Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Robert Weisman Globe Staff December 03, 2018 Dr. Marsha Lavoie, a family medicine specialist at Harrington Memorial Hospital in Southbridge, knows more about Medicare than most people because she routinely bills the federal health insurance program on behalf of her older and disabled patients. But when it came time to sign up for the program herself this year, Lavoie, 65, faced the same concerns and uncertainties as anyone else navigating the maze of Medicare options, regulations, supplemental plans, and potential land mines.“It’s time-consuming trying to sort through it,” Lavoie said. “You’ve got to look at coverage, premium, network, drugs, how much it’s going to cost and what the restrictions are. There’s so many different plans, and they all have their own rules and regulations.” Advertisement With roughly … [Read more...] about Enrolling in Medicare can be confusing. Here’s how to do it.
Supplemental health insurance plans usually cover
As American workers approach this year's open-enrollment season for employer-sponsored health care plans, they can expect the same bad news they've been hearing for years: Workers are once again getting hit with more of the costs of their coverage in the form of higher premiums and higher deductibles. Annual family premiums rose 5 percent to an average of $19,616, the eighth year of increases, according to the 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation Health Benefits Survey released earlier this month. On average, workers contribute $5,547 of the cost of family coverage. Premiums for singles increased 3 percent to an average of $6,896, with workers contributing an average of $1,186. Health care premiums continue to take up more of employees' paychecks, according to Kaiser data. Since 2008, average family premiums have jumped 55 percent, twice as fast as workers' earnings and three times as fast as inflation. Meanwhile deductibles -- the amount patients pay for health care before insurance kicks … [Read more...] about Your employer’s health plan will cost more in 2019
Updated 6:43 am, Tuesday, May 29, 2018 Photo: AP Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 FILE - This April 2017 file photo provided by NerdWallet shows Liz Weston, a columnist for personal finance website NerdWallet.com. (NerdWallet via AP, File) FILE - This April 2017 file photo provided by NerdWallet shows Liz Weston, a columnist for personal finance website NerdWallet.com. (NerdWallet via AP, File) Photo: AP Liz Weston: How to hack your employee health benefits 1 / 1 Back to Gallery Employee health benefits can have huge value, but you may not be taking full advantage of yours. Here are three hacks that can help you get more out of what your company offers. DRAIN YOUR FSA EARLY Medical flexible spending accounts allow employees to put aside pre-tax money, typically through payroll deduction, for health care … [Read more...] about Liz Weston: How to hack your employee health benefits
"I hadn't gone to a doctor in over 40 years! So I didn't think I needed an insurance plan to supplement Medicare when I reached age 65, since I was very healthy." That's what a neighbor, Mary, recently told my wife and me as she shared an unfortunate story. She had signed up for Medicare at age 65, but she hadn't bought either a Medigap plan or a Medicare Advantage plan to supplement Medicare, nor had she signed up for a prescription drug plan under Medicare Part D. But at age 70, in spite of being in excellent health, Mary suffered a stroke. We were all surprised, given that she dances, practices yoga and tai chi, and walks regularly. She's slim, athletic, doesn't smoke and eats very healthily. She's one of the last people we thought would have a stroke, but we've since found out that strokes can strike anybody, including people who are otherwise very healthy. Mary spent about 10 days in a hospital, followed by many days in a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation. Now … [Read more...] about Don’t make this dangerous Medicare mistake
POLITICS 04/08/2018 07:15 am ET Republicans have other options, but they keep refusing to try them. By Jonathan Cohn 270 Republicans could not repeal the Affordable Care Act last year, and they seem unlikely to try again anytime soon. But they are finding places where, through a combination of new state laws and new federal regulations, they can transform Obamacare’s health insurance markets into something more to their liking ― namely, markets full of cheaper, less generous plans available to people in good health. This week, Iowa became one of those places. Kim Reynolds, the state’s Republican governor, signed a law Monday allowing the Iowa Farm Bureau to sell health plans that, in most respects, look and operate like any other insurance policies. Wellmark, the state’s affiliate of Blue Cross Blue Shield, will administer the new policies. But the legislation declares that the new plans “shall not be deemed to be … [Read more...] about Trumpcare Is Coming To Iowa, And Your State May Be Next