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Save your pennies for health care

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Posted: 4 pm ET

Figuring out if you've saved enough to pay for health care is one of the retirement planning challenges, and the uncertainty about how health care reform will affect Medicare and other insurance plans doesn't make things any easier.

Lots of people object to health care reform, but Medicare, which incorporates many of the same principals, is widely popular.

A survey released today by Employee Benefit Research Institute, a consortium of insurance companies and other financial services businesses, asked people if they thought full access to Medicare should be delayed until recipients reached 68 -- as opposed to 65 as it is now -- while a partial Medicare plan could be made available at 62. No more details than that were offered the respondents and their opinions were mostly  negative.

  • 8 percent strongly favored such a proposal.
  • 19 percent favored it somewhat.
  • 28 percent somewhat oppose the idea.
  • 42 percent strongly oppose it.

The survey also found that Americans don't know much about health care reform. Nearly 40 percent said they don't even know when it goes into effect. But ignorance about the details doesn't stop most people from having an opinion. Among those who plan to vote in November, 71 percent say that health reform will affect how they vote, while 26 percent say it won't.

Who knows what will happen after the election. Congress already has given the Department of Health and Human Services $10 billion to  open the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, CMI, in early 2011. Its purpose is to focus on improving payment and delivery methods and reducing program costs.

When I see big numbers like that, I get nervous and stick a few extra dollars in my health care piggy bank. It doesn't matter much who gets elected in November. Those of us facing retirement can still count on needing as much money as we can squirrel away.

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November 05, 2010 at 12:33 am

Single payer systems work,just ask the rest of the world. I know conservo-nuts want you to believe that everyone in Canada is at death's door, but ask a majority of Canadians and they love their system. Rich insurance men are the only ones crying real tears at the thought of their world going away. Single payer now!

jackie brake
October 26, 2010 at 10:46 am

People all around the United States are loosing their jobs, loosing their homes to foreclosure, are unable to find other jobs and yet we are going to be expected to buy health insurance soon. If we have no job, which means no income, we are not going to have a roof over our heads, and jobs for our future look bleak, then how in the world are we ever going to be able to BUY HEALTH INSURANCE. You have to have MONEY to buy things, and if you don't have can you expect us to buy INSURANCE. we are barely making it now.

October 21, 2010 at 11:02 pm

We spent more our funds for the Bush's war. If we put in those
in healthcare we would have enough to insure every Adult & child.
in US and still have money left over. What a shame trillions of dollars spent needlessly

Nitecrest Plastic Cards
October 20, 2010 at 8:10 am

Health Care is an essential prerequisite for the elderly as for others.