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Courtesy of The NRLN Villages Chapter

NRLN presents

PREPARING FOR MEDICARE ENROLLMENT

for full screen viewing, click on  below.

 

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WATCH THIS SPACE FOR MORE TO COME

To book a presentation contact Jim Bodenner at bodennerj@gmail.com

Presentations on topics of interest to retirees in The Villages, such as:

  • Mental Health Care for Seniors in The Villages.
  • Best Deal: Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage Plans?
  • Healthcare for Military Retirees in The Villages.

(Additional programs under development)

See How Your FL Senators and Representative
Voted on Legislation For Seniors

Senate and House Companion Bills that the NRLN Supports in this 116th Congress
Yes = they are co-sponsoring this bill; or No = uncertain or against. Note: Click a bill description to see a brief explanation. To see the bill, all co-sponsors and a full explanation go to www.congress.gov and enter bill #.

Senate Bill # Sen. Rubio Sen. Scott House Bill# FL11Rep. Webster

NRLN Villages Chapter Updates

Villagers Learned What Is Happening to Medicare & Medicare Advantage

Bill Kadereit, President, National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) explained to Villagers on May 23 at the meeting of the NRLN Villages Chapter how Medicare Advantage plans are being used to speed Medicare toward privatization. Below are Talking Points on this issue. Click here to view the slides from the presentation. Click here to read the NRLN whitepaper on this issue.

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS - SPEEDING TOWARD PRIVATIZATION $350 BILLION WASTED ON SUBSIDIES TO PRIVATE INSURERS

Talking Points

The Congressional and Executive branches have been on a 35-year flight from budgetary accountability for funding our Medicare program to what they have been convinced is the best solution, privatizing Medicare. This flight reveals that so far over $350 billion of federal taxpayer money has been paid to insurance companies, wasted on subsidization of private insurers for selling Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.

In 2018 Congress amended the "Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2018" (BPBA), and thus delivered a low blow that confirms our assertion and declares Congresses' and the White House's intentions to privatize Medicare. The BPBA created benefits and the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) authorized MA plans to spend $16.5 billion more in 2019 and 2020 for MA plan benefits available to 34% (20 million) enrolled in MA plans but NOT for 66% (38.8 million) enrolled in traditional Medicare A&B plans. MA enrollees with asthma will get home care but traditional A & B enrollees won't!

Clearly, based on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) October 5, 2017 analysis, privatization will not lower the cost of health care, instead it will shift 18% of the federal tax burden and health care costs to seniors while protecting the health care provider and pharmaceutical industries.

MedPAC, the independent congressional agency created by Congress to advise them on issues affecting the Medicare program, reported on March 15, 2019..."We project the base benchmarks (that is, excluding quality bonuses) will average 103 percent of traditional Medicare Fee for Service (FFS) spending, and the payments, excluding, quality bonuses (and coding differences), will average 98 percent of FFS spending in 2019." According to MedPAC bonuses would add about 2.4 percent to the 98 percent.

This report said benchmarks without quality bonuses added would average 103 percent in 2019. MA plans are more expensive per enrollee than traditional Medicare.

So, why not fix traditional Medicare, strip out the cost of subsidies? Health and Human Services (HHS) is wasting taxpayer's money and cheating over-age 65 Americans.

FEDERAL SUBSIDIES PAID TO MA PLAN INSURERS ARE UNWARRANTED!

THEY SHOULD BE STRIPPED OUT NOW RATHER THAN LATER WHEN INSURERS WILL BE ABLE TO INCREASE PREMIUMS, DUDUCTIBLES AND COINSURANCE AT WILL IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THEIR 5% + PROFIT MARGIN!

MA private insurer plans carry a 12-15% overhead and profit burdens and have failed to compete without federal subsidies. Traditional Medicare has a much lower 3% overhead burden. MedPAC reported that MA plan insurers made a 5% margin in 2016, twice the average of Medicare plans overall. That's 25% better than the healthcare industry's 4% margin reported by Standard and Poor's.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) data from 2017 records indicate that Medicare A & B payments to MA plan enrollees were 9.9% higher than payments made to traditional Medicare (FFS) enrollees. It is time to derail Medicare privatization.

Strip subsidies and then determine if private insurers can offer a better deal or not, on a level playing field. Current data says not! Are they competitive with Medicare FFS or not? If not, dump them and go after FFS cost reduction; take on doctor and hospital costs, Pharma, product manufacturers and others - install an across the board competitive bidding discipline and toughness that has always been needed.

