Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Is Underway; Shop Smart

AARP encourages Americans to review their health insurance options during the Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period that started Sunday. Open enrollment (from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31) is an important opportunity for consumers to find a plan that could save them more money, offer better services, or include more of their doctors. Since the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period in 2013, the uninsured rate for pre-Medicare Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 has dropped …

No 2016 Social Security Benefits Increase; Medicare Premium Spikes for Some

It’s official: Not only will almost 65 million Social Security recipients not get a cost-of-living increase next year,  millions of Medicare beneficiaries will see their premiums for doctor visits and outpatient care go up by more than 50 percent unless the government intervenes. The Oct. 15 announcement by the Social Security Administration confirmed projections in the Social Security and Medicare trustees reports released in July: For the third time since 2010, there will be no bump in checks because falling energy …

What Workers Can Expect During Open Enrollment

Heads-up, workers. Open enrollment season is just around the corner. That’s when you’ll make your selections for the benefits you’ll receive next year. Here are a few changes you may see in your employer’s health plan for 2016, according to Tracy Watts, a senior partner with benefits consultant Mercer:   Telemedicine. More employers will be covering doctor visits done over the phone, Skype or FaceTime. These virtual visits cost a fraction of an in-person consultation. Health cost estimators. To help …

Feel Like You’re Paying More for Health Insurance? Blame Deductibles

Though workers have seen moderate increases in health insurance premiums in recent years, deductibles and the number of workers paying them have increased sharply, according to a new study by Kaiser Family Foundation. Five years ago, 70 percent of workers in an employer-sponsored plan paid a deductible, compared with 81 percent today, Kaiser found. Over that time, the average deductible has grown from $917 to $1,318 for single coverage. Together, this amounts to a 67 percent increase in deductibles in …

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 …

AARP Debuts New Health Care Costs Calculator

It could be a costly mistake if you aren’t considering health care costs in your retirement plan, financial advisers tell us. According to the latest estimate by Boston-based Fidelity Investments, premiums, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses could cost a 65-year-old couple retiring today a hair-raising $220,000 – and that’s after Medicare coverage kicks in. Yet we seem to be a little short-sighted. In a recent Fidelity poll of more than 1,800 people, nearly half of adults ages 55 to 64 believe …