On Friday, a Japanese newspaper reported that former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers will be President Obama's pick for the next chairmain of the Federal Reserve. But the White House disputed the claim, saying the President has not made his decision. Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, joins Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio to discuss how the false news -- and correction -- affected investor activity.
Click the audio player above to hear more.
Twitter is coming soon to a stock exchange near you. The company announced Thursday, in a tweet, naturally, that it’s filing for an initial public offering. That sets up one of the most anticipated IPOs since Facebook went public last year. Twitter’s public offering is something investors have anticipated for some time.
“I wouldn’t wait if I were them,” says tech analyst Rob Enderle. “Things have a tendency of going bad in this market and right now is probably the best time.”
Some expected a Twitter IPO sooner. But a rough ride for other tech companies that went public seems to have shown the virtue of patience to a company built on instant communication.
Facebook’s IPO was troubled from Day One. But with Facebook’s stock finally in decent shape, Twitter now likes its own chances on the stock market. The billions it raises could help Twitter build its ad business by buying up other companies, hiring more staff and spending more money marketing.
Jonathan Trappe was trying to be the first to fly across the ocean using a "cluster balloon" rig. His little boat was suspended beneath about 300 helium-filled balloons. But after less than a day he was forced to land in Newfoundland. "Hmm, this doesn't look like France," he told his Facebook fans.
My Darling Humana One TX HDHP PHP-R-Medical IPP,
It's high time I told you how I really feel about you…
Last year I found myself back in my hometown, working in the family business, quickly approaching my thirties. I realized I didn't have what I really needed in life - stability, certainty, and something to hold on to, in good times and bad. So I did what most people do these days when they're looking for a life partner - I went online. And there you were, on that snazzy health insurance comparison website I visited. Looking at your profile, I fell for you then and there. I was drawn to your low maintenance monthly premium, just 75-dollars. That's less than a cable bill! You're also really laid back. Some say maybe a bit too laid back. They look at your high deductible and ask me what will I do if, one day, I'm down on my luck, and in need? Will my health plan be there for me?
That's when I say hey, back off man, chill, it's all ok, she's got an HSA. The health savings account is the best part about our relationship. I can put more than 3-thousand dollars aside every year tax free. I can invest it wherever I want, and can use it whenever I need it for medical expenses. Otherwise, if I stay healthy until retirement age, I can use that money like an IRA. So I tell them, don't worry about me bro, you should check your own plan and see how good it is.
Now dear, I need to confess something. There are these other plans that everyone's talking about, these Affordable Care Act plans. Well, I went online and had a peek. You see, there was a wise calculator, the Kaiser Foundation calculator, that I used, just to try and picture what my future would be like with an A.C.A. plan. It turns out, I'd have to pay three times more per month for one of their plans, with no HSA benefits. So I found out what I knew all along, you are the best. For me, at least. So on this, the day of our five month anniversary, I'll say it…I love you. With you, my premium is low, my HSA will grow, and I'll get a tax break every year. What's not to love?
Subscriber ID 70052156 02
Tell us: Do you love your health care? Let us know by leaving a comment.
October 1st is when insurance exchanges and new insurance plans open as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Dan Gorenstein covers health care for Marketplace, and says it’s a big day for insurance in the U.S. "What is really going to happen here is … state exchanges, and federally-run exchanges all around the country are going to begin offering people who are currently uninsured … insurance.”
Those new exchanges will be open on websites. “So you can go online to a website, similar to Travelocity, and kind of shop for the health care plan that makes sense for you most,” says Gorenstein. “People have from October 1st through March 31st to sign up for coverage.”
If you’re new to health insurance, you might not know what that entails. Health insurance on the exchanges will typically be comprised of monthly premiums, out-of-pocket, or co-pay, prices and figuring out what network of providers, hospitals, doctors and specialists you’ll be using.How do you know if you have good health insurance?
