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Retirement Resolutions You Must Keep in 2014

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The headlines this year about retirement were bleak and bleaker – forget 65, the new retirement age is 80, or until one is too sick to work, or worse, they die. For many, saving for retirement has to take a backseat to paying the bills.

Instead of dwelling on the doom and gloom, let it propel you to not just make New Year's resolutions about retirement, but to commit to making them a reality.

Realize the limits of social security and develop a Plan B

Many people will rely primarily, and some even solely, on social security. However, the social security benefit age has increased to 67 for those born in 1960 or later and will continue to increase. "Social security will not be enough to live on during retirement. You will need another source of income," warns Harrine Freeman, CEO of H.E. Freeman Enterprises, which offers credit repair and financial counseling services.

Step up savings

No matter what age you are, plan to step up, or start saving for retirement. You don't want to be that bag lady or man. Maximize contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement account. The limits for 2014 are $17,500 with a "catch-up" provision of another $5,500 for those who are age 50 and over. "At the very least, if you can't maximize for cash flow reasons, at least contribute the amount needed to obtain the maximum employer matching contribution," says Vijay Khetarpal, president and CEO of Integrity Financial Group.

If you don't have a retirement plan through your employer or your own business, set one up. Many institutions have turn-key options that can help you do this in short order. "The sooner you get your money into your tax-deferred retirement account, the sooner that money will begin to compound for your retirement," says Roger Stinnett, managing director of wealth planning at First Foundation Advisors.

Get serious about saving and consider ways to generate extra income to plow into retirement funds, such as working part-time, taking on odd jobs, or seeking out overtime on your job, for example, suggests Leslie Tayne, an attorney specializing in financial issues with the Tayne Law Group.

If you want to ramp up savings, you'll also need to create or revisit your budget and vow that in 2014, there's little room for excuses. You will just say no, to some stuff that you know are not necessities and luxuries that in reality you can't afford if you plan to retire as you hope. Live within your means and pay down existing debt until it no longer stands between you and your retirement goals.

If you're just starting out in your career, setting aside 10% of your income for retirement is a good goals. Later in life though, you'll need to up that percentage to make up for lost time, says J.J. Montanaro, a certified financial planner with USAA.

One strategy, once you have a target savings you want to achieve, is to divide that number by the number of paychecks you will receive in 2014. Take that result and make that your 401k contribution every pay day from the first paycheck of the year, says Ted Sarenski, CEO and president of Blue Ocean Strategic Capital.

Review your asset allocation

Ask yourself some tough questions. "Do you know how you're invested? Do you know your after-tax rate of return? Do you know your expenses?" says Rachele Cawaring Bouchand, director of financial planning for the accounting firm of Clark Nuber.

Because of the new 20% capital gains tax and the 3.8% surtax on investment income, look at reallocating your portfolio so it's tax efficient.

Because of the new 20% capital gains tax and the 3.8% surtax on investment income, look at reallocating your portfolio so it's tax efficient. "When tax rates were lower, it didn't mean as much, but now, it can make a big difference in overall return. It's time to move investments that generate a lot of income to your retirement (tax-deferred accounts) and ones that are tax-efficient to taxable accounts," says Cawaring Bouchand.

Make the decision to know your numbers

Sit down with an advisor and figure out how much it will cost you to retire. You need a rough idea of when you want to retire, desired income during retirement and what income sources you will have. "Invest based on that number, not your market view. Your goals should drive the bus, not the news," says Khetarpal.

Know how much return you need and balance this with your actual risk tolerance. There is no rule that says you need to maximize your risk tolerance, if you feel more comfortable being conservative and can meet your required rate of return, it's okay to have a more conservative portfolio, says Cawaring Bouchand.

If you're entering or close to retiring, consider setting up a retirement withdrawal plan. This may help to ensure that the money you need for living expenses is there when you need it, with as little disruption to the overall portfolio management and performance of your portfolio. The plan should incorporate tax sensitivity and outline the magnitude, ordering and timing of withdrawals from each of your various taxable, tax-deferred and tax-free accounts, says Stinnett.

