Retirees need $240,000 to cover medical costs

According to a study by Fidelity Investments, a couple retiring this year would need $240,000 to cover their medical expenses, a 6.7 percent increase from last year’s cost and a 50 percent increase over the past seven years, reports the Associated Press.

The study assumes that the 65-year-old couple is covered only by Medicare and has a life expectancy of 17 years for the man and 20 years for the woman, according to the article. Costs include deductibles, co-payments and services not covered by Medicare.

PHAN urges Congress to move on health reform

The Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN), joined by 37 other organizations, is urging Congress forward on health reform.

In letters sent April 7 to all 21 members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delgation, PHAN conveyed its support for President Obama’s plan “to allocate $634 billion over ten years for health system reform”.

Congress moving ahead with health reform

Voting along party lines, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate have approved blueprints for next year’s federal budget. By and large, these blueprints follow the $3.5 trillion budget proposal offered by President Obama in February.

Each plan includes general provisions to reform our health care system.

The high cost of doing nothing

It has been 15 years since the U.S. Congress last made a serious effort to reform the health care system.  Pennsylvanians have paid a high price for the failure of that effort.

-  The number of uninsured working-age adults increased by nearly 20 percent, from 803,000 to 959,000.

-  The percent of working-age adults who had private health insurance dropped from 81 percent to 77 percent.

-  From 1996 to 2006, the constant-dollar cost of private insurance increased dramatically from $2,569 for individual coverage to $4,277.

One-in-four without health insurance in PA

Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau releases an updated version of its Current Population Survey (CPS).  It includes a report on the number of people who had no health insurance at all during the previous calendar year.