Thursday, September 11, 2008

Financial News You Can Use: The Healthcare Edition

Beware ignoring Medicare enrollment rules, August 21, 2008: Financial advisors and future Medicare recipients, listen up: pay attention to Medicare enrollment deadlines, or you may face some costly consequences. Medicare only notifies potential-beneficiaries that they are eligible for Medicare if the beneficiaries apply for Social Security benefits before they turn 65. If you don't fall under this category, you must apply during one of three enrollment periods. Missing a deadline can result in higher Part B premiums or lapses in insurance coverage. Review your health insurance annually and start planning for Medicare at least six months before your turn 65. Visit for more information on Medicare and Medicare enrollment periods.

Economic downturn not affecting individual policies coverage, but curbing medical care,
from August 19, 2008:
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners have released a national survey that shows "22% of U.S. consumers have reduced the number of times they see the doctor as a result of problems in the economy" while "11% of consumers have cut back the number of prescription drugs they take." Though cutting back on doctors visits and prescriptions may seem cost-effective now, these cost-cutting strategies can raise your insurance costs in the long run by putting you at risk for untreated health issues. Make your health a priority and use a budget to curb your spending in other areas of your life. For help on starting a budget, check out WISER's "Keep Track of Your Spending" fact sheet.

Uninsured to Spend $30 Billion, Study Says, from Wall Street Journal, August 25, 2008: A new study from George Mason and the Urban Institute reports that uninsured American will spend $30 billion out of pocket this year. Uninsured Americans often pay more and receive less care. If you're experiencing a lack of coverage, explore your options to find a solution to your coverage gap. The WISER Woman blog series "Healthier and WISER"offers information on healthcare options for stages in your life when you may be uninsured.

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