How to Follow the 2014 Midterm Election Returns

Whether you’re a hard-core political junkie or just an ordinary citizen who’s interested in the outcome, there are a wealth of ways to follow the midterm elections on your laptop, tablet or smartphone. Here are some suggestions: TV news websites ABC News will provide a live streaming webcast of its election coverage, anchored by George Stephanopoulos, starting at 7 p.m.  Additionally, the network will augment its programming with live blogging by a team of analysts from FiveThirtyEight, including Nate Silver, …

Medicare Open Enrollment: 3 Things to Know

Don’t miss the once-a-year opportunity to make changes to your Medicare plan. It’s that time of year again: Medicare Open Enrollment runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. By now you should have received your Annual Notice of Change packet of information in the mail. It’s so important to take the time to sit down and review this information to see if you need to make any changes for next year. “Whether you have original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, …

Number of Health Plans to Grow in Second Year of Obamacare

By Mary Agnes Carey, Kaiser Health News Staff Writer The number of health insurance companies offering plans in the marketplaces this fall will increase by 25 percent, giving consumers more choices for coverage, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced Sept. 23. When the marketplace enrollment reopens in November, 77 new insurers will be offering coverage in the 44 states for which HHS had data, which includes the 36 states that use the federal marketplace and eight states that …

Cost of Retiree Dental Plans May Give You a Toothache

Boomers retiring without dental benefits, and Medicare recipients who don’t have a Medicare Advantage plan, may be surprised and dismayed by the latest study on the cost of dental coverage. Consumers paid an average $382 annual premium for a stand-alone dental plan through a government exchange this year, and that didn’t include deductibles and copays, according to the analysis of dental plans on the federal exchange by the website HealthPocket, which compares health plans. Deductibles averaged about $500 a year …

2014 Medicare Trustees Report Urges Responsible Solutions

The Medicare Trustees report today reminds us of the financial challenges facing Medicare, along with the overall high cost of health care. With 64 million Americans expected to be enrolled in Medicare by 2020, we must do more to reduce wasteful spending throughout our health care system. For starters, we can reduce costs and find significant savings in Medicare and throughout the health care system with responsible solutions rather than harmful cuts. By improving care coordination, utilizing technology more efficiently, …

Government Hikes Payment Estimate for Medicare Advantage Plans

By Tom Murphy, AP Business Writer The government has raised its payment estimate for Medicare Advantage plans months ahead of a busy election season during which cuts to the program promise to be a key focus for politicians and voters. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Monday that 2015 payments to the plans should increase less than 1 percent overall. That compares to a drop of nearly 2 percent that the government forecast in February. Analysts expect actual …