USA Health insurance

30 Jan 2016 12:51

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I think I’m ready to retire. I’m 55 and my wife is 55, too. Based on my age and time on the job, I’m able to retire with a pension this May. My pension is about $2,500 less per month than what I make now, but we may be able to make it work if we cut back spending. Our main concern is health care. I’ve always had insurance through the company, and I’m not quite sure what buying my own insurance looks like. We need pretty good coverage because we’re both on several medications. Have you ever heard of people not retiring because of the cost of health care? — Darryl, Detroit

The medical records of nearly a million people have gone missing, a US health insurance company has admitted.

Centene Corporation said it was conducting an internal search for six hard drives containing the information.

Customers' names, addresses and dates of birth were included, as well as their social security numbers, membership details and health information, Centene said.

But no financial or payment details of customers were on the drives, it said.

"While we don't believe this information has been used inappropriately, out of abundance of caution and in transparency, we are disclosing an ongoing search for the hard drives," said Centene's chief executive, Michael Neidorff.

Contrary to popular perceptions, taxpayers fund 64 percent of U.S. health care, more public dollars per capita than the citizens of other nations – including those with universal health programs

Tax-funded expenditures accounted for 64.3 percent of U.S. health spending – about $1.9 trillion – in 2013, according to new data published today [Thursday, Jan. 21] in the American Journal of Public Health. The Affordable Care Act will push that figure even higher by 2024, when government’s share of U.S. health spending is expected to rise to 67.3 percent.

At $5,960 per capita, government spending on health care costs in the U.S. was the highest of any nation in 2013, including countries with universal health programs such as Canada, Sweden and the United Kingdom. (Estimated total U.S. health spending for 2013 was $9,267 per capita, with government’s share being $5,960.) Indeed, government health spending in the United States exceeded total health spending (government plus private) in every other country except Switzerland.

"The drives were a part of a data project using laboratory results to improve the health outcomes of our members."

Dear Darryl: People say scary stuff to me all the time. They exclaim audacious goals and risky propositions. Frequently, their frightening financial declarations are wrought with short-term risks and an air of temporary discomfort, but every once a while, I hear a phrase that sends shivers down my spine because I know what a mistake it can be. Darryl, you said one of those not-so-magical magical phrases: "I’ve always had insurance through the company, and I’m not quite sure what buying my own insurance looks like.”

If you don’t have a retirement health care plan, you don’t have a retirement plan.

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