NATIONAL RETIREES LEGISLATIVE NETWORK banner
 
couple

NRLN Works to Protect Your Retirement Security

The National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) works to enact federal legislation to protect employer-sponsored pensions, health care benefits and keep Social Security and Medicare strong.

With support from more than 2 million members and Washington, D.C. staff, the NRLN identifies and rallies support for federal legislation that will guarantee fair and equitable treatment of retirees from the private and public sectors. Learn more about the NRLN and legislation important to retirees by clicking on the "About Us" and "Legislative" links above.

The NRLN recently created the American Retirees Education Foundation (AREF) with a mission is to research, educate and inform retirees, future retirees and the general public on how best to protect and promote retirement income security and retiree health care. Contributions to AREF are tax deductible.

To learn more about the AREF, go to www.SeniorsAREF.org .

Take Action Now!

click here to read the NRLN's current Action Alert and send the sample letter to your elected representatives.

enter your 5-digit zip code in the box to identify your U.S. Senators and Representative and compose your own personal message to them.

The NRLN's power to affect legislation comes from thousands of retirees like you making your voice heard in our nation's capital. Write to your representatives now.

     Sign Up to Receive Important Messages

facebook     



PRESIDENT'S
 FORUM

Supporting Bills to Help Seniors

Two bills the NRLN has supported to help seniors have passed in the U.S. Senate and referred to the House. The Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015 (S. 192) was passed on July 16. The Program of All-Inclusive Care for Elderly (PACE) Innovation Act of 2015 (S. 1362) was passed on August 5.

Another bill to help seniors that we are also supporting is the COMMUNITY BASED INDEPENDENCE FOR SENIORS ACT OF 2015 (H.R. 2704 and S. 704).

S. 192 had been introduced by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Patty Murray (D-WA.), Richard Burr (R-NC) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). If the bill is also passed in the House and signed by President Obama, it will direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a Community-Based Institutional Special Needs Plan demonstration program to target home and community-based care to eligible Medicare beneficiaries age 65 or older.

This demonstration would be for low-income, Medicare-only beneficiaries who need help with two or more activities of daily living, the usual criteria for nursing home eligibility. The plans would tailor services to beneficiaries, depending on individual needs. For instance, they might provide assistance with bathing or dressing, housekeeping or transportation, or even respite care for their primary caregiver.

The goal is to prevent these Americans from having to enter an institution and spend down their remaining assets, thereby becoming eligible for Medicaid. It would help our seniors remain in their own homes, where studies show they wish to remain, a more dignified approach and at lower cost than nursing home care.

S. 1362 had been introduced Senators Thomas Carper (D-DE) and Pat Toomey (R-PA). If the bill is also passed in the House and signed by President Obama, it will allow the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct pilot programs to enable more seniors with chronic conditions to participate.

The pilot programs would coordinated health and long-term services and supports for individuals 55 or older who qualify for nursing home care. These individuals have been diagnosed with a complex mix of chronic illnesses and functional or cognitive impairments, such as dementia, that inhibit their ability to live independently. For most participants, the comprehensive service package would enable them to remain in the community rather than receive care in a nursing home. Financing for the program is capped, which allows providers to deliver all services participants need rather than only those reimbursable under Medicare and Medicaid fee-for-service plans. This bill conserves individual resources and lowers overall cost and reduces debates over nursing home care coverage for the critical cases where independent living is all but impossible.

S. 704 was introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ben Cardin (D-MD). It is pending in the Senate Finance Committee. The companion bill, H.R. 2704, was introduced by Linda Sanchez (D-CA-28) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA-27) and is pending in the House’s Ways and Means Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee. I have sent letters to the Chair and Ranking Member of all three committees urging them to bring this bipartisan bill to a vote.

Enacting H.R. 2704 and S. 704 would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a Community-Based Institutional Special Needs Plan demonstration program to target home and community-based care to eligible Medicare beneficiaries age 65 or older.

This demonstration would be for low-income, Medicare-only beneficiaries who need help with two or more activities of daily living, the usual criteria for nursing home eligibility. The plans would tailor services to beneficiaries, depending on individual needs. For instance, they might provide assistance with bathing or dressing, housekeeping or transportation, or even respite care for their primary caregiver.

The goal is to prevent these Americans from having to enter an institution and spend down their remaining assets, thereby becoming eligible for Medicaid. It would help our seniors remain in their own homes, where studies show they wish to remain. Similar to S.192 above, these companion bills offer a more dignified home care approach and at lower cost than nursing home care.