Start thinking like the wealthy

Self-directed retirement accounts were long held as the domain of wealth investors, but are becoming more popular among the masses, particularly savvy investors who might already be investing in alternative and traditional assets outside of their existing IRAs, says Jaime Raskulinecz, founder and CEO of Next Generation Trust Services, a third-party administrator of self-directed retirement plans. "Self-direction can be a great way to grow retirement wealth more aggressively and get off the roller coaster of the stock, bond, and mutual fund markets that we've experienced since 2001," says Raskulinecz.

Self-directed portfolios can take advantage of many types of investments, such as non-publicly traded assets such as real estate, commodities, precious metals, even unsecured loans, mortgages, private placements, says Raskulinecz, who adds, "All the income and expenses for these investments flow through the self-directed accounts, which enjoy the same tax advantages of regulars IRAs."

Mitch Tuchman, co-founder of Rebalance IRA, a registered investment advisor that exclusively manages IRAs, offers a reminder to keep you motivated, "The beautiful thing about making and keeping financial resolutions is that being debt-free and watching your savings and investments grow is an empowering feeling. It frees you up to make other choices in life and to live and experience things with far less stress."



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76 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To save, one must make it first.

13
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I agree!  I live paycheck to paycheck, and since 2008, I have not been able to save a penny for an emergency fund, let alone for CDs or "think like the wealthy" like the article suggests.  I realize most people here have gobs of money to throw around on CDs and stuff, but I think I represent a more accurate picture of what reality is rather than what is suggested here on this site.  I was hoping that the election of Obama and the redistribution of wealth would translate to me getting what I deserve and get funds funneled to me, but this has not materialized yet.  Of course, there are still about two more years so I am hopeful that Obama will change things around if he can get Congress to cooperate.

6
Comment #4 by scottj posted on
scottj
And just what exactly is it you deserve that the Government should give you? 

14
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Poster #3 shouldn't get a **** thing.  At least you work, contrary to many others.  Your idea of Obama funneling wealth to you just because you "exist" is outrageous.

21
Comment #16 by mustsavemore posted on
mustsavemore
I don't think Obama ever said he wants to give money to those who don't work.  I think it is those who work can't make enough.  Like those fast food workers.

2
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Living paycheck to paycheck means nothing without putting the whole picture into prospective.  My supervisor earned triple of what I did, yet he lived "from paycheck to paycheck" while at the same time I managed to save something toward retirement from everyone of my paychecks.

Redistribution of wealth?  I hope you and other wishful thinkers waiting for hand outs from our government, wait a long, long time.  However, I believe you are just "trolling".

15
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To the majority of you young people out there.  You have two choices at your young age.  #1, you can save, invest, and control your spending habits and probably have enough saved up to retire in later yours.  Your other choice is to spend like crazy (paycheck to paycheck) and probably never retire but just wish later that something is given to you to allow you to do so.

9
Comment #15 by mustsavemore posted on
mustsavemore
To be perfectly clear 1) I am not a young whipplesnapper, 2) While I do live paycheck to paycheck, I do NOT live extravagantly.  I have an old used car, live in a tiny apartment (I can't afford a house), and no I don't live in an expensive area like New York or San Francisco where people don't necessarily lives in a house.  I don't have cable TV or other "luxuries".  It's called life people!  REAL life!

3
Comment #10 by decades posted on
decades
i started playing around with p2p lending...find that at times am lending to people that make 2 to 3 times my salary ..yet have gotten themselves in deep debt with credit cards

6
Comment #13 by mustsavemore posted on
mustsavemore
To be perfectly clear 1) I am not a young whipplesnapper, 2) While I do live paycheck to paycheck, I do NOT live extravagantly.  I have an old used car, live in a tiny apartment (I can't afford a house), and no I don't live in an expensive area like New York or San Francisco where people don't necessarily lives in a house.  I don't have cable TV or other "luxuries".  It's called life people!  REAL life!

