Fall is right time to evaluate your Medicare drug plan options

Forewarned is forearmed – and for seniors, the warning just arrived in the mail. Each September, enrollees in Medicare prescription drug and Advantage plans receive letters from their insurance companies detailing any changes in coverage for the year ahead. Called the Annual Notice of Change, the document is well worth reviewing, because it arrives just […]

Assessing the risk of needing long-term care

How substantial is the risk that you will will need long-term care in a nursing home setting? You’ll see numbers all over the map; federal government data, for example, shows that a 65-year-old person runs a 35 percent risk of entering a nursing facility sometime in their lifetime. Other reports have suggested the risk is […]

Latest Republican assault on healthcare would punish older Americans

The Republicans’ battle to repeal Obamacare is starting to look less like warfare and more like a game of whack-a-mole. Each time a draconian plan pops up, advocates for healthcare and seniors – and grassroots opponents – grab their mallets and pound them back into their holes. And so it should be with the latest […]

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 […]