Ron’s View

Annual Health Care Cost Trends Hearing


This past week, I was invited to participate in the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission’s Annual Health Care Cost Trends hearing. It is no secret that rising health care is a hot topic.  From personal, local, and state budgets to the national economy, paying for quality health care has emerged as one of the biggest conundrums [...]

I Like Transparency, Don’t You?


Transparency: the ability to transmit light through a substance so that bodies situated behind it can be seen. Or, in relation to health care, the practice of transmitting or disclosing all fees associated with a medical procedure. Is providing the cost of services truly that difficult in the medical field? Let’s ponder this for a [...]

Employer Health Care Coverage Changes: 2016


On Saturday afternoon, I sat on the couch with my daughter, Taylor, half watching SpongeBob Squarepants while penning this week’s Update on my iPad.  In this episode, SpongeBob’s pet snail, Gary, shatters his shell, but sadly, SpongeBob doesn’t have the necessary savings to purchase a new one. I guess SpongeBob must have gotten clobbered in [...]

China Devaluation and What it Means for You


Many of you are aware of the bold economic move made by China early last week. In an effort to increase growth, keep employment rates high, and compete in the global economy, China devalued its currency, the renminbi1 (人民币), or the “people’s money.” Historically, the greatest comparative difference between the renminbi’s unit of currency, the [...]

Men, Women, and Social Security


This past weekend I hosted a men vs women golf tournament. As has been the case for the past several years, the men won, but fun was had by all. However, not long after, I noticed the headline of an article heralding the 80th Anniversary of Social Security. I was struck then by the similarities [...]

Nurse Practicioners


After playing a round of golf with my buddies over the weekend, I got the chance to celebrate a rare hole-in-one (unfortunately, not mine). According to tradition, the person who hit the hole-in-one buys everyone in the bar a drink (alcoholic or nonalcoholic), so we all had a mid-afternoon celebration on “Bob.” One of the [...]

Income Replacement Ratios & Health Care Costs


When you retire, you will still need an income. That much is clear. But the big question on people’s minds is how much will be needed to fund retirement years? What will your income have to be to maintain your desired standard of living? In order to think through this question clearly, financial planners and [...]

A Long-Term Care Story


A year ago, one of my golfing buddies, Joe, was an active, healthy 49-year-old who loved sports. Today, he is in the process of learning how to use a walker. Without going into detail, Joe was diagnosed with a serious illness, has been hospitalized for months, and probably has to live in a rehabilitation/nursing home [...]

First Dollar Coverage


I had the opportunity to meet with the CEO of a large health insurance company last week, and he raised an important point during our discussions: he is actually anticipating higher out-of-pocket medical costs than HealthView. Many who are familiar with HealthView know that for the past several years, I have warned about the dangers [...]

Medicare Enrollment Requirements


Medicare Enrollment Requirements Over the past couple of weeks, a few people who happened to be approaching their 65th birthday asked me the following question: I will be turning 65, intend to continue working for several more years, and have medical coverage through my employer. Am I required to sign up for Medicare Part A [...]