1
Comment #27 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Obama changes what his agenda is everytime he speaks.  His speaches are written to fit the audience.

6
Comment #14 by mustsavemore posted on
mustsavemore
I'm on board with you!  About time someone tells it like it is!

3
Comment #18 by Shorebreak posted on
Shorebreak
Nice job #3 of reeling people in with your post. The part about "I was hoping that the election of Obama and the redistribution of wealth would translate to me getting what I deserve and get funds funneled to me,..." kind of gave it away. It was a good laugh none the less.

11
Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Keep your grubby little hands out of my pockets you non-contributing statist "taker". lol

4
Comment #26 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
So what about those Occupy Wall Street folks?  Are they "statists", whatever that means?

2
Comment #33 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Absolutely they are! They only blame WS. Your worshiped current WH administration won't prosecute the banking criminals because they have the same blood on their hands. Almost ALL carreer politicians need to go but the current admin has brought corruption, spending, debt and tyranny to exponential levels. Critical thinking skills are needed to understand this so LIV's like yourself will ignore the facts.

BTW, the meaning of terms and acronyms that confuse you are easily found and definitely provide humorous irony to your reply.

2
Comment #41 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Wishful thinking about Obama giving you money, what are you a beggar or a communist?

6
Comment #20 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yes, the hard part is to make more money. I am actually making less and less each year as my pay raise lacks behind the inflation.

3
Comment #34 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
What inflation?  Bernankie says there is no inflation or so little that it is insignificant.

4
Comment #21 by outtempster posted on
outtempster
Yes, the hard part is to make more money. I am actually making less and less each year as my pay raise lacks behind the inflation.

2
Comment #29 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
And this is exactly why we need government to help us.  Isn't it their job to make our lives easier?  Isn't that what they are there for?

2
Comment #35 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To help the truly needy, maybe.  Not to give handouts to the lazy people who don't even make an effort to help themselves.  I'm all for charity to help those in dire straights, but not for those who take advantage of the system.

9
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The article highlights the new 20% long-term capital gains tax rate and 3.8% Medicare investment income tax, but these only apply to high incomes.  The 20% rate applies for taxable incomes over $406.7k and the 3.8% tax applies for AGI over $200k (both thresholds for singles and even higher for married filers).  For middle class incomes, the 3.8% tax does not apply and the capital gains tax rate is 15%.  In fact, for taxable incomes below $36.9k (singles) and $73.8k (married filers) the capital gains tax rate is actually 0%.

14
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This is what Obama gives you.Next,you will find out he has given all of us 
Marxism as Lenin gave the Russians!Wait until you need a doctor...you
will find out more that he has given us.

8
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Why are in denial?

2
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Hey #8 I just checked interest rates in Russia and they are 5.5%! Will move all my CD money there on Monday. Thanks for the heads-up!

3
Comment #17 by mustsavemore posted on
mustsavemore
#12, it would sure be nice if you shared the information with the rest of us.  Not that I have any money to move, but I'm sure others here would appreciate it.

1
Comment #19 by Shorebreak posted on
Shorebreak
It is possible for a foreign national to apply for an account with a Russian bank online from outside the country. Alfa Bank is one bank that provides this service. Additionally, foreign banks operating inside the country may be able to open an account for use in Russia.
http://russia.angloinfo.com/money/banking/opening-an-account/

2
Comment #23 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Just keep in mind, the currency exchange rates fluctuate.  The extra percentage gain may be lost.  Or on the other hand, have even a greater gain.  It's all a gamble when dealing with foreign currencies. 

6
Comment #42 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Hey Shorebreak, bad idea, there is no FDIC nor any kind of insurance. Are you willing your money to disappear one day when you check your balance and find it at $0. Most of the hackers live in Russia and they are pretty bold.