The NRLN Asks Congress and the Executive Branch to:


HOW YOU CAN HELP


NEWS FOR THE VILLAGES MEMBERS


Opinion: The Case Against Amalgam Fillings
By Dr. Nammy Patel; Forbes ~ Oct 21, 2019

Opinion: Social Security Expansion Hits Speed Bumps
From Andrew Biggs; Forbes ~ Oct 21, 2019

7 Changes to Social Security in 2020
By Sean Williams; The Motley Fool ~ Oct 20, 2019

Are Your 2020 Social Security Taxes Going Up?
By Dan Caplinger; The Motley Fool ~ Oct 19, 2019

Medigap Plan F Will Soon End. Here?s How That Changes Retirees? Costs.
By Gail MarksJarvis; Barron?s ~ Oct 18, 2019

Pelosi moves on drug prices despite falling out with Trump
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Oct 17, 2019

Opinion: These Social Security plans could help solve America's retirement crisis
From Monique Morrissey; CNN Business ~ Oct 17, 2019

How to reform Social Security for future generations of Americans
From Jacob Lew, Henry Aaron, Kenneth Apfel &Robert Reischauer; The Hill ~ Oct 17, 2019

Caregivers Of Medicare Patients: What To Know Before A Hospital Discharge
From Donna Pols Trump, NA; Forbes ~ Oct 15, 2019

CBO says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's drug pricing plan saves Medicare $345 billion over decade
By Berkeley Lovelace Jr, CNBC ? Oct 14, 2019

Opinion: What Your Long Term Care Insurance Won't Cover And How To Prepare For It
From John E. Girouard; Forbes ~ Oct 14, 2019

Congress Takes Aim at a Social Security Benefit Killer
By Dan Caplinger; The Motley Fool ~ Oct 14, 2019

There?s a New Tax Form for Seniors. Here?s How to Use It.
By Daisy Maxey; Barron?s ~ Oct 12, 2019

CBO: Pelosi bill to lower drug prices saves Medicare $345 billion
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Oct 11, 2019

Congress must get pharma out of NAFTA 2.0
From Alex Lawson & Linda Benesch; The Hill ~ Oct 11, 2019

Already in trouble, corporate pension plans are doomed by low interest rates
By Allison Schrager; Quartz ~ Oct 10, 2019

Social Security Is Letting Millennials Down
From John Mauldin; Forbes ~ Oct 10, 2019

Social Security?s 2020 Cost-of-Living Bump: 1.6%
By Nick Fortuna; Barron?s ~ Oct 10, 2019

Antiquated Medicare Fraud Rules Eyed for Overhaul
By Jack Rodgers; Courthouse News Service ~ Oct 09, 2019

Medicare Fraudsters Now Tap Telemedicine In Medical Equipment Scams
By Victoria Knight; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 09, 2019

Shopping For Medicare? What To Know About The New Plan Finder
From Fred Riccardi, NA; Forbes ~ Oct 09, 2019

Drug price hikes cost US billions, report finds
By Nathaniel Weixel; The Hill ~ Oct 08, 2019

As Medicare Enrollment Nears, Popular Price Comparison Tool Is Missing
By Susan Jaffe; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 08, 2019

Trump?s New Order For Medicare Packs Potential Rise In Patients? Costs
By Julie Appleby; Kaiser Health News ~ Oct 07, 2019

GE to freeze, pre-pay pensions to save up to $8 billion, cut debt
By Alwyn Scott & Ankit Ajmera; Reuters ~ Oct 07, 2019

Column: The biggest bull market ever ? yet disaster looms for millions of retirees
From Paul Brandus; MarketWatch ~ Oct 05, 2019

Is Congress too afraid to fight Big Pharma?
From Dr. Sanjeev Sriram; The Hill ~ Oct 04, 2019

Medicare Shopping Season Is Almost Here
By Mark Miller; The New York Times ~ Oct 04, 2019

Trump attacks 'Medicare for All' in Florida, accuses Dems of wanting to fund 'socialism'
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Oct 03, 2019

Trump cites his support for Medicare, slams Medicare for All
By Kevin Freking & Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Oct 03, 2019

What Trump?s Executive Order Means for Healthcare
By Andrew Hirschfeld; Fortune ~ Oct 03, 2019

