Monday, June 29, 2015

Medicare = Medi-scare?

With the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) so much in the news, and talk of change coming from all directions, what is all of this doing to Medicare?

Should you be worried?

Short run – very few of the changes will impact you or even be noticeable

Medium run – these relationships will change

....the relationship of providers with the government, and to a lesser extent

....your relationship with your doctor and other providers

Long run – the Medicare system will be subject to major changes, some will be noticeable to you and others not – 

.... some of the changes may raise your out-of-pocket or the quality of your care

So should you be worried?  Yes.   Long run.

In the long run the federal government is asking for

Higher quality
More prevention
Chronic disease management
Fewer services to lower costs
Lower cost per service

Problem is, can the government accomplish all of these goals without wrecking large parts of the system?

Time will tell.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

You Have No Privacy

Unless you live in a cabin in the woods with no phone or electricity, and never use the Internet, you have no privacy.

Credit reporting agencies, data sweeping and mining companies, your own bank and credit union, Internet browser and email companies, health care providers (within rules)  and the federal government are all involved in sweeping and storing massive amounts of data. Even your grocery store courtesy card results in data storage and marketing analysis.

This is not directed at terrorists or criminals, this is directed at everyone.


If you want to do something quietly, do it in cash. However, using or moving large amounts of cash will get you in trouble also (a future post will be published on the perils of using your own cash).

Always assume everything you do involving money or paper ends up in data files for future use.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Identity Theft Series

Identity theft and related crimes are becoming a bigger and bigger problem as the thieves use both high tech and low tech means of obtaining and abusing your identifying information.

Now you have to worry about your federal income tax returns being the sources of identity theft, sometimes directly through the IRS.

So we are starting a series of posts on defending yourself against identity theft and what to do if you are a victim. Watch for two posts a month.