10
Comment #24 by PabloSavin (anonymous) posted on
PabloSavin
Yes the 3.8 percent on the interest earned on low interest paying cd's cost me 5k this year. That means less to charity. We paid over 250k in taxes. We live in a house that is worth less then 100k. I think the government is doing a fine job spreading the wealth. 

3
Comment #25 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Really!  You paid over $250,000 in taxes this year?  That makes you a very wealthy person.  Why are you waisting your time on this website looking for low interest CDs?

9
Comment #38 by PabloSavin (anonymous) posted on
PabloSavin
This is PabloSavin. Actually I look at this website every day and over 85% of our money is in CD'S. Rates are low, hopefully coming back. I guess I am rather wealthy, Should I be ashamed? . While my friends were keeping up with the Jones, I didn't know what the Jones were buying. Left for work before sunrise and came home most days after sunset. Anybody can work hard and make money, most spend all the money they get and never increase their net worth. It was a choice I made, there was a price to pay. There is a price to pay for foolish choices also. Buy a house you don't need, have pets you can't really afford, have kids you cannot afford, going out to eat too much. The list keeps on going. My wife has been with the same company for 25 years, sits in traffic every work day. My friends wifes won't do what she does, so it goes on, they can't have what we have. Most of my friends know all the pro sports players stats, and keep up with college sports, but don't do a budget and won't work over 40 hours a week. So you get what you get. I may be part of the 1% , 99% of my friends know what college teams are playing this weekend, I know PenFed is keeping 3% CD's around for another month!

14
Comment #54 by outtempster posted on
outtempster
the problem of "rich people pay less" is there are loop holes so that they pay low income tax. Like Romney, who was paying 13%, and 9% before. Warren Buffet said he pays ~17% and he could have paid nothing if he wants to. PabloSavin, you are considered rich but I don't think you are like those people. I think the way to fix the problem is close those loop holes, not increase the tax rate for single who makes $200K or family who makes $450K. Especially if those family live in New York or Silicon Valley in CA, they are really middle class, not rich. 40% fed tax + 10.3% CA tax + extra 3.8% are almost 55% of the income, I am way below that, but I still think that is really enough. The only problem is there are tax loop holes, super rich people don't really pay that, it's the middle class people who are picking up the tabs.

I wish US can have flat tax, whatever you make, poor or rich, you pay income tax, no loop holes. The government will get more tax according to some famous account (don't remember the name). For people in need, there should be charity places or government agencies that will help them, with all the extra taxes they collect. of course, that was my wishful thinking.

3
Comment #58 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Someone in the hypothetical above should pay an effective tax rate significantly lower than 55%.  Remember, federal taxes allow deductions of state taxes and many other items like mortgage interest, medical expenses, etc.  And the 39.6% federal tax bracket only applies to portions of income above $406.7k (for singles and higher for married filers).  The effective tax rate (taxes due / total income before deductions) could be less than half of 55%.

1
Comment #64 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yes. but for whatever above $400K, more than half is paid for tax is enough, even though my family make much less than that. the loop holes (some in terms of deductions) are the culprits. If the rick people pay those money for everything above $400K, I think US will have enough tax. but they are paying effective 13% or 9% or 17% or nothing, that's the problem.

1
Comment #28 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This only further proves my point that most people here are against the very American dream of Redistributing the Wealth for their fellow man because y'all are part of the 1%.  I am proud to say I am part of the 99%!   

2
Comment #30 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Since when did " Redistributing the Wealth" become the American dream?  Before or after Obama came into office?  Try after!

11
Comment #36 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Agreed. Too many non-contributing marxist 'takers' and LIVs in OUR country and it continually worsens.

4
Comment #31 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thanks for the contribution.  If there were more people like you, the government might get out of debt.

1
Comment #32 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
You would think so.  But the problem is the more money our government takes in, the more money they spend or give away to foreign countries.