These bills and the 56 other bills in the 114th Congress that the NRLN supports are posted on the NRLN website at http://www.congressweb.com/nrln/bills. The bills were recommended for the NRLN’s support by our Legislative Affairs Committee (LAC). The LAC conducts twice-a-month conference calls to review bills introduced in Congress. A member of the committee has reviewed 5,000 bills thus far in 2015 and has identified 276 that are retiree related. Another member of the committee researches the bills and the LAC decides during its conference calls which bills to refer to the Legislative Action Planning Committee (LAPC).

I serve as chairman of the LAPC and the committee members are the NRLN’s Executive Director, Vice President – Legislative Affairs, Vice President – Grassroots and Vice President Communications. The LAPC holds regular conference calls to determine what action the NRLN will take in support of or opposition to the bills. The actions range from visits to Representatives’ and Senators’ offices, to Action Alerts with emails and/or phone calls to Representatives, Senators and/or the President; letters to editors, or letters to Congressional Committee chair and ranking member urging passage of the bill out of committee, and/or a thank you letter to the Representative(s) and/or Senator(s) who introduced the bill(s). Some bills are tracked for possible future NRLN action and some bills are removed from further consideration by the NRLN.

You may recall that the NRLN has created a Congressional Report Card to show whether U.S. Representatives and Senators are supporting / co-sponsoring bills advocated by the NRLN. The Report Card is available to any Grassroots Advocates. Instructions on how to access the Report Card for your state are at http://www.nrln.org/reportcard.html.

Bill Kadereit, President
National Retiree Legislative Network

NRLN IS WORKING FOR YOU

The NRLN regularly informs members by email about important information. If you did not receive an email with the NRLN President’s Forum message or an Action Alert posted on this home page, possibly you mistakenly “unsubscribed” on one of our emails or you have a new email address that is not in the NRLN’s database. You will no longer hear from us unless you “re-subscribe”. To “re-subscribe”, click here.


focusmast

Click here to read the Summer 2015 issue of the NRLN FOCUS Newsletter


action alert

NRLN Action Alert – Pass Bills to Allow Importation of Rx from Canada

Bills in the U.S. Senate and House, S. 122 and H.R. 2228, would allow all Americans to legally import safe prescription drugs from Canada. It would result in major savings for consumers, especially retirees on fixed incomes, and bring greater competition into America’s pharmaceutical market. Please send to your members of Congress the NRLN’s sample letter urging passage of S. 122 and H.R. 2228. Also, if your Representative or Senators will be conducting Town Hall meetings in your area during the August Congressional recess attend the meetings and ask them to support passage of the bills.


Positive News for Medicare Beneficiaries

The NRLN and our grassroots advocates have been lobbying members of Congress for legislative action to eliminate Medicare’s requirement that beneficiaries must be in a hospital as an “inpatient” for three-days to be eligible for skilled nursing facility (SNF) services. Beneficiaries are often unaware that a hospital has admitted them as an “outpatient under observation” status rather than as an “inpatient”. Those admitted as an “outpatient under observation” who later receive SNF services are often surprised when they are billed for the services that Medicare will not cover.

We have some positive news. The powerful House Ways and Means committee has passed H.R. 876 the “Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act” or known as the “Notice Act”. The bill still needs to be passed by the entire House, then the Senate and signed into law by the President. Read more...


report card

NRLN Provides New “Report Card” Feature on Members of Congress

NRLN has introduced a “report card” for each state that shows whether the U.S. Representatives and Senators have supported bills in Congress advocated by the NRLN. Read all about it here.


For recent mail from our members, click here.

mountain

IN THE NEWS...

Alcatel-Lucent boss Micheal Combes under fire over huge reported bonuses
The Economic Times – Aug 30, 2015

This Obamacare Flaw Could Give Taxpayers a $345 Million Windfall
By Dan Caplinger; The Motley Fool ~ Aug 30, 2015

Get Ready, Because Big Changes Are Coming to Obamacare in 2016
By Sean Williams; The Motley Fool ~ Aug 30, 2015

Unclaimed assets: Are you missing money?
By Kelli B. Grant , CNBC; USA TODAY ~ Aug 29, 2015

Using Social Security online: A real time-saver
By Wayne Fourman, AdviceIQ; USA TODAY ~ Aug 29, 2015

