Wednesday's Personal Finance stories
- Health-care options for the uninsured
- Don't do this on your financial-aid form
- What happens when Fed exits mortgage market?
For now, the insured are blessed with insurance companies who in some cases apparently can raise rates exorbitantly -- as the recent situation with WellPoint in California demonstrates -- and the uninsured are lucky enough not to have to deal with insurers but must pray they never get sick or injured.
If the worst does happen, there are some options for the uninsured. Read Kristen Gerencher's Vital Signs today for a look at the various types of health clinics available to people who either don't have insurance or for whatever reason can't get in to see their regular doctor. Then, don't miss our story by Anya Martin on how, even with insurance coverage, heart-disease patients can expect to pay steep out-of-pocket costs to manage their care.
I'm lucky enough to have employer-sponsored coverage. But should decent insurance be available only to people who work at certain companies? Doesn't seem right to me.
-- Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor
Lack of insurance or timely access to your regular doctor doesn't have to mean going without needed health care. If you're uninsured and seeking stop-gap medical care before you find coverage again, you can triage your way to better health by understanding the trade-offs of several care options, experts say. A retail clinic, urgent-care or community health center may be a suitable fit, depending on the severity of your medical need and your personal preferences.
See Vital Signs.
An ounce of prevention may be worth a pound of cure, but when it comes to heart disease, chances are your insurance won't cover a trip to a dietician, a gym membership or other services that could help you reduce your risk factors.
See Health Care.
Every winter, millions of Medicare Part D recipients go to fill a prescription, only to learn that their plan no longer covers the medication. People in this situation can always switch to a similar drug that's covered, provided their doctor says it's safe and effective. But they also can launch a formal appeal of the denial -- and the odds of success are high.
See Health Care.
April 15 is coming up fast, so watch for an estate-tax pitfall and consider a deductible donation for Haiti relief, among other issues. Andrea Coombes reports.
Watch Video Report: Personal Finance Minute.
Do you think there is a chance, good or bad, that Congress will reinstate a law that expired last year allowing people over age 70 1/2 to give money from their individual retirement accounts directly to charities?
See Tom Herman's Tax Report.
HSBC Holdings Plc. is involved in a recent tax evasion case brought against a Virginia-based investor, and has joined the ranks of banks under scrutiny for helping wealthy Americans evade taxes, according to a report Tuesday.
Undergraduates looking for ways to fund their college education now have another reason to look into subsidized Stafford loans: Interest rates are dropping.
See College Costs.
It's time to start filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (fafsa.gov ), but one mistake could leave you missing out on vital financial aid for college. Here are some common mistakes families make.
See College Costs.
The central bank is helping to keep rates low and fund loans for home buyers and refinancers, but in March it plans to end its support. Greg McBride at Bankrate.com says buyers still have some time, but if you're eager to refinance, get going.
Watch Video Report.
The Federal Reserve should begin to sell off its stockpile of mortgage-backed securities as the recovery gains strength, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said Wednesday in a speech on the Fed's independence.
See The Fed.
Housing starts showed signs of life in January, rising to their highest level in seven months, according to Commerce Department data released Wednesday.
See Economic Report.
Home builders got out the shovels and the backhoes last month, breaking ground on a greater number of single-family and apartment homes. More importantly, though, economist Patrick Newport of IHS Global Insight says builders are "anticipating a surge in demand," thanks to the home buyer tax credit. Newport says they've been stocking up on building permits for single-family homes for the last three months. And Newport thinks demand will continue to grow even after the tax credit expires.
Listen to Radio Report.
The volume of mortgage applications filed last week dropped a seasonally adjusted 2.1%, compared with the previous week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported on Wednesday.
Over the next few years, a wave of commercial real estate loan failures could threaten America's already-weakened financial system.
See Outside the Box.
Two million jobs have been saved or created due to the stimulus act signed into law by President Barack Obama a year ago, the White House said Tuesday as it marks the anniversary of the $787 billion spending package.
See Capitol Report.
To paraphrase Shakespeare about Evan Bayh's decision not to stand for reelection to the U.S. Senate, let's say, "Nothing in his life in the Senate became him like the leaving it."
See Darrell Delamaide's Political Capital.
The Federal Reserve reported Wednesday a broad-based gain in production at the nation's factories, mines and utilities in January, suggesting that the upswing in industrial output seen over the last two quarters may have legs.
See Economic Report.
How much gold is there in those Olympic medals? What are they worth? And now that gold has boomed to more than $1,100 an ounce, should athletes forgo framing the thing and just, um, you know...melt it down the moment they get the medal home?
See Brett Arends.