New 529 Plan Created for People With Disabilities

Tax-friendly 529 savings plans no longer will be just for college. Legislation recently signed by President Barack Obama will allow states to set up similar savings programs to benefit those with disabilities without jeopardizing their federal benefits, such as Medicaid. Money invested in an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account — sometimes also called a 529A account — can be withdrawn tax-free to pay for qualified expenses, including education, housing, transportation, health care, employment training and legal fees. >> …

Are You Saving Enough for Health Care in Retirement?

You’ve heard this before, I know, and yet it remains as disturbing as ever. Health care costs, along with housing, are likely to be your biggest expenses in retirement. Boston-based Fidelity Investments found that premiums, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses could cost a 65-year-old couple retiring today a jaw-dropping $220,000 – and that’s in addition to Medicare premiums. Some boomers are heeding that forewarning: In a survey of 1,002 workers age 50 and older, 62 percent say they’re socking away money for …

Nurses Are Key to Meeting America’s Health Care Needs

Last month I moderated a fascinating panel discussion on health care that included business leaders, policymakers, insurers and health care experts. Each panelist brought a different perspective to the conversation, but an important point of agreement was clear: Nurses are key to meeting America’s growing health care needs. “This is a truly diverse, experienced and committed set of leaders that have a lot of important things to do,” said Mark McClellan, senior fellow and director of the Health Care Innovation …

Time to Let the Sunshine In

By AARP Executive Vice President Debra Whitman, Ph.D. and AARP Director of Health Services Research Leigh Purvis Starting today, AARP members and consumers of all ages will be able to get a better idea of what may be driving their health care provider’s decisions thanks to the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, or Sunshine Act. The Sunshine Act requires drug and medical device manufacturers to publicly report virtually all payments, gifts, and other services provided to health care providers and teaching …

During Hispanic Heritage Month, Celebrate Healthy Living

This is the first in a series celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month 2014 — Monday, September 15th through Wednesday, October 15. Far too often we find ourselves rehearsing the negative statistics. For example, 10.6 percent of Mexican Americans and 10.8 percent of African Americans have diabetes, compared with 6.2 percent of white Americans, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Also, Hispanics and blacks are more likely to suffer from obesity and hypertension, the two largest factors for …

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 …