Retirement expert Bob Carlson’s research and knowledge on how to get the most out of healthcare options
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The Part D Medicare Prescription Drug program is doing well after its first year. Surveys show that it is very popular with its beneficiaries. Premiums and other costs to beneficiaries are lower than forecast. Yet there still is room for mature Americans to reduce their prescription drug costs. Retirees who aren’t yet old enough for […]
A recent survey of America’s wealthy revealed a surprise. Those in households with more than $250,000 in investable assets said that their greatest financial concern is health care costs. These Americans believe that medical expenses are more likely to affect their savings and investments than terrorism, rising energy prices, taxes, and the state of the […]
Insurers are changing long-term care insurance policies to reduce confusion and overcome the objections of many potential buyers. The government also is getting on board with some new rules that favor policy purchases. Two major factors keep many people from purchasing long-term care policies. One factor is that the policies are complicated, with many optional […]
Most people evaluate long-term care insurance the wrong way. Sales approaches also often stress the wrong factors. LTCI should be analyzed in much the same way we analyze investment opportunities. Fear often is the focus of LTCI discussions. Scary statistics are used to try to convince consumers that they need the policies to protect them […]
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We are rolling into the second year of the Part D Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Beneficiaries can switch plans during the enrollment period from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31. If new coverage is selected, it begins Jan. 1. With one year of experience behind them, insurers are changing their plans, and most of the changes […]
Alternatives to traditional Medicare are more popular – and with good reason. For the same and sometimes lower cost, more care is received by Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare Advantage is an umbrella name for alternatives to traditional Medicare. The alternatives include HMOs, PPOs, and special needs plans. But the fastest-growing alternative is PFFS – private fee […]
New regulations covering long-term care insurance might be on their way to your state. The regulations will broaden care and help reduce premiums. The regulations were drafted by the National Association of Insurance Commis-sioners. Insurance is regulated by each state. This group drafts model statutes and regulations that each state is encouraged to adopt. In […]
Medicare beneficiaries with higher incomes face higher premiums in 2007 and thereafter. We have better estimates of those premiums now, and beneficiaries can factor these higher costs into their financial plans. The higher premiums, called surtaxes, are imposed on a sliding scale. They begin rising for single beneficiaries whose incomes exceed $80,000 and for married […]