51 GOP senators just voted to Cut $1.5 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid to give super-rich and corporations a tax cut
Along strict party lines, the Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday night voted to pass a sweeping budget measure—one criticized as both “despicable” and “horrific” for providing massive giveaways to corporations and the super-rich while eviscerating funding for social programs, healthcare, education, and affordable housing.
The measure passed by 51-49 vote, with only one Republican, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, joining every Democrat and the chamber’s two Independents who voted against it. Its approval now paves that way for massive tax giveaways to the wealthy and corporations envisioned by President Donald Trump and the GOP in both the House and the Senate. (read more)
BY SUZE ORMAN: One of the most popular segments on my CNBC show was “How Am I Doing?” Viewers would call in and tell me everything about their finances and wait for me to judge whether their retirement plan made the grade. Typically the central question was if they could retire in their early 60s.
Let’s just say I gave out a lot more D’s and F’s than A’s.
If I resurrected “How Am I Doing?” today, I’d be handing out plenty of failing grades to anyone who thinks they will be able to retire before they turn 70.
Yes, you heard me right: 70 is the new retirement age—not a month or year before. (read more)
BY AMY RUBINO: I just received notice that my Medicare Advantage plan will no longer be offered for 2018. What do I need to do?
If you have received notice that your Medicare Advantage plan is longer offering coverage in your area you have two options: return to Original Medicare, or select another Medicare Advantage plan.
Technically, you have until Feb. 28 to make a decision. However, it is recommended you make your decision prior to Dec. 7 to have complete coverage by Jan. 1.
Option 1: If you decide to return to Original Medicare, you will want to consider enrolling in both a Medigap plan and a Medicare Part D drug plan. Read the notice you received from your Medicare Advantage plan; it should indicate that you have a “guarantee issue right” for certain Medigap plans (Medicare supplemental insurance). Medigap plans are standardized plans designed to help cover your out-of-pocket costs for Original Medicare parts A (hospital) and B (medical). (read more)
BY JUDITH GRAHAM: As health insurers struggle with shifting government policies and considerable uncertainty, one market remains remarkably stable: Medicare Advantage plans.
That’s good news for seniors as they select coverage for the year ahead during Medicare’s annual open enrollment period (this year running from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7).
For 2018, 2,317 Medicare Advantage plans will be available across the country, “the most we’ve seen since 2009,” said Gretchen Jacobson, associate director of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s program on Medicare policy. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)
Medicare Advantage is an alternative to traditional Medicare. Run by private insurance companies, the plans — mostly health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs) — are expected to serve a record 20.4 million people next year, or slightly more than one-third of Medicare’s 59 million members. (read more)
BY DAN CAPLINGER: Medicare open enrollment is happening right now, and millions of retirees have the opportunity to decide whether to make changes to their coverage. Most people just stick with their current Medicare options year after year without thinking much about the issue, but being on the lookout for smart strategies can produce immense savings.
One little-known option that Medicare participants should look at more closely is the Medical Savings Account, or MSA. By using a Medicare MSA, you can receive substantial contributions toward your healthcare costs that you can use not just now, but in years to come. (read more)