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My file of articles about retiree medical expenses is filling rapidly with unpleasant headlines. One sample sums up the group: “How Safe Are Your Retiree Health Benefits?” Numerous surveys and my own experience lead to one conclusion: Most retirees and pre-retirees greatly underestimate how much medical expenses will be during retirement and are mistaken about […]
It is getting close to the time when Medicare beneficiaries must decide whether or not to sign up for a prescription drug plan. Promotions are being rolled out. The enrollment period begins Nov. 1, 2005, and closes on May 15, 2006. The government has announced some good news about the program. (See the September 2005 […]
Prescription drug coverage is not the only change coming to Medicare. This year Medicare began offering new preventive benefits. New members receive a free “welcome to Medicare” physical. Also covered now are screening tests for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. The annual deductible for Part B also is rising to $105 and will be indexed for […]
Medicare members are about to be bombarded with information and sales pitches. You have a decision to make that could have a significant effect on your finances and health. You need to start preparing now. The Medicare prescription drug benefit that was enacted in 2003 takes effect in 2006. November 2005 begins the sign-up period […]
The Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card program now is up and running, producing both benefits and controversy. Seniors could sign up for a program starting May 1 and could begin using the cards June 1. Advertising for the cards by both the government and card sponsors began in May. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid […]
Medicare announced its first group of endorsed prescription drug discount cards. Medicare members can enroll in one of the discount programs after May 2, 2004. The cards can be used beginning June 1, 2004. The web site www.medicare.gov has a feature that makes it easy to find the discount card programs that are available to […]
The sales pitches are back, enticing seniors to join HMOs and other private health plans. Congress has changed the law again, this time to encourage firms to offer these alternative plans to regular Medicare. In 1997 Congress reduced reimbursements to Medicare HMOs and other private Medicare plans. As a result, many HMOs stopped participating and […]
We’re getting more details about the most significant parts of the Medicare prescription drug law that was enacted in late 2003. The two key provisions are Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and prescription discount cards. The new Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for people under age 65 were reviewed in detail in January. Recall that the accounts […]