Monthly Archives: October 2018

Labcorp added to Aetna Medicare

Aetna and LabCorp have signed an expanded agreement to make LabCorp a preferred national laboratory for all Aetna Medicare health plans, products and members beginning January 1, 2019.

This means our 2019 members will have in-network laboratory access to both Quest Diagnostics’ and LabCorp’s full range of services, as well as their broad patient access points, including a growing retail presence. Or, they can choose from one of the many other participating labs in our network.

Student Loan Debt Crisis growing daily

“There’s a systemic problem in the student loan market that doesn’t exist in the other asset classes.  Students need to get a job that allows them to pay off their debt. The delinquency rate will rise as long as students aren’t graduating with degrees that pay back that cost.”  – John Hupalo, Invite Education

This recent Bloomberg Article shows just how bad its gotten.  Student Loan Debt has grown 157% since 2008, while mortgage loans total sit at 0% growth.  Student Loan debt has the highest 90+ delinquency rate of all forms of household debt, more than 10%.  Compare this to 1.1% for mortgages and 4% for autos.

I personally know a woman, accomplished and using her degree, who cannot repay her student loan, which is preventing her from being able to afford a home.  This problem is creating a systemic drag on the economy and “crippling demand for other services.”  Now, with interest rates rising after ten years, its only going to get worse.

IMHO we need to figure out how to address this issue as a nation…

 

2019 Medicare Costs released

Part A Deductible increases to $1364

The Standard Monthly Premium for Part B goes to$135.50

The Part B Deductible  increases to $185

 

ObamaCare Plans taking a drop – in some areas

Two weeks to go before the ObamaCare ACA open Enrollment season begins-  Well, its not really a season as it is only 5 weeks long.  Don’t miss it!

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “Average rates for popular health plans sold under the Affordable Care Act will fall 1.5% next year, according to the Trump administration, the first such drop and a sign that the insurance markets are gaining firmer traction despite tumult in the past two years.

The decrease will affect average premiums for the second-cheapest plans in the “silver” tier, a middle-cost option, after years of double-digit increases. In contrast, the average rate for those plans increased by 37% between 2017 and 2018, the administration said.”

However, averages can be misleading.  In NY the average increase is about 11%, and in South Carolina its 5%.  In Iowa, insurer Medica is lowering rates – but that’s after a 57% increase last year.  Tennessee expects a 26% drop, Deleware a 16% increase, with double digits in many other states.

Medicare And Prescription Changes

A lot is happening in the Rx Market this year.  In case you missed it, Aetna has been purchased by CVS health, which has been approved by the DOJ.  As part of this purchase, however, they have to sell Silverscript, the Medicare Rx Program.  This is set to happen around the first of the year, to WellCare.  In the meantime, Silverscripts prices have gone up and Aetna looks much more competitive, and we expect a lot of changes this year.

Walgreens bought Rite Aid and is in the process of consolidating stores and plans.  No word yet on what will happen to Rite Aids’ Envision Rx program, and Walgreens has maintained its deal with AARP.

It is important that Seniors check their prescriptions EVERY year, as this is the time of year when everything changes.  It is too late to change in January when you discover your medication is no longer covered!

 

 

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Reeve Conover is a Registered Representative. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/dealer member FINRA/SPIC. Cambridge and Conover Consulting are not affiliated. Licensed in SC, NC, NY, CT, NJ, and CA.
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