What's New on The Hill?

Many have called for Congress asking them to cosponsor the bipartisan CPI-E Act (HR 1251). If passed, the bill would base the annual cost-of -living (COLA) adjustment for benefits under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS),  and Social Security on increases in the Consumer Price Index for the elderly (also known as CPI-E).

What's happening in the US?

After a long and eventful 2020 election, the results have been finalized showing that former Vice President Joe Biden is the 2020 President Elect of the United States of America.  In a historical voter turnout, Biden has become the first presidential candidate with the most votes ever cast for a Presidential candidate with 75,000,000+ in history, and Trump has become the second highest with 72,000,000+. In addition, after nearly 30 years of being noted as a red state, Georgia has turned blue and will face off in double senate run-off in January to decide which party will take control of the Senate.

 

COLA UPDATE

 In the early morning of October 13th, 2020, the 2021 COLA Update was announced to be 1.3%.This comes at a de-crease for 2020’s 1.6% and is the lowest since 2017. This equivalates for the average retiree, to about $20 more a month, to $1,543 as opposed to the $24 a month for 2020. In addition, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax will increase about 3.7% next year to $142,800 from $137,700. If you or a loved one feel this way or have any comments on COLA please feel free to contact us. (Info courtesy of Barron’s)

COVID-19 and Seniors

The coronavirus pandemic has brought new anxieties to seniors and their younger family members according to a new survey published by ValuePenguin.com by LendingTree. And rather than worrying about falling sick, seniors are grappling with loneliness, and deep worries about the safety and health of their families. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

During Mid-November it was made apparent to the public that several trial COVID-19 vaccines from organizations such as Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna are showing very promising results with over 90% effectivity. While there is still a ways to go, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has stated that he believes vaccines for high-risk groups and healthcare professionals could be distributed by the second half of December. A statement from the CEO of Pfizer stated that “Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19,” said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO. “We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen. With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks.” (Pfizer). While we continue to monitor the updates on the COVID-19 vaccine, we encourage all members to keep up with the facts of COVID-19 including symptomshigh-risk factors, and what you can do to protect you and your loved ones from getting this disease. 

It's Vaccine Season!

Vaccine-preventable diseases cause significant illness, hospitalization, pain, disability, and death in the United States, particularly when it comes to older adults. Unfortunately adult vaccination rates in the U.S. are dangerously low and falling short of national targets, despite the devastating effects vaccine-preventable diseases can have. Protecting our loved ones as they become adults is also critical however, each year our country spends nearly $27 billion treating adults for diseases that could have easily been prevented through vaccinations. Chronic health conditions can increase your risk of serious complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases, including long-term illness, hospitalization, and even death. This is true, even if you feel healthy and your condition is under control. You can do a lot to manage your condition and getting vaccinated is an important step in staying healthy.

 

  • One in three seniors each year skips the flu vaccine, recommended annually for everyone over 6-months-old
  • Four in 10 seniors are not vaccinated for pneumonia
  • Nearly half of seniors are not immunized for tetanus
  • The shingles vaccine has the lowest adoption rates by older adults regarding those leading preventives — 76 percent of them had not received it as of 2013, the latest year that data is available

What vaccines are most important?

ALL OF THEM!
While all vaccines are important the CDC recommends that individuals 60 and older receive the following vaccines:
  • Flu vaccine – A yearly flu vaccine to protect against flu and its serious complications. Studies show that flu vaccination is associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes
  • Pneumococcal vaccines (PCV13 and PPSV23) –  Pneumococcal vaccines, once as an adult before 65 years of age and then two more doses at 65 years or older, to protect against pneumococcal disease
  • Hepatitis B vaccine – Hepatitis B vaccine if you are unvaccinated and younger than 60 years of age to protect against hepatitis B.  If you are 60 years or older, talk to your healthcare provider.
  • Tdap vaccine/Td vaccine – A one-time dose of Tdap to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (also known as whooping cough). After that, adults need a Td booster shot to protect against tetanus and diphtheria every 10 years.
  • Shingles vaccine– Two doses of shingles vaccine if you are 50 years of age or older to protect against shingles and its complications

What We Are Working On 

  • How can RetireSafe educate their members on what exactly are their insurance costs? 
  • How can RetireSafe educate the population on accessible services to provide food and other delivery services such as prescription medications?
  • What are all the options and measures that can be taken is someone has Medicare, Medicaid, another private health insurance, or no health insurance at all?
  • How can RetireSafe educate their members on what exactly their insurance costs? What insurances do
  • How can we educate the RetireSafe population on taking necessary precautionary steps that would help them to be financially sound as they continue to age maturely? 
  • How can the gap between persons of color and non-persons of color be diminished when it comes to fair Medicaid coverage and living expenses?
  • Monthly Awareness and National Recognitions
  • Monitoring bills on Capitol Hill 
  • ​Monitoring effects n members due to the election and political stonewalling
  • Health disparities and their correlation to COVID-19 and the healthcare system 
  • Medicare and Medicaid related issues
  • Social Security, COLA, Surprise Medical Billing 
  • EDUCATING OUR MEMBERS!

Have you taken our Survey?

Help us to help you? What more would you like us to look into? What do you like so far ?