Health Care shorts…

Costs grew at a faster-than-expected pace in 2011, rising 4.6% to $4,547 a person for employer-sponsored plans.At the same time, out-of-pocket expenses grew to $735/person, with the fastest growth inoutpatient services, and the slowest growth in prescriptions. However, another survey reported that the expected rate increases for HMO’s is 8.5% this year, and 9.3% for PPO’s and High Deductible Health …

Family members can help SANDY victims- UPDATE on relaxed pension rules-

In addition to the recently relaxed rules on loans and hardship withdrawalsfor those impacted by Hurricane Sandy (IRS 2012-44), these rules are extended further.    Some tax filing dates have been pushed back, and simplified procedures for loans and hardships between 10/26/12 and 2/1/13 are in place.  Furthermore, immediate family members in other parts of the country can help their family …

Expertplan and Ascensus to Merge

From the owner of Expertplan, Julian Onorato:   It is with great pleasure that I am advising you that effective Tuesday, November 20, 2012, ExpertPlan, Inc., has entered into a definitive merger agreement that is pending regulatory approval with Ascensus, a Dresher, PA based corporation. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2012. ExpertPlan will continue to …

THE BIG TAX QUESTIONS OF 2013

How will Congress resolve these issues? Decisions must be made. In the next couple of months, Congress will address several major tax matters. Here are the big questions looming. The Bush-era income tax cuts. Will the current 10%-15%-25%-28%-33%-35% federal tax rate structure give way to 15%-28%-31%-36%-39.6% tax brackets in 2013? After the election, some analysts feel a compromise will be …

United healthcare details transition to Optum Rx Plan

I received the notification below that detaisl their switch to OptumRx around the country.  For my clients, Large Groups will transition in April, the Southeast in September, and Oxford Clients in October.  See below for more details: We are pleased to provide you with an update on the migration of pharmacy benefit services to OptumRx – UnitedHealth Group’s in-house pharmacy …

Medicare part A and B premiums announced for 2013

 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced the 2013 Medicare Part A and Part B premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts. Medicare Part A Premium: $441, a decrease of $10 Deductible: $1,184 Medicare Part B Premium: $104.90, an increase of $5 Deductible: $147

Weekly Economic Update for November 19 2012

    WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     WEEKLY QUOTE “Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.”       – Charles Schulz        WEEKLY TIP If you are a new parent, you have 18 years to save for your child’s university tuition. Consider an opening an education account in which earnings can compound with tax …

IRS: Retirement Plans Can Make Loans, Hardship Distributions to Sandy Victims

Posted on November 19, 2012 at 8:21 am- Huntington Patch As part of the administration’s efforts to bring all available resources to bear to support state and local partners impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the Internal Revenue Service announced that 401(k)s and similar employer-sponsored retirement plans can make loans and hardship distributions to victims of Hurricane Sandy and members of their …

Medicare Extends Enrollment Period For Those Affected By Sandy

By Susan Jaffe November 8th, 2012, 1:18 PM Medicare beneficiaries battered by Superstorm Sandy have one less problem to worry about: Federal officials have extended the Dec. 7 deadline to enroll in a private medical or drug plan for next year for those still coping with storm damage. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services “understands that many Medicare beneficiaries …

SOME FISCAL CLIFF SCENARIOS

What could play out in the near future? Presented by Reeve Conover Will 2013 be as severe as some economists think? The fiscal cliff is getting closer and closer. How will Congress respond? In the worst-case scenario, Congress argues and deadlocks. Tax hikes and roughly $109 billion in federal spending cuts take a bite out of GDP and another recession …