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VA Mess Shows Deeper Woes

Submitted by Lewis J. Walker on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 9:00am

The problems plaguing the Veterans Administration underscore an unpleasant truth about aging: Ever-increasing costs and red tape endanger quality health care for older Americans, whether they are veterans or not. Their best defense is to build up enough personal capital to pay for better care on their own.

Getting Obamacare Subsidies

Submitted by David John Marotta and Megan Russell on Friday, June 27, 2014 - 3:00pm

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, provides subsidies to Americans making up to 400% of the poverty level, about $94,200 for a family of four. Can you juggle finances to best cash in on subsidies?

Rather than limiting subsidies to only those with a small net worth, the ACA provides aid to all persons with low incomes, including those early or partial retirees.

Picking the Right Medicare

Submitted by Jessica Ness on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - 12:00pm

As you approach the golden age of 65, your conversation always seems to turn to Medicare. This government health-care program can be confusing, leaving you afraid of not having the information to make an educated decision. When applying for Medicare benefits, decide if traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan works best for you.

Navigating Medicare’s Maze

Submitted by Ray Ferrara on Friday, April 4, 2014 - 3:00pm

It’s amazing how many people think that Medicare is free. It is anything but: You must pay premiums for part of it, and it does not cover everything. Make sure you avoid some traps signing up for this health-care plan for older Americans.

Here are the broad outlines. The program’s website,, has a lot more details.

10 Best Financial Websites

Submitted by Jason Lina on Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 12:00pm

In this digital age, we’re fortunate to have a plethora of sources to find information and help order our financial lives. But amid the vast array of sites, 10 stood out. I highly recommend them.

I weaned this list from an enormous field. According to Google Dashboard, I currently maintain 663 bookmarks in my Chrome browser, sorted among 53 different folders. All of these websites were important enough that at one point, I elected to bookmark them.

Qualifying for Obamacare Aid

Submitted by Lon Jefferies on Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 12:00pm

Obamacare continues to make headlines, good and bad. No matter your thoughts about the concept, you may qualify for help when using this avenue to sign up for health insurance. Here’s how.

Nearly 3.3 million people enrolled in Obamacare-offered insurance plans through early February. The Premium Assistance Tax Credit (PATC) is designed to help lower-income individuals and families pay for insurance they buy through the health-care exchanges.

A Guide to Using an HSA

Submitted by Jim Blankenship on Monday, March 3, 2014 - 12:00pm

You contribute to your Health Savings Account (HSA) to defray medical expenses and take advantage of many tax benefits. The Internal Revenue Service limits your annual contributions, though. Here’s how to use these accounts.

You may deduct 100% of HSA contributions from your federal income tax and withdraw them tax- and penalty-free to pay for such out-of-pocket medical expenses as co-payments, prescription drugs and insurance deductibles (not premiums).

The Health-Care Maze

Submitted by Lewis J. Walker on Friday, February 21, 2014 - 12:00pm

Obamacare is extremely difficult to navigate. Here’s a preliminary guide to how you find your way through the labyrinth.

It’s reminiscent of where I-85 and I-285 intersect near a host of heavily traveled feeder roads, in the northeastern suburbs of Atlanta. This is a maze of on-ramps, exit-ramps, underpasses and flyovers that locals call Spaghetti Junction. Also dubbed Malfunction Junction, the roads can be confusing, jammed, delay-prone and frustrating.

Obamacare’s Impact on You

Submitted by Wes Moss on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 12:00pm

Obamacare brings health insurance to millions. Have you been left behind?

My insurance company recently wrote me to say that it may soon drop Piedmont Hospital –source of most of my family’s medical care —as an in-network provider. Piedmont and my insurer came to terms just before the contract deadline. Thank goodness.

As one of thousands who may soon search for a new health-care system, I want to know: Is the standoff completely the fault of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare?