A Life-Giving Reminder: Enroll Now for 2016 Health Care Coverage

One of the main reasons that the mortality rate for African Americans remains disparately high for heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes is because we too often delay going to the doctor for symptoms or regular checkups. By the time we go, the health condition is sometimes worse. Dr. Louis Sullivan, former U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services and founder of the Morehouse School of Medicine, knows the negative health habits of many African Americans. He says sometimes we don’t go …

Study: Health Plan Buyers Will Save Money If They Shop

You better shop around. For holiday gifts? No, for a 2016 health insurance plan on the federal marketplace, healthcare.gov. Millions of consumers who are enrolled this year could pay higher rates if they stay in the same health plan next year, according to a study released Wednesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Read the latest exercise and memory-sharpening tips, health care reform and more! — AARP Health Newsletter » The KFF analysis found that in nearly three-quarters of counties in 36 states served …

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 …

It Pays to Compare Your Medicare Plan Options

It’s that time of year again: Medicare Open Enrollment. Open enrollment is the one time of year when you can re-evaluate your Medicare health and prescription drug plans and switch to ones that offer better coverage or save you money. By now you should have received your Annual Notice of Change packet of information in the mail. It’s very important to take the time to sit down and review this information to see if you want to make any changes …

Should You Buy That Extended Warranty?

Whenever I buy something electronic, whether a new smartphone, TV, laptop or whatever, I typically receive a hard pitch to buy an extended warranty on the product. I generally opt not to, but is that the right choice? To answer that question, there is both an economic and a psychological way to look at it. Economics of an extended warranty An extended warranty is essentially an insurance policy. If the item fails beyond the basic warranty — typically one month …

Bitten by a Crocodile? There’s a Code for That

A seismic change in Medicare and the rest of the U.S. health care industry began Oct. 1, when a new system of diagnostic codes — which all health providers must use to get paid — finally went into effect after a decade of controversy. The change is making the industry hold its breath, nervous of how it will play out. Will honest mistakes in coding cause claims to be delayed or, worse, go unpaid? Will some physicians, overwhelmed by the …