9
Comment #37 by scottj posted on
scottj
I had years I paid $200k+ in Fed taxes. I called it quits in 2008 when Obama got elected and saw this coming. Did my 2013 taxes yesterday, my total fed tax should be about $38. And even when I was making that kind of money I was here finding the best places to put it, which is a big reason I was able to retire at 48

7
Comment #39 by PabloSavin (anonymous) posted on
PabloSavin
Good job. I have about 3 more years hopefully at 51 years old. That is crazy paying that much in taxes, I think you may have paid your fair share!. Obama and the gang in Washington don't get there is a time when their class warfare games are going to backfire and those who pay the huge tax bills will call it quits and buy a Honda Accord instead of a Mercedes and go sit on the beach.

8
Comment #59 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
If you paid $250 I will be shocked but $250,000 is a fantazy. Pull someone else's leg.

3
Comment #62 by PabloSavin (anonymous) posted on
PabloSavin
PabloSavin Here.
I would pull someone else's leg but I am working today. Catching up, no fantasy here. Just me and you.

1
Comment #40 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
There is one big flaw with your idea, the democrats. They want you to share your wealth, they want you to be poor, they will tax any savings you have to a point of negative growth or can even cut your SS income if you have other income or a classified as wealthy.
The whole retirement sections will be raided by the democrats in the next congress, they will not even tell you when Obama with his famous presidential decrees will announce any savings will either be taxed or will be confiscated according to his point of view.
Obama lies a lot and he is a wild card and a big uncertainties for our future.

12
Comment #45 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have to agree with you on that one. 

However, we are in the minority.  The majority of voters got what they wanted.  That's how it works in a Democracy or rather our Republic!

5
Comment #53 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
No.  You were right the first time.  We live no longer in a Republic.  Even as President Thomas Jefferson warned so long ago might happen, America has become a Democracy.  It's a tragedy.  I was alive when this country still was a Republic.  It was a free country back then.

6
Comment #60 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
There is easy solution, stop voting for liberals and democrats and campaign against them, problem solved. At least I will nullify the Shorebreak's democratic vote in the next election.

5
Comment #43 by Shorebreak posted on
Shorebreak
Retirement resolutions to keep in 2014?
1. Ignore politically motivated comments to this blog site and concentrate on steps to increase income during retirement.
2. See resolution #1.

9
Comment #47 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
You are very naive Shorebreak. The politics and money are interwooven like DNA, nice try, but no cigar for you.

7
Comment #48 by Shorebreak posted on
Shorebreak
#67: So what? I get enough of politics on other blog sites. Besides, you know what you can do with your "cigar" don't you Mr. No-name? LMAO!

4
Comment #49 by Shorebreak posted on
Shorebreak
In response to #47 Anonymous. I'm sure we will be up to #67 shortly anyway.

2
Comment #61 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Shorebreak, the democrats will lose the senate in 2014, then I will give you a cigar as a consolation for your lost vote.

4
Comment #44 by BillGates posted on
BillGates
Does anyone know more about the statement in the article:

Maximize contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement account. The limits for 2014 are $17,500 

I contribute to the Fed Gov't Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) - Military so no employer match. This year, I will reach that maximum of $17,500 contribution to TSP.

Can I put more money else where (say towards an individual ROTH IRA or am I maxed out because I've contributed the max ($17.5k) towards the TSP?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

1
Comment #50 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Happy Holidays to Leftists, Rightists and the Ambidextrous!

4
Comment #66 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Happy means nothing today, unless of course you start distributing your money to all of us, that will make me happy.

1
Comment #51 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Federal income taxes are the lowest they have been in my lifetime. Aren't any of you old enough to have paid taxes in the 50's, 60's and 70's when everyone had a job? You would know that when taxes are high people put their money into business so they won't have to pay taxes, when taxes are low they spend it on more houses, (not homes) cars, planes, boats, jewelry etc. Get a life. Facts are hard to deal with. 

