Health Care at the Forefront

In recent news, we’ve witnessed the fallout of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where officials falsified records to hide the amount of time former service members have had to wait for medical appointments. As if health care doesn’t get enough bad press, this is just one more scandal indicating the dire need to overhaul the industry, its delivery mechanisms and costs. Both the House and the Senate have passed versions of a VA bill to help rectify the situation, and members of Congress say they are confident of sending a unified version to the president by the end of June.

However, where there is health care, there is a cost debate, and three senators were criticized for voting against a recent bill — saying that fellow lawmakers “put dollars and cents above the interests of the nation’s veterans.”

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Everything You Need to Know about the VA — and the Scandals Engulfing It,” from The Washington Post, May 30, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Lawmakers Hope to Send Unified VA Bill to Obama by Late June,” from NPR June 12, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “VFW Attacks the Three Republicans Who Voted Against the Senate VA Bill,” from The Washington Post, June 13, 2014.]

With adults ranging from ages 18 to 34 under-represented in this year’s open enrollment at health care exchanges, lawmakers are pushing ways to entice this demographic to purchase insurance. A new proposal gaining momentum would offer government subsidies for catastrophic plans. Catastrophic plans offer low monthly premiums but require consumers to foot a hefty share of their annual medical costs. They are designed to help protect healthier people from any negative financial effects due to an accident or an unexpected diagnosis of serious illness, although they also cover basic preventive care at no cost to the consumer.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Insurers will Propose Changes to Obama Health Law,” from St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 6 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Insurers Press Obama Admin to Let Them Expand Obamacare Insurance Offerings,” from The Daily Caller, June 11 2014.]

Another demographic facing inordinate healthcare expenses is retirees. A couple retiring in 2014 is expected to need $220,000 (in today’s dollars) to cover health care costs in retirement — and that’s if they’re covered by Medicare. If you retire before qualifying for benefits at age 65, you may also have to pay for health care insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses to the tune of approximately $17,000 a year.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “How to Tame Retiree Health Care Costs,” from Fidelity, June 11, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Decision That Could Cost You $51,000,” from Time, June 12, 2014.]

Health care quality and delivery — and how to pay for it — will likely continue to be hot topics for years to come. In relation to your overall financial strategy, it’s important to consider whether or not you have the coverage necessary to help preserve your retirement assets in the event of significant or unanticipated health care expenses. Please give us a call if we can help you better understand the options you may have to further protect your family.

Our firm assists retirees and pre-retirees in the creation of retirement strategies that include the use of insurance products.

These articles are being provided for informational purposes only and should not be used as the basis for any financial decisions. While we believe this information to be correct, we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information included. All clients are encouraged to consult qualified tax and legal professionals before making any decisions about their personal situation. We are not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency.

If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

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