Fewer Medicare Advantage Plans Receive High-Quality Ratings

There are fewer Medicare Advantage plans receiving high-quality ratings for their 2021 offerings than for this year's.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has reported that 49% of 400 Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage received four stars or more (the maximum is five), compared to 52% in 2020. Also, there are fewer people enrolled in plans that will have four or five stars in 2021.  The star ratings measure the quality of service enrollees receive and are based on actual experience of seniors with their plans.  The CMS rates Medicare Part C plans according to hundreds of specific…

Continue Reading Fewer Medicare Advantage Plans Receive High-Quality Ratings

How the Pandemic May Affect Your Homeowner’s Insurance

While COVID-19 continues raging across the country, the pandemic has made many people worry about their homeowner's insurance coverage. We've all seen how the pandemic has damaged the U.S. economy and it is affecting the insurance industry as well, prompting some to worry about large policy rate hikes or their ability to pay their premiums on time, if at all. There is also the possibility of increased costs of medical care due to how hospitals are having to work with non-COVID-19 patients, which could mean that any liability claims involving medical care could increase in cost. While the overall effects…

Continue Reading How the Pandemic May Affect Your Homeowner’s Insurance

Executive Orders Take Aim at Medicare Drug Costs, More

President Trump in late September issued three executive orders that would affect Medicare outpatient drug prices, protect people with pre-existing conditions from health insurance pricing discrimination and end surprise billing.The main, and most substantive, order would fix prices that Medicare pays for outpatient and pharmacy-sold pharmaceuticals to the lowest prices offered in comparable developed countries.The Trump administration had announced in July that it would release an order on Medicare outpatient drug prices pending negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry. But after those talks failed to yield the results the administration had hoped for, the president decided to release the latest version…

Continue Reading Executive Orders Take Aim at Medicare Drug Costs, More

The SECURE Act Eliminates the ‘Stretch IRA’ – Here’s What to Do

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act) eliminates the stretch IRA for most non-spouse beneficiaries, beginning with deaths in 2020.That means many taxpayers should look at revising their estate plans. Here's why. New IRA rulesPrior to the SECURE Act, which was a tax measure signed into law in December 2019, the law allowed heirs to "stretch" IRA distributions over their entire life expectancy. This means you could theoretically leave a large IRA to a grandchild, for example, and the distributions could be spread out over decades. This provided a significant tax deferral benefit for younger…

Continue Reading The SECURE Act Eliminates the ‘Stretch IRA’ – Here’s What to Do

Trick-or-Treating During the Pandemic

With Halloween approaching during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people with children who don't want to miss out on trick-or-treating likely have mixed feelings about it. Trick-or-treating will be more difficult, but it is possible if you have safety top of mind for both the kids who are trick or treating and the adults who are handing out candy to the little goblins and princesses. Before you do anything though, you will need to check with the rules and regulations in your city, county, neighborhood as well as state, as they may have imposed emergency restrictions. Here are some tips from…

Continue Reading Trick-or-Treating During the Pandemic