March 28, 2012
Both the Republican National Committee and the Obama administration are making misleading claims about health insurance premium costs. An RNC ad falsely implies that the federal health-care law is responsible for all of the $1,300 average increase in family coverage premiums last year. But the administration makes the misleading claim that families "could save up to $2,300" on health care costs per year by buying insurance through exchanges called for by the law. Let's start with the RNC ad, launched last week.
March 6, 2012
President Obama said Tuesday that homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages endorsed on or before May 31, 2009, who choose to refinance their loans to record low rates would see upfront and annual premiums reduced when they do. Effective for existing FHA loans refinanced starting June 11, the upfront premium will fall from 1 percent to 0.01 percent of the base loan amount, FHA acting commissioner Carol Galante said. The annual premium will decline to 0.55 percent. Last week, Federal housing Administration announced premium increases for new loans, beginning April 1. To take advantage of this streamlined refinancing program, borrowers must be current on their mortgages, she said.
January 2, 2012 |
Every morning about 7, Lou Perseghin hears a ding on his smartphone and receives an e-mail inviting him to accomplish a daily challenge designed to improve his health and well-being. Some days the challenges may be physical, such as rising on your toes 10 times, or doing hip rolls, or flexing and stretching your fingers. On other days, the challenges may be aimed at emotional well-being - compliment yourself; take a few minutes to imagine a place that's beautiful to you; view three photos of a happy time in your life; change the playlist for your walks and workouts.
October 28, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - Good news for seniors: The government says Medicare's basic monthly premium will rise less than expected next year, by $3.50 for most. It could be good, too, for President Obama and Democrats struggling for older Americans' votes in a close election. At $99.90 per month, the 2012 Part B premium for outpatient care will be about $7 less than projected as recently as May. The additional money that most seniors will pay works out to about 10 percent of the average Social Security cost-of-living increase they will also be due. Some recently enrolled younger retirees will actually pay less: $99.90 a month, down from $115.40 this year.
September 25, 2011 |
If you're a Pennsylvania resident with Allstate Property & Casualty homeowners insurance, you may face an unpleasant surprise this fall: a sizable boost in your insurance premium. You can just suck it up - as Allstate undoubtedly expects most policyholders to do - or you can use it as a goad to do something you may find nearly as unpleasant: shop around for alternatives. It shouldn't have to be, as I'll explain. But first, a look at what's happening with Allstate. Citing what a spokeswoman calls "an unprecedented year with weather in Pennsylvania," Allstate has asked state officials to approve a plan that would raise premiums an average of 20 percent for the company's 195,000 policyholders - more than twice as steep an increase as sought by any other large insurer during the last six months, according to filings published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
September 16, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - Turning a usually routine announcement into a pointed rebuttal of its GOP critics, the Obama administration said Thursday that premiums for popular Medicare Advantage insurance plans would drop for 2012, while enrollment is expected to rise. That's welcome news for President Obama and Democrats, who are struggling with older voters ahead of a hard-fought election looming next year. Republicans have accused Obama of undermining Medicare to finance his health-care overhaul.
August 5, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration had good news for seniors Thursday: The average monthly premium for Medicare's popular prescription program won't go up next year. Many seniors may even see a dip in their costs, particularly if they shop during open-enrollment season this fall. Officials credited growing use of generic medicines and competition within the program, which is delivered through private insurance companies. Medicare also expects to share in a coming bonanza as a number of top-selling brand-name drugs get generic competition in the next year or so. The Health and Human Services Department projects the average premium for 2012 will be about $30 a month, hardly changed from $30.76 this year.
April 19, 2011 |
TRENTON - Gov. Christie has long called for state workers to pay more for their health care, and now is proposing a phased-in plan over three years that would require employees to pay about a third of those costs by mid-2014. The Christie administration Monday laid out more details of the Republican governor's proposal. Under it, current workers would pay 10 percent of their health-care premiums beginning in July; 17 percent in January; 23 percent in January 2013; and 30 percent by July 2014.
April 16, 2011 |
Ben Davis, the former Malvern Prep star whose pro baseball career spanned 16 years in the major and minor leagues, and 60 feet, 6 inches of turf and dirt, has retired. The strong-armed catcher was drafted by the San Diego Padres with the second overall pick in 1995, and he played with three major-league teams from 1998 to 2004, batting .237 in 486 games. He was with eight minor-league clubs after that. Davis' hitting woes continued in the minors, and he converted into a pitcher after Baltimore cut him in 2008.
April 9, 2011 |
Something was out of sorts with "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the gala opening of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts on Thursday. Odd, foreign notes played like unwanted grit amid the inner working of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Harmonies imposed themselves not from the bottom up but from the top down. A musical flu bug? In fact, this was the Igor Stravinsky version - appropriate, since he's one of the festival focal points - that supposedly upset a 1944 Boston audience so much that the composer was arrested (In truth, he was only warned.)