The future of caregiving: High demand, scarce workers

If you are hovering around retirement age today, you will be closing in on your eighties in the year 2030. With any luck, you will be healthy and mobile – but imagine for a moment that you are not. Let’s say a debilitating illness requires that you receive care in a nursing home. It is […]

GOP’s next act in health reform? Higher Medicare eligibility age and vouchers

President Donald Trump has vowed repeatedly that he “wouldn’t touch” Medicare or Social Security, but someone forgot to tell House Republicans. While U.S. senators debate the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this week, their colleagues in the House are preparing for the Republicans’ next big move on health reform. A 2018 budget resolution […]

Investing in health savings accounts: Not ready for prime time

Will health savings accounts be the new 401(k)? Boosters of health savings accounts (HSAs) in the financial services industry and in the U.S. Congress think so. They argue that the tax advantages of health savings accounts (HSAs) make them a superior option for saving – especially to cover the rising cost of healthcare in retirement. […]

How Republican health reform could damage Medicare’s long-term solvency

The Republican proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be a disaster for older Americans not yet on Medicare – but they also endanger Medicare itself. The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) under consideration in the U.S. Senate would mean higher premiums and reduced cost-sharing subsidies for lower-income older people. The […]

How Senate health reform bill would decimate long-term care coverage

When Americans think about retirement planning, long-term care usually is a major blind spot – few of us want to contemplate the possibility of infirmity and dependency in old age. But we would do well to think about it now, as the Senate Republicans take a holiday weekend pause in their push to dismantle the […]

Big Social Security COLA will be offset by Medicare premium rollercoaster

Retirees can look forward to the largest Social Security cost-of-living adjustment next year since 2012 – but don’t break out the champagne just yet. For many, higher Medicare premiums will take a big bite out of their raise. The 2018 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will not be announced until October, but inflation trends point […]

Republican health reform is the real disaster for older Americans

The health reform bill proposed by the White House and Speaker Paul Ryan is predicated on the political assertion that Obamacare is a “disaster,” characterized by collapsing insurance markets and soaring premiums. Some states have had problems, to be sure – and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could stand some tweaking. But if your income is […]

Why living longer shouldn’t mean a higher Medicare age

When you hear a politician start a sentence with the phrase “We’re all living longer,” grab your wallet. You are about to be told that Social Security or Medicare benefits should be cut because of America’s rising longevity. The argument is not only specious, but hazardous to your health. That much is clear from a […]

Older Americans at risk as Congress takes ax to Obamacare

Anyone nearing retirement – or already retired – should pay very close attention to the doings of the 115th Congress that was sworn in this week. Repeal of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) tops the agenda for Republicans, who will control the White House as well as both houses of Congress when Donald […]

Medicare Part B premiums won’t jump as much as expected in 2017

Medicare Part B premiums won’t jump as sharply as feared next year. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the average premium will rise about $4 next year – to $109 per month  from $104.90 (that’s been the premium since 2013). That’s the number for the 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who […]