Survey: 4 in 5 health firms hit by hacks
By Katie Bo Williams; The Hill ~ Aug 28, 2015

Wall Street opposes White House crackdown on financial advisers
By Wyatt Andrews; CBS News ~ Aug 28, 2015

Researchers found more seniors working part-time jobs
By Derrion Henderson; KFVS12 ~ Aug 28, 2015

HOW ACCURATE ARE MEDICARE’S NURSING HOME RATINGS?
By Michael Williamson; Bloomberg BNA ~ Aug 27, 2015

Medicare’s Maze - How to Maximize Benefits
By Casey Dowd; Fox Business ~ Aug 27, 2015

Woman's Efforts to Change Will Without Professional Assistance Backfire
ElderLawAnswers ~ Aug 27, 2015

Actuaries think more companies will shift to hybrid plans — survey
By Rob Kozlowski; Pensions & Investments ~ Aug 26, 2015

New Medicare rule may make it harder for amputees to get prosthetics
By Stephen Feller; United Press International ~ Aug 26, 2015

Retirees Should Know the Difference Between Fiduciary and Suitability Standards When Hiring a Financial Advisor
By “NewsbrkChi”; CNN ~ Aug 26, 2015

Can Downsizing Save Your Retirement?
By Ashlea Ebeling; Forbes ~ Aug 26, 2015

Retirees are Discovering the “Buy-it-Yourself” Pension Option of Fixed Indexed Annuities
By “jdesmarais”; CNN ~ Aug 25, 2015

Retirees are Discovering the “Buy-it-Yourself” Pension Option of Fixed Indexed Annuities
By “jdesmarais”; CNN ~ Aug 25, 2015

Obamacare Gives Big Windfall To Insurance Companies As Quality of Healthcare Declines
By David Williams; The Daily Caller ~ Aug 24, 2015

More than a Quarter of Employers Expected to Face ‘Cadillac Tax’
By Emily Chasan; The Wall Street Journal ~ Aug 25, 2015

Giant new Obamacare tax to hit Americans with more massive increases scheduled
By Jack Dennis; Examiner ~ Aug 25, 2015

Retirees need to fact-check Social Security advice
By Liz Weston; Reuters ~ Aug 25, 2015

Despite stock fall, financial health of many is still solid
By Josh Boak; The Associated Press ~ Aug 25, 2015

Skipping blood pressure pills may raise heart failure risk
By Lisa Rapaport; Reuters ~ Aug 25, 2015

Koch Brothers’ Health Law Opposition Set For Long Fight
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Aug 24, 2015

Obama and colleagues to blame for high cost of prescription drugs
By Brendan Williams; The Hill ~ Aug 24, 2015

Social Security is not an anti-poverty program
By Brenton Smith; The Hill ~ Aug 24, 2015

Tardy tax filers risk loss of health care subsidies
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Aug 24, 2015

Doctor Demand Undercuts Trump, GOP Obamacare Job Killer Theories
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ Aug 23, 2015

GOP struggles to replace ObamaCare without losing voters
By Sarah Ferris ; The Hill ~ Aug 23, 2015

The Retirement Gamble Documentaries
PBS Frontline – August 2015

How to drawdown retirement assets: the strategies
By Kenn Tacchino; MarketWatch ~ Aug 22, 2015

Don’t let grown children derail your retirement
By Rodney Brooks; The Washington Post ~ Aug 22, 2015

Retirement issues worth worrying about
From “Business Columnists”; The Middletown Press ~ Aug 22, 2015

Study: 2 Million Exchange Enrollees Miss Out On Cost-Sharing Assistance
By Michelle Andrews; Kaiser Health News ~ Aug 21, 2015

Savers Oppose ‘Fiduciary Rule’ Obama Labor Department Claims Will ‘Protect’ Them
By John Berlau; The American Spectator ~ Aug 21, 2015

Drug costs dislodge Obamacare as GOP voters' top health care concern
By Brett Norman; Politico ~ Aug 20, 2015

Regulators sue 2 companies making loans against pensions
By Marcy Gordon; The Associated Press ~ Aug 20, 2015

Opinion: Fixing The Fiduciary Standard Rule Proposal To Truly Protect Investors
From Daniel L. Goodwin; The Daily Caller ~ Aug 20, 2015

Few Older Americans Relying on Home Equity for Retirement
By Jason Oliva; ReverseMortgageDaily ~ Aug 20, 2015

