Medicare Out-of-Pocket Cap Survey Results Narrative
On August 25 the NRLN closed its survey which opened on July 13. The purpose of the survey was to collect information on what NRLN members over age 55 pay for healthcare under the coverages of their various insurance plan types; how healthcare costs affect their economic stability, and to assess their interest in adding an out-of-pocket cap to original Medicare – would it help them meet financial obligations.
There were 3,312 survey participants. Their responses to questions showed they mainly rely on original Medicare and a private supplement plan (Medigap) or a Medicare Advantage plan for healthcare but costs are eating way their fixed income.
The participants in the survey were from all 50 states. They retired from 161 companies or public entities. Ages of responders ranged from 55 to over 85 with and the average age of 78.
Click on the Button Below to read a narrative of the survey
To: NRLN Villages Chapter Members
The National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) and the NRLN Villages Chapter are partners in making sure that retirees have a strong voice in Washington, DC. Jim Bodenner, Chapter Leadership Team Member joined other leaders of the NRLN, retiree associations and chapters in February to lobby for the key parts of the NRLN’s legislative agenda on Capitol Hill. Your individual contribution is very important to the NRLN and your Chapter. Please make a contribution as noted in the last paragraph.
Is your Social Security benefit going to last your lifetime and that of your spouse? What about future generations? Social Security will deplete it reserves by 2034. At that time, it will only be able to pay 76% of benefits. The NRLN is supporting passage of Social Security 2100 Act in Congress that will fund the program for the next 75 years.
How secure are your Medicare benefits? Where does the money come from that provides some Medicare participants with more benefits than others? Medicare will deplete its reserves by 2026 and will only be able to pay 90% of benefits. The NRLN opposes the use of taxpayer dollars to subsidize private insurance companies for Medicare Advantage (MA) special benefits that original Medicare beneficiaries are denied. The NRLN is advocating that original Medicare enrollees have access to the special benefits being offered by MA.
Are you paying too much for your prescription drugs? The NRLN Is advocating that Congress should remove the prohibition on Medicare negotiating drug prices and replace it with a competitive bidding model. Legislation is needed to end pay-for-delay and other brand name drugmakers’ tactics that obstruct generic drugs from coming to market. The NRLN has lobbied to allow importation of less expensive drugs from Canada. A July executive order will accomplish that. The NRLN supports S. 4199 in the Senate Committee on Finance and H.R. 3 passed in the House in December. We want the Senate to pass its bill so it will go to a conference committee with the House bill. Congress needs to do its job and compromise to provide relief from sky- rocketing drug prices.
Is your retirement pension secure? Many employers have converted pension plans to third-party insurance company annuities. When “de-risking” occurs with the purchase of an insurance annuity, pension plan participants lose the protection of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The NRLN’s proposed legislation would protect retirees.
What would happen to your pension if your former employer acquired another company and merged pension plans? The NRLN is concerned about the merging of pension plans with very different levels of plan assets and liabilities. The PBGC not only lacks advance notice of intra-firm mergers, the agency has waived the requirement for post-event reporting of plan mergers. The NRLN is lobbying for legislation to require plan mergers to be reviewed in advance by the PBGC and IRS and challenged if necessary.
Have you or someone you know experienced pension recoupment because your pension benefit was miscalculated? Currently, there is no limitation on recovering pension overpayment due to a calculation error. Under the NRLN’s proposal being considered on Capitol Hill, the legislation would clarify that a company does not have a fiduciary duty to recoup overpayments, but if it chooses to do so, it must be done within three years of the initial overpayment. Further, the company may not recoup more than 10% of the amount of the overpayment per year, and it may not recoup against a beneficiary of a participant.
For additional information contact your Villages Chapter Leadership Team.
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