3
Comment #52 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This is absurd "thinking".  The writer apparently believes tax rates are the principal determinant of individuals' spending and of employment availability.  Sorry, dude.  Economics just ain't that simple!!  God help us, the things some people actually believe!  It's no wonder this country is in its current catastrophic economic shape, with triple digit trillions of debt and future obligations and no possible way for us to pay our bills!!

4
Comment #57 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Umm...How do you figure triple digit trillions?

2
Comment #55 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
These two new taxes are based on AGI which means deductions will not reduce this taxes?

1
Comment #56 by emdtech posted on
emdtech
Sheryl:
Your focus (and comments back) come from 3.8% surtax & 20% LTCG tax discussion which apply, perhaps to very few readers on this blog. I believe it is around 5% or less of tax paying population and probably 0.01% of the reader base on this blog. Please stick to topics that are relevant to your audience base. Thanks for your article. Happy New Year!

4
Comment #63 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thanks to shorebreak for some sanity in a sea of Obama haters. This article is not about Obama or liberals. Its about how to secure your future. Unfortunately, many young people think they are invincible and do not worry about the future. I was that way. It's very important to develops skills when you are young that are in demand so one can earn a good income. Then over time you can diversified and invest in a house, stocks , bonds , cds, etc., and hopefully be able to retire comfortable. I see may young people lost and with no direction. Without motivation and direction, unless you have rich parents, you will live a life of pay check to pay check. 

So stop complaining about the government redistributing wealth. If you earn a high income, paying a little extra taxes is meaningless. If you are living pay check to pay check, it has noting to do with Obama, it has to do with your skill set and lifestyle.

3
Comment #65 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Another 'taker' with his hand in the 'maker's' pockets a la marx.

"Without motivation and direction, unless you have rich parents, you will live a life of pay check to pay check." = just another excuse for the lazy who take no personal responsibility and think they are entitled to the fruits of OTHER's work and determination. GMAFB

And your 'If you earn a high income, paying a little extra taxes is meaningless' comment is complete BS too (since you'e a Low Information Voter who is swimming in the obama Kool-AID). Case in point. You sacrifice to have OWNED a home (or other investment) for say 30+ years during which time it can EASILY appreciate over its basis beyond the obamatax threshold(s). Yet when you sell it, even though it took you 30+ years to acquire that gain you can be, for the split second of that transaction, considered 'rich' in obama's eyes and your CG tax goes from 15% (and possibly as low as 0%) to up to 23.8% (3.8% being the obamacare related SURCHARGE) over the threshold(s) to redistribute your wealth EARNED OVER 30+ YEARS rather than divide it over 30+ years before applying threshold rules. A modest $300k gain over the standard exemption over 30 years is only $10k/yr...hardly rich except in obama's eyes.

In case you haven't been listening to obama's lies (every time he moves his lips) in the above scenario someone earning a VERY modest annual salary of say $32k is slapped with an additional $5k+ TAX for JUST THE obamacare related 3.8% SURCHARGE ALONE when he sells his house!

And this doesn't even take state CG taxes into account that will slap you with up to another 13% (CA being the highest; figures being a lib infested financially bankrupt mess).

Try applying some critical thinking skills to FACTS before spouting off typical lib talking points.

3
Comment #67 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I've worked all my, got married, bought a house and now at 66 I'm retiring. I have most of my savings in a 401. I am not rich. My wife has pre-existing conditions, and now that I am retired, my wife will lose her health care. Fortunately, because of the affordable care act she will be insured at a reasonable cost. Without this law, we would be, well F****d. So don't lecture me about you heartless greed.

2
Comment #68 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Obamacare certainly has its problems but in #67 case, it certainly was a blessing. 

