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Retirement Healthcare and Medicare

Retirement expert Bob Carlson’s research and knowledge on how to get the most out of healthcare options

Found 310 Articles.
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Changes Coming to Medicare Advantage Plans

June 1, 2009

The Medicare Advantage plans have been one of the more popular innovations in Medicare. Enrollment is up to 10.5 million, from only 5.4 million in 2005. But these plans will see some changes later this year, and that could increase costs or decrease benefits for enrollees. Traditional Medicare is a fee for service program that […]

Critical New Trends in Long-Term Care

May 1, 2009

Many people do not realize that long-term care insurance has been a mainstream product only since the 1980s. It still is evolving, and insurers are learning more all the time. Also, there are dramatic changes occurring in the population and in medical care that affect the pricing and terms of long-term care insurance. In this […]

What is the Best Way to Buy Long-Term Care Coverage?

March 1, 2009

Congress made a change in 2006 that makes a long-term care insurance option more attractive. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 enhanced combining annuities or life insurance with long-term care coverage. Insurers are cranking out more of these policies to meet anticipated demand. The change was a simple one. The combo policies have been around […]

When to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance

February 1, 2009

One of the more difficult decisions about long-term care insurance is: At what age should it be purchased? There are a raft of trade offs to consider. The annual premiums of the insurance are lower the younger you are when the policy is purchased. But benefits usually are not claimed until in one’s late seventies […]


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Long-Term Care Insurance Policies and the Credit Crisis

January 1, 2009

The financial crisis is raising new concerns about long-term care insurance policies. In December Conseco announced it was transferring most of its 140,000 long-term care insurance policies into a nonprofit trust supervised by the Pennsylvania insurance commissioner. No new money will be put into the trust to pay claims, and insurance rater A.M. Best warned […]

Medicare, Other Health Changes on the Way

December 1, 2008

The good news is that Medicare premiums are unchanged for 2009. They remain at $96.40 per month for Part B. This is the first year in the last eight the premium will not rise. The program’s reserves increased, allowing it to keep premiums and fees steady. But do not take that as a sign of […]


How to Avoid the Retirement Medical Expense Surprise

November 1, 2008

The wildcard in every retirement plan is the cost of medical care. It probably is the cause of most retirement plan failures. There are several reasons medical expenses disrupt so many plans: Many people are used to employer-paid medical care. Before they retire, they do not realize the full cost of medical insurance. Employers used […]


How Improved Websites Boost Your Benefits

October 1, 2008

Government benefits are complicated. It often is difficult to understand the rules well enough to maximize benefits from Social Security and Medicare. The government agencies know this and in response recently added features to their web sites to make it less painful to learn your benefit options. I have reviewed these features and believe they […]


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