Commentary: Americans Spent More on Taxes in 2018 Than on Food, Clothing and Health Care Combined
From Terence P. Jeffrey; CNS News ~ Oct 02, 2019

Trump and Pelosi aides talk drug costs despite impeachment
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Oct 01, 2019

Can Washington deliver on drug costs amid impeachment probe?
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Sep 29, 2019

Enrolling in a Medicare prescription drug plan? You'll need extra time, advocates say
By Kristen Jordan Shamus; Detroit Free Press ~ Sep 29, 2019

Trump to give health care speech in Florida next week
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Sep 28, 2019

4 costly scams targeting older people that you should know about ? but probably don?t
By Catey Hill; MarketWatch ~ Sep 28, 2019

The Worrisome Social Security Trend Few People Know About
By Sean Williams; The Motley Fool ~ Sep 28, 2019

A Wall Street tax can help pay for bold policy solutions
From Susan Harley; The Hill ~ Sep 27, 2019

Feds crack Medicare gene test fraud that peddled cheek swabs
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Sep 27, 2019

KHN Files Lawsuit To Force Feds To Disclose Medicare Advantage Audits
By Fred Schulte; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 27, 2019

How Arbitration For Surprise Medical Bills Leads To Runaway Costs & Higher Premiums
By Avik Roy ; Forbes ~ Sep 27, 2019

House Republicans Rebel Against Pelosi?s Drug Plan While Senators Release Bipartisan Bill
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 26, 2019

How retirees can check if they're having enough taxes withheld
By Susan Tompor; Detroit Free Press ~ Sep 25, 2019

Impeachment push threatens to derail bipartisan efforts on health care costs
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Sep 25, 2019

3 New Retirement Rules That May Change Retirement As We Know It
By Jackie Campbell; Forbes ~ Sep 25, 2019

Drugmakers, Facing ?Stiffest Political Headwinds,? Mount Strong Lobbying Effort In Congress
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 24, 2019

Drug prices for seniors once again rose faster than inflation, report says
By Jen Christensen; CNN ~ Sep 23, 2019

Older Americans Are Starting More Businesses Than Ever
By Chris Farrell; Bloomberg ~ Sep 20, 2019

Pelosi offers Medicare negotiation plan to curb drug prices
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ Sep 19, 2019

3 things NOT to do with your savings now that the Fed has cut interest rates
By Jacob Passy; MarketWatch ~ Sep 19, 2019

Seniors will soon have their own IRS tax form
By Ed Leefeldt; CBS News ~ Sep 19, 2019

What You Need To Know About Inheriting An IRA
From David Rae; Forbes ~ Sep 19, 2019

Is The New Medicare Plan Finder Putting Seniors In Jeopardy?
From Diane Omdahl; Forbes ~ Sep 18, 2019

U.S. Senators urge FTC to scrutinize multi-billion dollar pharma mergers
By Saumya Sibi Joseph; Reuters ~ Sep 17, 2019

Opinion: Primary Care Is Integral To Improving U.S. Healthcare, But Is Falling Further Behind
From Joshua Cohen; Forbes ~ Sep 16, 2019

How to Avoid Financial Deadlock?or Worse?After One Spouse Dies
By Cheryl Winokur Munk; Barron?s ~ Sep 15, 2019

Stakes Are High As Congress Aims To Tackle Array Of Health Issues Before End Of The Year
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 16, 2019

Opinion: Saving surprise medical billing legislation
From George A. Nation III; The Hill ~ Sep 16, 2019

Opinion: The promise and peril of offshoring prescription drug pricing
From Andrew Mulcahy; The Hill ~ Sep 14, 2019

The New Medicare Plan Finder Doesn?t Make Finding Your Best Drug Coverage Easy
From Diane Omdahl; Forbes ~ Sep 14, 2019

Why Do We Still Have U.S. Mail And How Much Longer Will We Have It?
From Blake Morgan; Forbes ~ Sep 13, 2019

FDA warns of contaminant in popular heartburn medicine
By Nathaniel Weixel ; The Hill ~ Sep 13, 2019

Health groups backed dark money campaign to sink 'surprise' billing fix
By Rachel Roubein; Politico ~ Sep 13, 2019

Here's What We Know About How Drugs Are Priced ? And What We Don't
Investor?s Business Daily ~ Sep 12, 2019

Opinion: 9 Things You Need To Know About Power Of Attorney
From Christine Fletcher; Forbes ~ Sep 12, 2019

