rising Medicare costs will take an ever-growing portion of Social Security benefits. They estimate that Medicare Part B and Part D premiums, as well as cost sharing for both programs, currently equals just 24 percent of the level of the average Social Security benefit. But that estimate does not include many of the typical Medicare costs that most retirees actually have, and thus understates the scope of the problem. The findings based on your participation in TSCL's annual Senior Survey is proof of that..July 15, 2011 The most likely deficit reduction proposals are also the most harmful to the nation's elderly, according to The Senior Citizens League, one of the nation's largest nonpartisan senior citizens advocacy groups. However, a few alternatives exist that would reduce the budget in less painful ways..and that doctors who accept new Medicare patients are becoming hard to find..TSCL supports a special provision of the Senate bill introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch and Marco Rubio. The provision would ban earnings from jobs worked illegally from being used to determine entitlement to Social Security benefits and for calculating the amount of initial benefits legislation that TSCL and TSCL's grassroots members have long supported. But the Senate bill does not close a related loophole in current law that allows older immigrants who received "non-work" Social Security numbers issued prior to 2004 to claim Social Security benefits without having ever received work authorization..Some say that if workers pay into the system, then they should be entitled to benefits. But TSCL and the overwhelming majority of seniors who have responded to TSCL's surveys believe that Social Security benefits should not be based on illegal earnings and work credits. Congress is considering big changes to both Social Security and Medicare that will result in reducing benefits and higher costs for retirees in the future. TSCL supports measures that would prohibit Social Security from using earnings for jobs worked without legal authorization to be counted towards entitlement to benefits..In 2012, the GPO reduced the Social Security benefits of nearly 600,000 surviving spouses, who also collect a government pensions, by nearly two-thirds. Nine out of 10 public employees affected by the GPO lost their entire spousal benefit, even though their spouse paid Social Security taxes.

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Regardless of when you decide to start benefits, you should enroll in Medicare when you turn age 6Failure to enroll by your Medicare deadline may result in permanent enrollment penalties that you would add to the cost of your Medicare Part B premiums for the rest of the time you have Medicare..The Social Security Administration adjusts the amount of your benefits based on what you estimate that you will earn. If you go back to work, let the Social Security Administration know right away. If other family members get benefits based on your work, your earnings may reduce their benefits too..Leaders in Congress seem optimistic that they will reach a deal in the coming days. In a brief with the Republican Conference on Thursday morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan said, "I believe we will successfully complete the negotiations. We're not going to rush it. We're going to get it right." … Continued

Share Of Medicaid Population Covered Under Different Delivery Systems

More than 45 million Social Security beneficiaries were receiving benefits by 2000. The beneficiaries who are still alive are the group that has absorbed the fullest extent of the COLA cuts to date, which compound like interest, growing deeper over time. Chaining the COLA would cut benefits for this group an additional 10% through 2025, the analysis found.."Auxiliary Beneficiaries Who Do Not Have Their Own Social Security Number," Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, September 2014, A-01-14-14036..When people file a claim for benefits, Social Security determines both entitlement to, and the amount of, benefits based on earnings history, NOT the amount of taxes paid in. Under current law, all earnings for which there is evidence are used to determine an individual's benefits, even if the earnings were for jobs worked under invalid and fraudulent Social Security numbers. Thus executive action on immigration could open Social Security and Medicare to significant long-term costs based on work performed while illegal. … Continued

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