As for the price? It’s a little complicated, but it mostly depends on how much money your household earns and how old you are. “The sticker price, the price that you actually see on the website, is going to be anywhere from $150 to $650 per month,” Gorenstein says. “That’s before these federal subsidies kick in. Lots of people will be eligible, for some federal subsidy.”
Though the sticker prices you initially see will vary, Gorenstein highlights an example of a 28 year old and a 62 year old that both make $28,000 a year. Though their initial price will be different, once subsidies kick in, they’ll pay the same cost. “It’s really a calculation based on how much you earn,” Gorenstein says.
Still, people will still have the option to decline to purchase health insurance. What happens in that case, Gorenstein says, “is you’ll be fined 95$ or 1 percent of your income, whichever is higher. And that penalty ratchets up. It gets higher again in 2015, and higher again in 2016, and that’s when we’re not talking about 1 percent of your income, we’re talking about a penalty with some real teeth to it.”
Some of this might still be confusing, but there are resources for people to use to figure this all out. “The federal government has set up a website, HealthCare.gov,” Gorenstein says, to help people choose a health insurance plan. “There are people called navigators, or ambassadors, and I would strongly encourage anybody who’s really thinking about ‘what plan is best for me’ to have a conversation [with a navigator]. This is very dense stuff. You need to appreciate how much money you make a year, you need to understand how sick you and your family are, and depending on those factors it’s going to vary from person-to-person what kind of plan is best for you.”
Most of us get health insurance through our jobs. Usually, your company gives you one or two plans to choose from and each payday, a little comes out of your check to pay for it. Now, there's a new trend emerging at some major companies like IBM and Time Warner. They're offering retirees and active employees private healthcare exchanges, where you get a set amount of money, and then pick from a bunch of different plans. It's an example of how the health care system is changing for everyone, not just people buying insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Bloomberg News health reporter Alex Nussbaum has written about this.
"These are websites, generally, where you can go and find a menu of insurance options. The idea here is that the individual worker or retiree can go choose their own insurance as opposed to taking the one or two options that your company can provide you through an employer sponsored plan," Nussbaum says. "At least the argument from the companies is that more choice will lead to a better deal for their workers or retirees. You don't have to take the one-size-fits-all plan. If you're relatively healthy, you can choose a plan that has higher deductibles but a lower premium, maybe choose a plan that holds down costs by favoring generic drugs over brand name ones."
Of course, companies wouldn't consider this if it didn't save them money in the long-run. Nussbaum says some employers who have tried this have offered employees anywhere from $2,500-$3,000 per year to shop with on private health exchanges. That amounts to less than they'd have to pay for insuring workers under traditional company plans on average.
"Health care costs, while they've been slowing in recent years, they've still been going up faster than inflation for over a decade -- certainly faster than employee wages are going or the fixed income that retirees are on. So the argument is that this saves the company money and that it might save the individual who's buying insurance money," says Nussbaum. "For retirees, depending on where you live, the Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan you can find might be a better deal for you than what your company can offer."
Nussbaum says that if this trend takes hold, workers will have to be much more involved in their own medical coverage options than ever before.
"The burden of choice is going to be much more on you," he says. "There's going to be more choices, more flexibility. But, it's going to be up to you to figure it all out. I liken it to the move from pensions to 401(k)s that we've seen over the past couple of decades. Right now, you are really responsible for your own investments and choosing the right one and, of course, for a lot of people that's a real headache and [it] induces a lot of anxiety. But for other people, they probably like the freedom."
If your company adopts private health exchanges, and you're confused about your coverage options, ask for help -- either from your employer or from the insurer.
As we approach the fifth anniversary of the day Lehman Brothers went bust, Marketplace has been taking a look at how the crisis unfolded in America from a variety of angles. And the effects of the financial crash reverberated across the globe where entire economies went bankrupt. Marketplace's European editor Stephen Beard covered the events in real time and joins Morning Report host David Brancaccio to discuss.
Click the audio player above to hear more.
Torrential rains around Boulder and nearby areas have led to at least three deaths and numerous washed-out roads. Forecasters warn that while the downpours should taper off Friday, even modest rains could cause more flooding.