Your Social Security checks could get bigger next year. Here?s how much
By Lorie Konish; CNBC ~ Sep 12, 2019

Investors? Deep-Pocket Push To Defend Surprise Medical Bills
By Rachel Bluth & Emmarie Huetteman; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 11, 2019

How To Correct This Big Medicare Mistake
From Steve Vernon; Forbes ~ Sep 11, 2019

Opinion: How To Find A Good Estate Planner
By Elizabeth Alterman, NA; Forbes ~ Sep 11, 2019

Drug Prices Keep Rising Amid Political Pressure, But Not As Fast
By Leah Rosenbaum; Forbes ~ Sep 10, 2019

Opinion: Medicare Advantage Coverage Rules For PPOs Appear To Have Vanished From The New Plan Finder
From Diane Omdahl; Forbes ~ Sep 10, 2019

Opinion: Where There's A Will, There's Not Always An Estate Plan
From Jamie Hopkins; Forbes ~ Sep 10, 2019

Pelosi draft plan would allow negotiation on 250 drugs per year: summary
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Sep 09, 2019

Washington risks seeing bipartisan victories on healthcare slip out of reach this fall
By Kimberly Leonard; The Washington Examiner ~ Sep 09, 2019

What Medicare for All would mean for the 60 million people already on Medicare
By Tami Luhby; CNN ~ Sep 08, 2019

Are insurance companies driving doctors out of the profession?
From Elizabeth O?Connor; The Hill ~ Sep 07, 2019

Democratic Support For Medicare For All In The House Just Crossed A Major Hurdle
By Andrew Kerr; The Daily Caller ~ Sep 06, 2019

Avoiding The Long-Term-Care Catastrophe
From William A. Haseltine; Forbes ~ Sep 06, 2019

Ernst calls for Congress to fix Social Security 'behind closed doors'
By Rachel Frazin ; The Hill ~ Sep 05, 2019

Medicare Advantage home healthcare may not be best quality
By Lisa Rapaport; Reuters ~ Sep 05, 2019

Push on 'surprise' medical bills hits new roadblocks
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Sep 05, 2019

Is The New Medicare Plan Finder A Barrier Against Open Enrollment Plan Review?
From Diane Omdahl; Forbes ~ Sep 04, 2019

Fraud Alert: Genetic Testing Scam
By U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The war over Medicare Advantage audits heats up
By Bob Herman; Axios ~ Sep 03, 2019

Walmart Could Disrupt Health Care the Same Way It Did Retail, Analyst Says
By Josh Nathan-Kazis; Barron?s ~ Sep 03, 2019

Protect Yourself From Healthcare Rip-Offs
From Kevin Loria; Consumer Reports ~ Sep 02, 2019


ReviewClick here to read the latest NRLN actions during the last month.

The NRLN and AREF Partnership

The National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) created the American Retirees Education Foundation (AREF) in 2014 to develop whitepapers and advocate policy recommendations for retirement security to federal policymakers, constituency groups, the media, and the general public. The AREF, an IRS 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, researches and produces whitepapers and other materials and can use them to educate NRLN members and other advocates on how to present legislative proposals.

The AREF can advocate proposals to members of Congress and federal agencies but once a proposal is introduced as a bill, only the NRLN, an IRS 501(c)4 non-exempt organization, can lobby for passage of a bill. The AREF can advocate but not lobby. This allows members to make tax-deductible donations that are accounted for separately from NRLN contributions. To learn more about the AREF and NRLN go to www.seniorsaref.org and www.nrln.org.

NRLN and AREF Revenue

Seventy-five percent of NRLN revenue comes from non-deductible individual contributions. The other twenty-five percent of NRLN revenue comes from company retiree association dues paid to the NRLN.  NRLN Chapters are supported by a portion of contributions made by Chapter members. For individual contributions to the NRLN go to http://www.nrln.org/JoinUs.htm. Either click on the link to printout the contributions form and mail it with a check or click on the link to make a credit card contribution.

All AREF revenue comes from individual tax-deductible donations. A donation to the AREF may be made by going to the AREF website at www.seniorsaref.org and clicking on the “Donations” tab.

The NRLN annual solicitation to NRLN Villages Chapter members will be in late October 2019.  However, anyone can make voluntary non-deductible contributions to the NRLN or tax-deductible donations to the AREF at any time. 


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  Suggestions and comments about this website should be addressed to webmaster@nrln.org. Last updated: October 22, 2019