Action Alert #74 Please Do This Today! Decision Thursday! Unfair to Offset Victims!

More than 450,000 retirees lose ALL their Social Security Spousal and Survivor benefits because of the GPO. Now, they are about to have to pay a higher premium for Medicare, also. $600 more a year! This might also apply to you if your WEP-reduced SS benefit is less than your Medicare premium and you have to write a check to Medicare every three months.

Please Do This:

Call the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington and leave a message on their 24-hour line: 1 202 205 5445 (They are supposed to make a decision on Thursday) Tell them your story or protest for all of us!

• Call your Congressperson and tell them to support H.R. 3696 (Titus, NV), a new bill: “to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to prevent an increase in the Medicare part B premium and deductible in 2016. Go to this site, find your Representative and call or email: http://www.house.gov

• Call your Senators and tell them to support S. 2148 (Wyden, OR) which is the Senate version of the House bill. These are new bills, and your representatives may not have heard of them yet. Go to this page and get the info on how to call or email your Senator. http://www.senate.gov

• Call the White House  1 202-456-1111, or for more ways to comment go to: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

Here is an explanation from Kiplinger:
The actual rates for Part B (which covers the costs of doctor visits and outpatient care) will be announced in October and take effect Jan. 1. The boost may be 15% for all participants or a whopping 52% for some, depending on whether Social Security recipients see a cost-of-living raise for 2016. If Social Security checks are increased, everybody will pay more for Part B, bumping the monthly premium from $104.90 to $120.70 to cover higher expenses. That’s the scenario for a 15% increase in costs. But (as has been recently announced) without a raise in Social Security benefits, higher Medicare fees couldn’t be charged to most folks. So the larger increase would apply to about 30% of Medicare beneficiaries:

• those who enroll in Part B in 2016,
people who don’t have their premiums deducted from Social Security payments,
• individuals with annual incomes above $85,000,
• people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

For the last group, known as “dual eligibles,” Part B premiums are paid by the state where they live.
Medicare beneficiaries in these groups would see bills jump to $159.30 a month unless the Obama administration took steps to lessen the pain. That’s possible, but not certain.

Read more at http://www.kiplinger.com/article/insurance/T039-C000-S010-big-price-hikes-coming-for-medicare-premiums-2016.html#lsuKb61msXUpzp9P.99

Here are link(s) to more information:

— http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/medicare-heartburn-2016-projected-50-percent-jump-part-b-premiums/