Financial Strategies for the New Single Majority – Bloomberg 09-09-14

Salient to Investors:

  • More than half of US adults are single versus 37% in 1976.
  • Singles need bigger emergency funds more insurance protection.
  • Couples who wait to have kids in their 30s end up with three big financial burdens all at once: retirement planning, saving for a house and saving for college.
  • People are less likely to be declined long-term care insurance coverage in their late 40s and early 50s.
  • The overall divorce rate has doubled since 1990 for people over age 50.
  • Eric Klinenberg found that many older singles, especially women, were just as happy and more social than married peers.

Read the full article at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-09/financial-strategies-for-the-new-single-majority.html

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GE to IBM Ending Retiree Health Plans in Historic Shift – Bloomberg 09-09-13

Salient to Investors:

America’s biggest employers are increasingly moving retirees to insurance exchanges where they select their own health plans, a historic shift that could push more costs onto US taxpayers.

Towers Watson said 44% of companies plan to stop administering health plans for their former workers over the next 2 years. Ron Fontanetta at Towers Watson said things are going to change dramatically and over the next 2 to 3 years, we see a much more aggressive rethinking of what employers are going to provide.

John Grosso at Aon Hewitt said a healthier retiree might find a less expensive policy with a higher deductible, or one that saved money by favoring generic drugs, but less healthy workers or those who need more comprehensive coverage may not fare as well. Grosso said only 50% of large employers still provide the benefit, a decrease from 80% two decades ago.

Paul Fronstin at the Employee Benefits Research Institute said many companies exclude new hires from retiree benefits and cap contributions to covered retirees.

Read the full article at  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-09/ge-to-ibm-ending-retiree-health-plans-in-historic-shift.html

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Obamacare Insurance Costs Affordable, Kaiser Survey Finds – Bloomberg 09-04-13

Salient to Investors:

Larry Levitt at the Kaiser Family Foundation said for the most part insurers are finding the market for Obamacare attractive and are pricing accordingly. Levitt said it is surprising how inexpensive some of the Bronze plans will be: they carry high deductibles and significant out-of-pocket costs, but for catastrophic protection there will be some inexpensive options, particularly if you are eligible for a tax credit.

The highest premiums in the Kaiser survey are in Vermont and New York, who require insurers to charge the same amount to people of all ages.

Christine Eibner at Rand Corp. said their analysis found no widespread trend toward sharply higher prices in the individual market.

Read the full article at  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-05/obamacare-insurance-costs-affordable-kaiser-survey-finds.html

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The Side Effects of Delaying Obamacare – Bloomberg 07-02-13

Salient to Investors:

Evan Soltas writes:

  • The delay until 2015 of the enforcement of the employer mandate to provide insurance to employees  may create stress on the implementation of the individual insurance exchanges and the individual coverage mandate.
  • Employers should not sponsor insurance as it masks the true cost of care to employees and creates incentives for over-insurance, increases the cost of hiring, locks employees into their jobs, and splits the market for insurance into one for individuals and one for employers.

Gallup says 43 percent of the uninsured do not know they need to buy insurance.

Chris Flavelle says the decision boosts the odds that other groups will be able to win further changes to the law

Read the full article at  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-02/the-side-effects-of-delaying-obamacare.html

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Stalking the Silent Financial Killer in Our Midst – Bloomberg 04-09-13

Salient to Investors:

The vast majority of older Americans face steep and rising health-care costs that threaten to bankrupt them and are doing little to protect themselves.

Only 1 in 5 companies with at least 10 employees offers long-term care insurance. Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care. Millions face spending themselves into poverty until Medicaid kicks in – a third of Medicaid’s budget.

90 percent of people don’t buy long-term care insurance policies, which are expensive and confusing. Many leading insurers have stopped selling them. Several insurers stopped selling long-term care products after underestimating how much they would have to pay out in benefits, while low interest rates reduce investment returns on premiums collected.

Bruce Chernof at the SCAN Foundation says we have five years to find a solution. Howard Gleckman at the Urban Institute says there’s not an obvious solution though it might make sense to combine longevity and long-term care insurance in one product. Gleckman says universal coverage is unlikely.

Universal coverage is the only option for Americans too unhealthy to buy long-term care insurance. Insurance companies reject 1 in 5 people who apply for long-term care insurance in their late 50s.

Read the full article at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-09/stalking-the-silent-financial-killer-in-our-midst.html

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Is consumer-directed coverage a healthy choice? – MarketWatch 09-24-12

Salient to Investors:

Aon Hewitt report consumer-directed health coverage were offered by 58% of employers in 2011 versus 41% in 2010. 19% of large employers surveyed by the National Business Group on Health said consumer-directed plans would be the only option they offered for 2013.

For healthy people, consumer-directed plans can result in real savings. Those with chronic diseases or with a serious risk of injury face much higher out-of-pocket costs.

 

Read the full article at http://www.marketwatch.com/story/is-consumer-directed-coverage-a-healthy-choice-2012-09-24?siteid=rss&rss=1