A Medicare surprise: Most dental care isn’t covered

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If you plan to retire soon, add this item to your to-do list: a visit to the dentist before your dental insurance disappears. Retirees transitioning to Medicare are often surprised to learn that the program does not cover routine dental care or more complex procedures. Overall, 40 percent of the 65-plus population has some form […]

Betting on prevention as Medicare turns 50

Dr. Linda Fried

Healthcare is an expense. But what if we looked at it as an investment – especially an investment in prevention of disease? The payback on that investment would be more years of healthy living and less cost treating chronic disease in old age . . . not to mention the human misery avoided. Investment in healthy […]

Six questions to ask when switching to Medicare

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The hand-off from employer health insurance to Medicare can be one of the trickiest challenges you will face in managing your retirement. The rules are full of pitfalls that can cost you thousands of dollars in unnecessary premiums or lead to a risky gap in coverage. In this week’s Reuters column, I address some of the […]

Are we headed for a one percent phenomenon in longevity?

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Could the one percent soon get to live twice as long as the rest of us – maybe even forever? Immortality may not be in the cards just yet, but exponential breakthroughs in technology and medicine will make possible lifespans of 150 years or more, according to Ken Dychtwald. Dychtwald, a pioneering expert on gerontology, […]

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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 […]