How to plan ahead for retirement healthcare costs

Big, bigger, biggest. Those words capture the retirement healthcare challenge. Healthcare will be one of the largest categories of cost for most retirees–and medical inflation is expected to run 2 to 3 times faster than general inflation. Retirees can cope by tuning up their Medicare coverage, as we discussed in my last column. That can […]

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New Medicare cards a lone bright spot in identity-theft battle

Older Americans are especially vulnerable to scams and identity theft, and Medicare is doing something about it. Seniors will start receiving new identification cards next year as part of an effort to protect them from the rising risk of fraud. But that is the only good news surrounding a sweeping federal initiative to bolster fraud […]

Five ways to get the most from Medicare

Looking for ways to save money in retirement? Start with healthcare. A healthy 65-year-old couple retiring this year can expect to spend $322,000 (today’s dollars) on Medicare premiums and dental insurance, according to Healthview Services, a maker of healthcare cost projection software. Add in deductibles, copays, hearing, vision, and dental cost sharing, and that figure […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

One problem with delayed Social Security claims: Risk of higher Medicare Part B premiums

Delaying your Social Security benefit as long as possible is a great way to boost retirement income, but the strategy comes with one built-in downside. Most seniors enroll in Medicare at 65, but those who are not yet receiving Social Security run the risk of much larger annual increases in their Part B premiums. Healthcare […]

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 […]

The facts about Social Security, Medicare may surprise you

While the era of “alternative facts” dawned in Washington last week, experts from across the ideological spectrum gathered in the capital for a review of real facts about our two most important retirement programs: Social Security and Medicare. The annual policy research conference of the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) focused on the group’s […]