Update on Exchanges, Obamacare and progress

I am pleased to report that the Federal Marketplace and the New York State of Health site (the two I use all day) are actually working.  It takes about 15 minutes to set up your account (if I do it- it will take you longer to understand the questions).  Then it will take me about 15 minutes to walk you …

Social Security Changes for 2014

Social Security in 2014 Next year’s small COLA isn’t the only adjustment related to the program. Here are six things you need to know about Social Security for 2014. For clarity’s sake, here is a rundown of what is changing next year, and what isn’t. Social Security recipients are getting a raise – but not much of one. Next year, …

Test your knowledge- who gets a Subsidy?

The subsidy rules are complicated and a little strange.  A great way to learn is to take this quick quiz – and I gave you the answers: 1)  A single employee whose small employer offers a bronze plan?  NO, his employer offers coverage. 2)  The same employee cannot afford the dependent coverage offered by his employer.  Can they get a …

What is Medical Tourism?

Taking a vacation to see the medical facilities in another country?  No fun.  However, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are flying to another country to save enormous amounts on their care.  Here are 7 popular destinations: Mexico- Cost-effective and close, Monterey alone has “four first-rate American-accredited hospitals” that specialize in weight treatment. India- With savings on surgery …

2014 MEDICARE COPAYS

THE CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVI ES (CMS) HAS RELEASED THE 2014 CHANGES:   Part A Deductible (Hospital)              $1216 Hospital Copay day 61-90                   $304/day Hospital Copay Lifetime Reserve      $608/day Part B Deductible (Doctors)               $  147 (no change) Premiums: Most people do not pay for part A but if you do, the premium for …

Check your drugs – the $3000 mistake!

“I like my prescription plan – I don’t have to pay a deductible with it!” said my client on the phone.  She was about to make a $3000 mistake… If you are a senior with Part D Prescription coverage, you are aware that every year, the companies move the medications around on the tiers, drop medications, and make other changes.  …

Changes to Medicare Plans in 2014

Medicare HMO/PPO plans are getting a little harder to find, and payment reductions under Health Care Reform are being blamed.  While it isn’t a big drop (5.3% fewer plans), the trend is concerning.  Most of the dropped plans are in the South, Midwest and Northeast. More concerning to me is the 13% drop in Special Needs plans.  These programs – …

THE MAJOR RETIREMENT PLANNING MISTAKES

Why are they made again and again? Much has been written about the classic financial mistakes that plague start-ups, family businesses, corporations and charities. Aside from these blunders, there are also some classic financial missteps that plague retirees. Calling them “mistakes” may be a bit harsh, as not all of them represent errors in judgment. Yet whether they result from …

Whats really happening – how ACA is affecting my clients.

I have had enough information to do quotes, and make final decisions with clients for about 14 days.  While I have not gotten to everyone yet, I have gotten through about 100 individuals and 40 group clients. I listen to, and read, the same media you do, and I hear all the positioning, spinning and attacking you do.  But whats …

No more “use it or lose it” on FSA

Employees with a health care flexible spending account may carry over up to $500 into the next plan year under a new Internal Revenue Service rule, effective immediately, but employers are not required to adopt the new rule. The rule change might encourage more people to open FSAs, which are tax-deductible and can be used for medical expenses including cost …