How healthcare changes seniors’ inflation math

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There’s been no sign that inflation is heating up along with the economy, and that may tempt people planning for retirement to be complacent about inflation risk. But it’s important to remember that the inflation rate experienced by seniors is higher than that of the overall economy. From 1985 to 2014, the Consumer Price Index […]

Medicare doc fix: something for everyone to dislike, but a needed reform

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Congress is headed toward a bipartisan solution to the long-standing threat of sharp reductions in Medicare’s payments to doctors. But the so-called “doc fix” will be expensive, and Medicare beneficiaries will pay part of the bill. The big questions: How much? And, could a doc fix be achieved without hitting up seniors to pay part […]

Planning for Alzheimer’s: How financial advisers can help

Carolyn McClanahan

Long-term care is a major wild card in any financial plan, but managing the risks associated with Alzheimer’s is especially difficult. Research by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and Boston University shows that 65-year-old-women have a 20 percent chance of developing dementia, and a 17 percent change of Alzheimer’s; for men, the corresponding […]

Medicare, ACA care and how to navigate during enrollment

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This is enrollment season for two huge public health insurance programs: Medicare and the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges. For older Americans, the overlapping sign-up periods can lead to confusion and enrollment errors. Insurers offering Medicare and ACA policies have big money at stake, and consumers are subject to a blizzard of marketing messages. […]

Quality issues keep dogging Medicare Advantage plans

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Seniors have flocked to Medicare Advantage in recent years, attracted by savings on premiums and the convenience of one-stop shopping. But as the annual Medicare enrollment season began this week, a memorandum from federal officials to plan providers surfaced that serves as a big red warning flag. The upshot: Assess the quality of any Advantage […]

Why it pays to shop your Medicare coverage this fall

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Your Medicare prescription drug plan sent you a letter recently. Chances are, you didn’t read it – and that could be costing you money. Health insurance companies must send an annual notice of changes for the coming year to Part D prescription drug and Part C Medicare Advantage plans. The notice, which must be delivered […]

Medicare costs: How long can the good news go on?

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Medicare turned 49 years old last week, and the program celebrated with some good financial news for seniors: Premiums will not rise in 2015 for the third consecutive year. The question now: How long can the good news persist? Worries about Medicare’s long-range financial health continue, but for now low healthcare cost inflation will translate into […]

Why most seniors can’t afford to pay more for Medicare

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Should seniors pay more for Medicare? Republicans think so; they have repeatedly called for replacing the current program with vouchers that would shift cost and risk to seniors. There’s no doubt this is where Republicans will take us if they capture control of Congress this year, and the White House in 2016. Representative Paul Ryan, […]

The state of senior health: It depends on your state

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What are the best and worst places to stay healthy as you age? For answers, take out a map and follow the Mississippi River from north to south. The healthiest people over 65 are in Minnesota, the sickest in Mississippi. That’s among the findings of the America’s Health Rankings Senior Report released in May by […]

Retirement healthcare costs: Not as scary, but still daunting

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The remarkable recent lull in retirement healthcare inflation isn’t fading – not yet, at least. A 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need to have saved $220,000 to meet healthcare expenses during their retirement, according to a report issued today by Fidelity Investments. It’s a daunting sum, but it’s unchanged from last year and comes […]