Report: 3.3 Million Americans Enroll in Private ACA Health Plans

By Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News Staff Writer Nearly 3.3 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance plans since October through the new online marketplaces created by the health law, with enrollment continuing to surge through January, an Obama administration report said Wednesday. But the number of young adults signing up continues to lag expectations, which could impact insurance premiums next year. Insurance industry officials have been closely watching the mix of customers to make sure they get …

Lessons to Learn from 2013′s Top Scams

As kids, we were taught to share, be polite and trust authority. Based on 2013′s top scams, as chosen by the Better Business Bureau, doing the opposite seems better advice to protect yourself. Don’t share your personal information – online or in response to unsolicited telephone calls or text messages. Don’t worry about being rude to those who request it: hanging up the phone is better than losing money or identity theft. Don’t trust claims in unsolicited emails and telephone calls that it’s really …

Give Today’s Retirees a ‘D’ – for Debt

What’s quickly eating up a growing share of retirees’ money these days? Not health care, as you might expect, according to a new report by the National Center for Policy Analysis. Over the past 20 years, a greater percentage of older Americans’ dollars has gone to servicing debt, particularly mortgage and home equity loans, the “free market” think tank says. It used government data to compare the spending habits of today’s retirees with those of their predecessors, finding, for instance, that 20 …

Pennsylvania Court Strikes Down Voter ID Law

Sometimes, if you fight very, very hard against injustice, you win. That’s what happened in Pennsylvania last week, where a court struck down the state’s voter ID law. As the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia described in its complaint and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania acknowledged in its opinion, the evidence of disenfranchisement is vast and the stories are compelling. The court found that “approximately 430,000 electors remain without compliant ID.”  That’s 4 percent of eligible Pennsylvania voters!  Just …

Pensions Under Attack, AARP Fights Back

The financial security of many older Americans could be at risk under a proposed law that was the focus of a hearing this week on Capitol Hill. Under the proposed plan, millions of retirees could see cuts to the benefits they’ve earned through a lifetime of hard work. At issue is a proposal by multi-employer pension plans (plans in which many employers contribute to a common fund to cover their mobile workforce) devised to save the plans from insolvency.  That …

5 Reasons Chained CPI Is Bad For Social Security

David Certner is the Legislative Counsel and Director of Legislative Policy for Government Affairs at AARP. Congress and the Administration are considering, as a means of deficit reduction, a legislative change to the consumer price index – the so-called “chained CPI.” This change would have a particularly negative impact on Social Security benefits – here’s why: 1. Chained CPI compounds over time.  As a result of a chained CPI, there will be a 0.3% annual cut in Social Security cost …