Would you consider an hourly-wage job in retirement?
By Anne Fisher; Fortune ~ Aug 20, 2015

Health care costs can derail retirement plans
By Mary Beth Franklin; InvestmentNews ~ Aug 19, 2015

Will Medicare costs bomb you in 2016?
By Jennie L. Phipps; Bankrate ~ Aug 19, 2015

Yelp Adds Hospital, Nursing Home Reviews
From Christine Kern; Health IT Outcomes ~ Aug 18, 2015

Walker shakes up GOP field with plan to replace ObamaCare
By Sarah Ferris & Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Aug 18, 2015

A ‘Success’? The Jury’s Still Out On Obamacare
From Jim Huffman; The Daily Caller ~ Aug 18, 2015

Don't fall for misleading annuity advertisements
By Stan Haithcock; MarketWatch ~ Aug 18, 2015

Americans Who Have Advisors Are More Likely To Diversify Holdings
By Linda Koco; InsuranceNewsnet ~ Aug 18, 2015

Group: Retirement regs to cost $3.9B to implement
By Kevin Cirilli; The Hill ~ Aug 18, 2015

HHS Auditor Finds Most Of The Health Law’s Insurance Co-Ops Are Losing Money
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Aug 17, 2015

Providers opting out of Medicare bundled payments
By Julie Henry; Healthcare Dive ~ Aug 17, 2015

Fears Of Social Security's Demise Unfounded, Advisors Say
By Christopher Robbins; Financial Advisor ~ Aug 17, 2015

New Obamacare Legal Challenge Heading for the Supreme Court
James A. Dorn, Newsweek – Aug 14, 2015

Republican: Congress 'fully committed' to ObamaCare repeal
By Mark Hensch, The Hill – Aug 15, 2015

Editorial: Worn-out rule: Medicare should rethink its 3-day hospital stay
Editorial Board, Pittsburg Post-Gazette – Aug 14, 2015

Celebrate Social Security, Don't Cut It
By Mykle Ann Mora, Huffington Post – Aug 14, 2015

On Social Security's 80th birthday, a dangerous leadership vacuum
By Michael Hiltzik, Los Angles Times – Aug 14, 2015

Business Leaders, GOP Question HHS’ Change On Families’ Out-Of-Pocket Limits
By Michelle Andrews; Kaiser Health News ~ Aug 14, 2015

Don’t leave working Americans in the dark on retirement savings
By Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-Ga.) ; The Hill ~ Aug 14, 2015

How health insurer mergers could boost care management programs
By Leslie Small: FierceHealthPayer ~ Aug 13, 2015

More Than Half of Americans Think Social Security Is Doomed
By Daniel White; TIME ~ Aug 13, 2015

Restoring Solvency to the Social Security Retirement Program
From Tax Foundation; Forbes ~ Aug 13, 2015

Opponents of Tougher Rules on Retirement Advice Roll Out TV Ads
By Victoria McGrane; The Wall Street Journal ~ Aug 13, 2015

How to Decide Whether to Pay Off Your Mortgage
From Ted Jenkin; The Wall Street Journal ~ Aug 13, 2015

Coming soon to a screen near you: Doctors
By Beth Pinsker; Reuters ~ Aug 12, 2015

Busted: The Liberal Claim You're Too Stupid To Make Health Care Decisions
From Merrill Matthews; Forbes ~ Aug 12, 2015

Like A 1965 Ford Mustang, Medicare Needs a Redesign
From Howard Gleckman; Forbes ~ Aug 12, 2015

Don’t be too generous with your retirement cash
By Elizabeth O'Brien; MarketWatch ~ Aug 12, 2015

IRS may never recoup $350 million in Obamacare tax credit overpayments
By Tom Howell Jr.; The Washington Times ~ Aug 11, 2015

ObamaCare to fund nearly 300 new community health centers
By Sarah Ferris; The Hill ~ Aug 11, 2015

House GOP Looks Ahead to Huge Medicare Overhaul in 2016
By Dylan Scott; National Journal ~ Aug 11, 2015

Lawmakers Raise Concerns Over Tighter Standards for Retirement Advice
By Victoria McGrane; The Wall Street Journal ~ Aug 11, 2015

Deloitte: Most DC plans are confident in providers' cybersecurity policies
By Robert Steyer; Pensions & Investments ~ Aug 11, 2015

