5 Things to Know for Feb. 15 Obamacare Sign-Up Deadline

Feb. 15 is the enrollment deadline for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, now in its second year. Here are five developments as the deadline approaches: 1. The number of enrollees for 2015 has exceeded Department of Health and Human Services predictions by more than a million. As of the first week in February, HHS estimates, about 7.5 million people were automatically reenrolled or newly enrolled in federal exchanges in 37 states, with a total of about 10 million covered …

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, …

Medicare Spam Increases 10-Fold

During Medicare Open Enrollment,  which started Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7, there’s usually an uptick in online spam pitching supplemental plans. But this year, it’s gone epidemic — with a 10-fold increase compared to recent months in these always annoying and sometimes risky offers, reports messaging security firm Cloudmark. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter The reason may go beyond just the calendar: It looks like spammers are exploiting confusion over the Affordable Care Act – and how it …

Tap These Tools to Figure Your Health Plan Costs

Looking to compare health insurance plans and costs? Read on. If you’re buying insurance  from one of the new health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, a calculator created by the nonprofit Kaiser Foundation may help you. It illustrates health insurance premiums and state-based tax credit subsidies that may be available to you if you’re  middle-income, under age 65, and not eligible for coverage through your employer, Medicaid or Medicare. (The calculator doesn’t work for people in New York, Kentucky, …

Medicare Drug Premiums Will Rise Just $1 a Month

The average monthly premium for a basic prescription drug plan under Medicare Part D will be just $1 higher next year, the government projects. What’s more, Medicare beneficiaries get some of the credit for keeping the average low by shopping around, the Associated Press reports. For this year, seven of the top 10 Medicare drug plans raised premiums by 10 percent or more. But the average stayed low because many seniors chose plans with lower premiums. “Consumer advocates say beneficiaries should …

Want a Head Start on Getting New Health Insurance?

Where to begin? Come Oct. 1, when the online health insurance marketplaces open for business, that will be the challenge for many people who want to get coverage under the health care law. To get ready for the launch, they can visit the government’s newly revamped HealthCare.gov website. Or they can call the 24-hour call center, which opened June 24. It’s supposed to be able to handle enrollment questions in 150 languages. The website asks a few simple questions, such …