Introduction to Social Security: Part I

Introduction to Social Security: Part I (Overview) Millions of Americans rely on Social Security as a source of income in retirement.  Despite its importance, most only have a cursory understanding of the program – including how benefits are calculated, the best time to claim, and how much will be deducted from monthly disbursements to pay for Medicare Part B premiums (and/or potential surcharges).  Also, recent changes to claiming strategies have left many people confused about what...

A Ringside Seat on Rising Health Care Costs

As a Health Policy Commissioner, I had the opportunity to participate in a two-day public hearing organized by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) in collaboration with the Office of the Attorney General and the Center for Health Information and Analysis. Attendees included the Governor of the State of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, the Attorney General, representatives from The Urban Institute, Harvard Business School, CEOs of major health care providers and medical...
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June is a truly beautiful time of year.  Mild weather makes afternoon walks more enjoyable; my golf game continues to decline, and there are plenty of family gatherings to celebrate different events –specifically graduations.  In fact, I have attended multiple parties this month.  Christopher graduated from Suffolk University, and Nicole and Ed Jr. both graduated from high school near the top of their respective classes. While these are certainly joyous times for the students and their...
Managing Oral Health

Managing Oral Health

Peggy Sue: Grandpa, if you had a chance to go back and do it all differently, what would you have changed? Grandpa: Well, I would have taken better care of my teeth. - Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) Words to live by. The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) had a board meeting this past week and oral health was on the agenda.1 Why address this issue? Because the Commission’s objective is to develop policies that reduce growth in health care expenses and improve quality of...
The Alarming Cost Of Out Of Network Health Care Services HVS 06 01 2016

The Alarming Cost of Out-Of-Network Health Care Services

While preparing HealthView’s 2016 Data Report, I learned something thought-provoking about out-of-pocket medical expenses. As I was reviewing some data, I uncovered what appeared to be a statistical error: the Report was projecting that pre-retirement out-of-pocket expenses would increase by around 7% annually, compared to an in-retirement rate of 3%-3.5%. Put another way: a 40-year old would pay more than a 70-year-old for the same out-of-pocket medical product or service. And the...
Surprise Healthview Financial


A number of readers have expressed that they would like to read an “old fashioned” Update (Ron’s View). To say the least, I was surprised and somewhat flattered. A good friend and highly regarded industry expert summed it up best. “I can read serious industry news 24/7 but what you wrote was unique. You brought us into your life and ended the column with sound advice. It was different and enjoyable to read. Even my wife looked forward to reading ‘Ron’s View,’ but...
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Press Release 05-18-2016

HealthView Services 2016 Retirement Health Care Costs Data Report Released   Retirement Health Care Costs for a 65-Year-Old Healthy Couple to Exceed $288,000 Projected 2015-2016 Retirement Health Care Inflation: 7.3% 66-Year-Old Couple Will Require 57% of Social Security Benefits to Cover Health Care Medicare Surcharges to Increasingly Impact Middle...
A Prescription for Saving

A Prescription for Saving

There has certainly been an onslaught of newsworthy developments over the past few months – the tragic terrorist attack in Brussels, the chaos of the presidential campaigns, the possible dissolution of the European Union amidst the refugee crisis and Britain’s potential exit. Perhaps preoccupation with these incidents sidetracked me from broaching a topic that I’ve wanted to discuss for quite some time: the skyrocketing cost of medications.   Let’s begin at the bottom. My...
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Productive Aging

Last month, The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan’s School of Public Health broached the topic, “The Aging Workforce: Challenges and Benefits for the Public's Health.” During the discussion, panelists spent considerable time on the phrase productive aging, which essentially measures how retired Americans can continue to be socially, economically, and intellectually engaged participants in society. These contributions can be made through employment, voluntary work, elderly caregiving or...
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