Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What homeowners must remember at tax time this year. Also in the news: A GOP proposal to take student loan payments straight from your paycheck, why you might not have to pay that medical bill, and the biggest financial mistake women make.

Here’s What Homeowners Must Remember at Tax Time This Year
Learning the new tax rules.

A GOP proposal could snatch your student loan payment right from your paycheck
This could get ugly.

You Might Not Have to Pay That Medical Bill
Get ready to spend some time on the phone.

The biggest financial mistake women make? Not investing enough.
Deepening the wage gap.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Quick ways to save more money in 2019. Also in the news: Medical bills plague millennials, 3 simple strategies to max out your 401(k), and the basics of Parent PLUS loan forgiveness.

Quick Ways to Save More Money in 2019
Focusing on the simple.

Medical Bills Plague Millennials; These Tips May Be the Cure
Making medical debt more managable.

3 Simple Strategies to Max Out Your 401(k)
Increasing your retirement savings at any income level.

The Basics of Parent PLUS Loan Forgiveness
Who’s responsible for repayment?

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How medical bill advocates can slash your costs. Also in the news: How two-factor authentication protects your online info, how investing apps can foil financial planning, and four credit card trends for 2017.

How Medical Bill Advocates Can Slash Your Costs
An advocate will go to bat to reduce your medical costs.

How Two-Factor Authentication Protects Your Online Info
Taking the important steps to protect your online information.

Investing apps can foil financial planning
Trusting your intuitions.

4 credit card trends for 2017 and what they mean for you
The good news and the bad news.

Q&A: How to negotiate the medical bill maze in search of a better deal

Dear Liz: My husband and I have run into some serious medical bills recently. We have insurance, but one provider is out of network with a huge deductible and low payout, while another claim was flat-out denied. We’re looking at around $16,000 in bills, assuming nothing else is denied. What can we do to get these bills lowered?

Answer: Act fast, negotiate hard and don’t pay the “sticker price” for healthcare if you can possibly avoid it.

Start by reviewing your bills for errors such as duplicate charges, fees for services you didn’t receive and charges that seem excessive. A medical billing advocate may spot more subtle overcharges, such as separate, higher fees for procedures that should have been billed together as one bundle. The National Assn. of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants and the Alliance of Claims Assistance Professionals can offer referrals.

You may be able to resolve the errors with a call to your insurer, but you’ll still want to ask how to file a formal appeal so you can challenge the claim denial.

Look for other ways to reduce the bills. Some medical providers have charity programs that may help, and they aren’t just for low-income people: Partial relief may be available for those earning up to 400% of the poverty level for their areas.

Even if you don’t qualify, don’t assume that the numbers on your bills are what you actually have to pay. As you know from previous medical bills, the amounts providers charge bear little resemblance to the amounts they’re willing to accept from insurers. Ask to be charged the same amount that the provider would accept from Medicare, or from the largest insurer in its network.

If you can pay your bill all at once, ask for another discount for paying in cash. If you can’t pay, ask for a no-interest payment plan. Providers may push you to pay the bill with a credit card, but resist doing so unless you get a significant discount and can pay off the bill quickly.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

medical concept -  stethoscope over the dollar billsToday’s top story: How to estimate your major medical costs. Also in the news: Financial planning for the child-free, steps to take before buying a car, and hacks to winterize your home and cut your heating bills.

How to Predict the Size of Your Next Major Medical Bill
Doing your research can save you from sticker shock.

No Kids? You’re Not Off the Hook for Financial Planning
Steps to take if you’re child-free.

Financial steps to take before buying a car
Prepare yourself for the tricks of the dealership.

Filed A Federal Tax Extension? 7 Money Must-Dos Before October 15
Tick tock…

13 Hacks to Winterize Your Home – and Trim Your Heating Bill
Winter is coming…and not just to Westeros.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Medical expenses and bankruptcyToday’s top story: Should you pay your medical bills with a credit card? Also in the news: How to avoid grad school debt, getting your bank account back in black, and should colleges be held partly responsible for student loan defaults?

Should You Ever Pay Your Medical Bills With a Credit Card?
Putting co-pays on credit cards.

Grad-School Debt Is Growing. Here’s How To Avoid It
Will your graduate degree pay off in the long run?

Is Your Bank Account in the Red? Here’s What to Do Now
How to get back in black.

Should Colleges Pay for Student Loan Defaults?
Are they partly responsible?

5 Ways to Turn Inertia Into Financial Momentum
Time to get moving.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: How to negotiate your medical bills. Also in the news: How to file a financial aid appeal, gifts to set graduates off on the right financial foot, and ways to maximize Social Security benefits.

7 Tips for Negotiating Medical Bills
You don’t have to pay $7.00 for that aspirin.

How To File A Financial Aid Appeal
Don’t take no for an answer.

5 Gifts to Set Graduates Off on the Right Financial Foot
It’s graduation gift season!

3 Ways to Maximize Social Security Benefits
Getting the most from your earnings.

How to Get Back on Track with Retirement Savings
Making up for lost time.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

847_interestrates1Today’s top story: The importance of understanding interest rates. Also in the news: Protecting your identity while shopping online, the pros and cons of retirement annuities, and what you should ask before paying your medical bills.

Misunderstood Money Math: Why Interest Matters More Than You Think
Understanding the complicated world of interest rates.

8 Ways to Protect Your Identity While Online Shopping
While you’re shopping for deals, hackers are shopping for you.

Who Benefits From Retirement Annuities
The pros and cons of a retirement annuity.

6 Questions You Should Ask Before Paying Any Medical Bill
Analyze every single penny.

The Right Way to Tap Your IRA in Retirement
RMDs can trip you up.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailThe best college savings plan, why credit card companies want to take back your reward points, and the money lessons hidden in your favorite TV shows.

What’s best for college saving: ESA or 529?
Choosing the right college savings plan.

Five Ways Your Can Lose Your Credit Card Rewards
Credit card companies would love nothing more than to snatch your rewards back.

Tips to Negotiate Your Medical Bills
Carefully scrutinizing your medical bills could save you money.

Five Wealth-Building Tips Most People Overlook Five Wealth-Building Tips Most People Overlook
Looking for wealth in all the wrong places.

11 Money Lessons From Breaking Bad, Modern Family, And Other Emmy Favorites
What would Walter White do?

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Doctor feesNegotiating medical bills, why a financial power of attorney is a must, and the pros and cons of “pocket listings”.

Is It Ever Too Late to Negotiate a Medical Bill?
How soon do you need to question that eight dollar aspirin?

Why You Need a Financial Power of Attorney
Preparing for the unexpected is a necessity.

Poll: Just 32% of Americans Keep a Household Budget
Which percentage do you fall in to?

How to Pay Less for High-End Homeowners Insurance
High-End home insurance doesn’t need to break the bank.

Should You Sell a House Under the Radar?
Is the privacy worth the price?