2
Comment #70 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
You're confusing an insurance policy with actual health coverage. Wait until you see what won't be covered under the crappy ACA policies as well as the ridiculous deductibles (many hospitals are requiring upfront payment of all or part PRIOR to care) and much higher OOP costs. I have no problem with requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions in your scenario but if you weren't covered and paying premiums before then no way. If you think some leech that didn't bother to buy insurance and instead spent the money on vacations, big screen TV's and the like should be able to just buy insurance AFTER they get a condition then it is YOU who is the greedy heartless one. You sound like another LIV.

1
Comment #71 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
"many hospitals are requiring upfront payment of all or part PRIOR to care" 
So what wrong with that?  Are you not planning on getting treatment in the hospital and then not paying your responsible amount later?

1
Comment #72 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Don't put words in my mouth but rather try to apply some critical thinking skills if you have them. During a life and death emergency this SHOULDN'T be the priority. And who pays for ALL of any service up front for ANYTHING (I wouldn't pay a contractor working on my house everything upfront until I knew it was done and done right). With the ridiculously high deductibles under the ACA policies (esp. the bronze ones that most gov't 'takers' will be subsidized by the 'makers' on) odds are they will need to pay the whole bill upfront which they most likely can't. In case you haven't figure it out yet, I was pointing out how flawed obamacare is showing how it doesn't give a crap about those who blindlessly support it. If anything, it will expose hospitals to more legal issues for refusing healthcare. How do you think that will affect health costs? Deadbeats will be deadbeats and those who are responsible will be responsible and obamacare won't change that. Think before you jump to ignorant conclusions.

2
Comment #73 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I ran into this same problem of pre-payment.  I have my employers HDHP and went to the Doc in Jan.  The  office had access to my health plan info, including deductible amount already paid, HSA info, etc.  My plan states "NO Co-pay" but the Dr office wanted me to pay the entire bill to meet the deductible.  My OV  bill is based on a contracted rate with the insurance company.  The clerk said she applied the discount.  However it was wrong.  The bill needed to be processed thru the insurance company to find the real contracted amount.  What the DR Office didn't know was there was bills already paid but not yet credited to my deductible.  I refused to pay since the DR OV was a in-network provider and they agree to abide by certain terms, such as no co-pay.
I can see a lot of the pre-payment requests happening with Obamacare.

1
Comment #74 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
By-the-way.  I don't have a problem with paying if the "CORRECT" amount I owe is known at the time of service.  I don't want to try to get overpayments back!

1
Comment #75 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Is there state insurance laws that protect this from happening?  In other words, if you use an in-network provider, is the provider required to file the claim through your insurance first.  After you review your claim, then you can then pay your bill based on the contracted amount agreed upon by the insurer and the in network provider.

1
Comment #78 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Ah, so now you don't have a problem with NOT paying up front. (although we post anonymously the avatar pattern does follow your IP)

1
Comment #76 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
So when you refused to pay.  What did the provider do?  Did they agree to file the claim and send you a bill later?

I have a new HDHP plan also and have been wondering what recourse I might have if my primary care physician requested payment prior to filing the claim through my insurance.  I would pay the amount but only if I knew for sure that the amount charged for the services was the contracted amount agreed with the insurance company.  The only way that I would pay up front is if the provider could provide me a bill that shows what his standard charges are and then the discounted rate that was agreed with the insurance company.  Most likely, that would not be provided so I would have to refuse to pay until I received my insurance claim which would show the correct amount that I owe the provider.

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Comment #77 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
My employer is self-insured, so the state insurance laws don't apply.  The employer uses a third-party administrator to handle processing claims at a neogiated contract rate and terms.  I've talk to the administrator and they say the process is: No OV co-pay, and the medical provider submits the claim to determine the amount I may owe (co-insurance and/or deductible).  Then the provider needs to send me a bill after the claim has been processed. 

When I refused to pay, they said they will make an exception for me.

Note:  What I have a problem with pre-pay of deductible is they will take forever to turn the claim in so I can be credited.  If every provider did this, then I would need to get the Drs "in gear" to turn claims in and possibly ask for refund of pre-paid deductibles.

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