Editorial: A debate over U.S. pharmaceuticals is snagging the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal
Editorial Board – Washington Post – Aug 10, 2015

Audit: Not all healthcare customers fully vetted by HealthCare.gov
By Sarah Ferris; The Hill ~ Aug 10, 2015

New IRS Guidance Suggests Obamacare 40% Cadillac Tax Could Get Even Worse
From Robert W. Wood; Forbes ~ Aug 10, 2015

Everybody Has To Pay This New Obamacare Tax
By Richard Pollock ; The Daily Caller ~ Aug 10, 2015

Retirees Stung by ‘Universal Life’ Cost
By Leslie Scism; The Wall Street Journal ~ Aug 09, 2015

Things to know about Social Security's disability crisis
By Stephen Ohlemacher; The Associated Press ~ Aug 09, 2015

Social Security at 80: Modest changes could save program
By Stephen Ohlemacher; The Associated Press ~ Aug 09, 2015

Medicare, Reversing Itself, Will Pay More for an Expensive New Cancer Drug
By Robert Pear; The New York Times ~ Aug 08, 2015

Social Security Matters Aims to Answer Most Benefit Questions
By “sgonzalez”; Wall Street Hedge ~ Aug 08, 2015

How Much Do We Owe? $72 Trillion And Counting
From John C. Goodman; Forbes ~ Aug 07, 2015

How To Use An Index Fund For Retirement
From Mitch Tuchman; Forbes ~ Aug 07, 2015

DOL’s fiduciary rule: There’s still time to get it right
By David Blass; The Hill ~ Aug 07, 2015

Does expansion of coverage actually cut healthcare costs?
By Dori Zweig; FierceHealthPayer ~ Aug 06, 2015

McCaskill, Democrats slam Obama's financial adviser regs
By Kevin Cirilli; The Hill ~ Aug 06, 2015

McConnell: ObamaCare repeal likely to be included in fast-track budget process
By Alexander Bolton; The Hill ~ Aug 06, 2015

Bad news on cost of living raises for Social Security
By Mark Miller; Reuters ~ Aug 06, 2015

There’s a glimmer of hope that the retirement system isn’t broken for good
By Howard Gold; MarketWatch ~ Aug 06, 2015

Yelp adds Medicare data to hospital reviews
By Hope King; CNN ~ Aug 05, 2015

CDC: Coordination could cut drug-resistant infections by half
By Stephen Feller; United Press International ~ Aug 05, 2015

Do You Have A Transportation Plan For Retirement?
From Liza Kaufman Hogan, NA; Forbes ~ Aug 05, 2015

4 questions to consider before investing with a robo adviser
By Alex Veiga,  AP ; The Washington Post ~ Aug 05, 2015

Health Law Reduces Out-Of-Pocket Expenses, But Medical Costs Can Still Be Overwhelming
From KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Aug 04, 2015

Obama Administration Refuses To Identify Troubled Healthcare Co-Ops
By Richard Pollock; The Daily Caller ~ Aug 03, 2015

Tax filing problems could jeopardize health law aid for 1.8M
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Aug 04, 2015

My Wife's Losing Her Obamacare Coverage Because The Insurer Lost $400 Million
From Merrill Matthews; Forbes ~ Aug 03, 2015

Obama’s Top Health Care Nominee Was Once Embroiled in Medical Fraud Case
By Richard Pollock; The Daily Caller ~ Aug 02, 2015

GOP senators press Labor to issue new rules for financial advisers
By Kevin Cirilli; The Hill ~ Aug 03, 2015

Social Security cost-of-living adjustment unlikely for 2016
By Mary Beth Franklin; InvestmentNews ~ Aug 03, 2015

How to plug Social Security tax drain and keep more money
From Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic ; USA TODAY ~ Aug 01, 2015


NRLN members are saving big with the Free Health Savings Rx Card℠

The NRLN has arranged to offer you a Health Savings Rx Card™, at NO COST, that offers you and your family savings on prescription drugs, plus vision and hearing services and products.Click here to access the Rx Savings Card℠ website.If you do not already have a Health Savings Rx Card℠ you will need to create your personal login and then printout your free card. Savings information for prescription drugs, vision and hearing services and products is available through the links under the Savings Plus tab.


Visit NRLN Facebook Page & Follow NRLN on Twitter

facebook      twitter

Suggestions and comments about this website should be addressed to webmaster@nrln.org August 31, 2015-->