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 …

With No COLA Increase, Congress Should Pass Medicare Fix

AARP sent the following letter to Congress on Oct. 14. AARP has deep concern that for only the third time in over 40 years, there will be no Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for 2016. To make matters worse, as a result, 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will see their monthly Medicare Part B premium dramatically increase, and all Medicare beneficiaries will experience an increase in their Part B deductible. Congress should protect the 16.5 million Medicare beneficiaries — which includes new …

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 …