Senior Editor, Money Team

Eileen Ambrose is a senior editor and writer for the Money Team. She previously was a personal finance columnist with the Baltimore Sun.

Do a Midyear Checkup on Your Health Care Subsidy

Maybe you thought your work was done once you bought health insurance for the year on one of the government-run exchanges. Not quite. The IRS and other tax experts say now is a good time to revisit that purchase to make sure you’re getting the federal premium assistance you’re entitled to. Whether you’re getting too little - or too much and have to repay it later - there’s still time to contact the exchange and correct any errors for this year. >> Birthday …

FICO Eases Pain of Medical Debt on Credit Scores

FICO, the nation’s leading credit-scoring company, is making two changes that could benefit consumers with debt that has gone into collection. In its newest scoring model, FICO will no longer count debt in collection that has been repaid or settled. The company will also discount medical debt in collection, so it has less of a negative impact on consumers’ scores. More than half of unpaid collections involve medical bills. The medical changes alone could boost a consumer’s score by 25 points, FICO said when announcing …

Obama Order Blocks Federal Contracts for Age Discrimination Violators

Contractors found to have discriminated against workers because of their age or committed other recent labor-law violations will be ineligible for federal contracts under an executive order that President Barack Obama signed today. Among the worker protections in the order: Businesses with federal contracts of $1 million or more cannot require arbitration in worker disputes involving sexual harassment and certain civil rights violations. Workers also must get basic information on their paychecks, such as deductions and hours worked, so they can verify that their …

Lawmakers Urged to Act Soon to Shore Up Social Security

The financial outlook for Social Security remains largely unchanged from last year, with the combined trust funds that pay benefits to retirees and workers with disabilities expected to exhaust reserves in 2033, according to a government report released today. After that date, money coming into the system would be enough to cover 77 percent of benefit obligations, according to the Social Security trustees report. At a news conference on Monday afternoon, Treasury Secretary Jack J. Lew said Social Security and Medicare are …

Money Market Funds Just Got Safer … Or Did They?

After years of debate, the Securities and Exchange Commission this week finally adopted new rules designed to shore up the stability of the $2.6 trillion money market  industry. The question now is, will it help? While the changes largely affect institutional investors, one provision also applies to small investors by temporarily restricting their access to their money if a fund has liquidity problems. For decades money market funds were seen as reliably boring, investing in government securities or high-grade corporate debt. Though the funds’ …

Are Medical Credit Cards Unhealthy for Your Finances?

You need some expensive medical care yet don’t have the insurance or money to pay for it. Should you use a medical credit card that’s pitched at some doctors’ offices? A new report by the nonprofit Consumer Action warns that some of these cards can be unhealthy for your finances. They usually offer a zero percent introductory rate, though after that period, card terms can vary greatly. The problem is that these terms often are difficult to uncover. So patients …