Author Archives: Reeve Conover

Why Vermonts Single Payer System failed

Very good article from The Washington Post, Why Vermont’s single payer effort failed and what Democrats should learn from it.  Link to article which details how Vermont enacted a State Run health plan and then never implemented it due to the staggering costs it would take to put it in and the massive tax burden it would have put on the residents of Vermont.  Medicare For All is a noble platform but it is a great unknown with potentially devastating costs and obstacles to receiving care in the timely fashion we now are accustomed to

CHANGES to Obamacare Plans for 2020

Health and Human Services recently released an update on 2020 rules. Only a few changes that directly affect customers.

In addition to a bunch of internal changes (lowering exchange fees and risk adjustment models for example), here are the significant differences for next year:

  1. Cost-sharing amounts paid for RX manufacturer coupons will no longer count towards meeting your out of pocket maximum. Consumers use these to reduce their copays. Medicare and Medicaid consider them kickbacks and ban them, and states are moving to do the same where a generic equivalent exists. This is designed to force people into using generic drugs.
  2. Adjusting for inflation the Out of Pocket maximum on any plan for 2020 to $8,150 indiviual ($16,300 family).
  3. Increasing the training of ACA navigators.
  4. The creation of a new Special Enrollment Period for any household with income loss that would newly be eligible for subsidies.

The cost of procrastination

Don’t let procrastination keep you from pursuing your financial goals.

Provided by  Reeve Conover

Some of us share a common experience. You’re driving along when a police cruiser pulls up behind you with its lights flashing. You pull over, the officer gets out, and your heart drops.

“Are you aware the registration on your car has expired?”

You’d been meaning to take care of it for some time. For weeks, you had told yourself that you’d go to renew your registration tomorrow, and then, when the morning comes, you repeat it again.

Procrastination is avoiding a task that needs to be done – postponing until tomorrow what could be done, today. Procrastinators can sabotage themselves. They often put obstacles in their own path. They may choose paths that hurt their performance.

Though Mark Twain famously quipped, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” We know that procrastination can be detrimental, both in our personal and professional lives. From the college paper that gets put off to the end of the semester to that important sales presentation that waits until the end of the week for the attention it deserves, we’ve all procrastinated on something.

Problems with procrastination in the business world have led to a sizable industry in books, articles, workshops, videos, and other products created to deal with the issue. There are a number of theories about why people procrastinate, but whatever the psychology behind it, procrastination may, potentially, cost money – particularly, when investments and financial decisions are put off.

As the example below shows, putting off investing may put off potential returns.

Early Bird. Let’s look at the case of Cindy and Charlie, who each invest a hypothetical $10,000 to start. One of them begins immediately, but the other puts investing off.

Charlie begins depositing $10,000 a year in an account that earns a hypothetical 6% rate of return. Then, after 10 years, he stops making deposits. His invested assets, however, are free to keep growing and compounding.

While Charlie fills his account, Cindy waits 10 years before getting started. She then starts to invest a hypothetical $10,000 a year for 10 years into an account that also earns a hypothetical 6% rate of return.

Cindy and Charlie have both invested the same $100,000, but procrastination costs Cindy, as Charlie’s balance is much higher at the end of 20 years. Over 20 years, his account has grown to $237,863, while Cindy’s account has only grown to $132,822. Charlie’s account has not only put the power of compound interest to work, it has also allowed the investment returns more time to compound.1 This is a hypothetical example of mathematical compounding. It’s used for comparison purposes only and is not intended to represent the past or future performance of any investment. Taxes and investment costs were not considered in this example. The results are not a guarantee of performance or specific investment advice. The rate of return on investments will vary over time, particularly for longer-term investments. Investments that offer the potential for high returns also carry a high degree of risk. Actual returns will fluctuate. The types of securities and strategies illustrated may not be suitable for everyone.

Workplace Wellness? Not so fast…

While these programs are all the rage, and an $8 billion industry, the Journal of the American Medical Association recently found “… they don’t cut costs for employers, reduce absenteeism or improve workers’ health.”

While they did get workers to exhibit more health behaviors, there were no measurable medical indicators showing improved health. Further it didn’t change how much employers pay for health care, abseentism rates, job performance, or employee retention.

“Biggest Threat to the American Health Care System”

Thats what Seema Verma calls “medicare for all.” Who is she? Well besides being the prior CEO of a health policy consulting firm, Health Management Associates – she is the Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Why does the Director of Medicare feel this way?
 “What we’re talking about is stripping people of their private health insurance, forcing them into a government-run program.”

But Verma noted that socialized health care systems in other countries have problems of their own — including long wait times and poor care — leading citizens to travel to the U.S. for drugs and care they can’t access at home.

“So this is a bureaucracy that’s going to be making decisions about everybody’s healthcare, what kind of benefits they can have, what kind of medications that they can have access to,” she said. “And if we look at other socialized countries that have tried this approach, what do we see there? Long wait times, poor quality health care and that’s why those people are flying to the United States to get their health care.”

June 2019
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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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