Weekend Update

Congress remains in session this week on Capitol Hill. Here’s a link to the Week in Congress’s report on last week’s actions there.

Due to Senator John McCain’s unexpected hospitalization, the Senate will not be voting on the Better Care Reconciliation Act this week.  Reuters also reports that the Congressional Budget Office will take a little more time to prepare its report on that bill.

Last week, the Social Security and Medicare trustees issued their annual report. The Associated Press reads the tea leaves to find that Social Security recipients should receive a 2.2% cost of living adjustment for 2018, which surpasses 2017’s 0.3% increase and 2016’s no COLA.  The trustees also “project that Medicare Part B premiums will remain unchanged — $134 a month for most, though retirees with higher incomes pay more.” Federal annuitants receiving CERS benefits and recent annuitants may see higher Part B premiums than others because of the exceptions to the law which generally protects annuitants against sharp increases in Part B premiums. “Both Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment and the Medicare Part B premium are to be announced in the fall.”

Last week, the Missouri Supreme Court finally came to its senses and came into line with the U.S. Supreme Court’s April 2017 decision holding that the FEHB Act, 5 U.S.C. Sec. 8902(m)(1), preempts  state laws purporting to interfere with the subrogation and reimbursement rights of FEHB plan carriers. The third time was the charm for this court.