Financial Advice for Retirement, Social Security, IRAs and Estate Planning

Medicare/Medigap Insurance

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The Overlooked Retirement Time Bomb

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 […]


A Medicare Prescription Drug Update

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 Drug Discount Rolled Out

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 has a feature that makes it easy to find the discount card programs that are available to […]


The New Private Medicare Plans

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 […]


The Medicare Overhaul: An Update

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 […]


Decisions to Make Under Your New Medicare

Prescription drug benefits and other changes are coming to Medicare. Let’s take a look some details, the timetable, and the actions you should consider over the next few years. Keep in mind that the prescription drug provisions are voluntary. You don’t have to leave your current benefit structure unless you want to or the provider […]


Nursing Home Grades On The Web

Searching for a nursing home recently got a lot easier, thanks to the Department of Health and Human Services. Now you can go to the web site and get a full listing of nursing homes in your area. You can compare the facilities in detail without leaving your home. After going to, click […]


How to Find the Best Health Care Plan

A recent headline in The Wall Street Journal said it all: “Health Benefits for Retirees Continue to Shrink, Study Says.” “Outlook Is Even Bleaker For Workers Leaving Jobs Over the Next 20 Years,” said the subheadline. Take a look at a few developments in just the last few months: Another 200,000 Medicare members will lose […]

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