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TSCL - The Voice for Seniors
The Advisor, December 2014
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Protecting Social Security & Medicare

What Government Manipulation of Inflation Is Doing To Your Benefits

For the sixth consecutive year, Social Security beneficiaries will receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that's a near-record low. Benefits will rise in January by a meager 1.7% after a 1.5% increase in 2014. In fact, inflation has been growing so slowly that the annual increase has averaged only 1.4% per year since 2010 — less than half the 3 percent average during the prior decade. In 2010 and 2011, benefits didn't increase at all, and a 1.7% increase next year won't pull up the five-year average. Read more »

White House Action On Immigration Expected

TSCL is particularly concerned about Executive Action by the White House that would grant millions of immigrants, who are in this country illegally, work permits and access to Social Security. A change of status that supplies green cards and work-authorized Social Security numbers to undocumented immigrants would also open a pathway to Social Security benefits. That's because only work authorization is necessary to become entitled to Social Security — not citizenship. Read more »

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The Benefits You Deserve

Benefit Bulletin

Why You Should Beware When The Doctor Wants To Hold You For “Observation”

Most people who spend the night in the hospital would say they have been an inpatient. But over the past six years, rapidly growing numbers of Medicare beneficiaries have learned that they were never admitted as an inpatient — even though they have stayed in a hospital bed, received treatment, diagnostic tests, and drugs. Read more »

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Fact
  LEGISLATIVE UPDATES  
LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

TSCL Delivers Hundreds Of Thousands Of Petitions

The second session of the 113th Congress is nearing its end, and TSCL is pleased to report that 2014 has been a year to remember. Over the past few months, TSCL has hand-delivered hundreds of thousands of petitions to Members of Congress, urging them to support critical legislation like the CPI-E Act, the Notch Fairness Act, and the Strengthening Social Security Act. In the weeks leading up to the November elections, we sent out thousands of emails to members and supporters in an effort to help them get to know TSCL’s long-time friends in Congress. Read more »

  CONGRESSIONAL CORNER  
CONGRESSIONAL CORNER

Importance of Rural Hospitals Should Not be Overlooked

Rep. Bill Shuster (PA-9) has represented the hundreds of small communities that make up the 9th Congressional district in Southwestern Pennsylvania since 2001. When he's traveling the district's sprawling 12 county region meeting with constituents, one of the most common issues that I talk to seniors about is the need for access to quality healthcare. While many in our district have convenient access to some of the major hospitals in the region, many others reside in rural areas that rely on our smaller hospitals for care. Read more »

 
 
  TIPS FOR SENIORS  
TIPS FOR SENIORS

Six Tax Moves To Make Before Year End

The upcoming tax season is expected to be especially challenging. A little planning now can help you lower your tax bill come April 15th. There are many ways to minimize the bill, including accelerating or postponing discretionary medical expenses when feasible or accelerating retirement account distributions when you have excess deductions. Be sure to always consult your tax advisor first before taking any action. Read more »

  FAQS  
ASK THE ADVISOR

Have Healthcare Costs Really Slowed Down Due to Obamacare?

Q: We've read that healthcare costs have slowed down and that Obamacare is responsible. Is there any data to confirm this? My husband and I have Medicare, but we haven't noticed any slow down. Our Medicare Advantage plan's out-of-pocket costs, particularly for prescriptions, will be increasing next year. Recently I had hip replacement surgery and I was surprised at how much we had to pay out-of-pocket. Read the answer »

 
Fact

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