SO THERE’S A LAW. NOW WHAT?
Whether you love it, hate it, or think it’s a good idea in principle but are worried sick about unforeseen costs and unintended consequences (count me here), health care reform is now reality. And the chances are fair it will affect your life in the short run and almost certainly change your experience with our healthcare system in the long run.
Right away, there are some obvious benefits: If you’ve been ill and are uninsured, you’ll soon have an easier time getting coverage; seniors caught in the “doughnut hole” will pay less for drugs; you may be able to keep your child on your health plan until he’s 26. And some costs are baked into the plan: If you’re making a good buck, for instance, count on paying more in Medicare taxes in a few years.
Things are considerably less clear further down the road. As assistant managing editor Pat Regnier explains in our cover story, “The Truth About Health Care Reform” (page 70), it’s hard to overstate the potential for enormous change in the way we consume medicine when you add 32 million people to the insurance rolls and try to rein in spiraling costs. Regnier, along with staff writer Amanda Gengler and contributor Michelle Andrews, does a thoughtful job of explaining how the new healthcare regime might play out for the MONEY reader, but it’s admittedly an educated guess. So we’ll be staying on
Our second big feature package is a must-see, our annual “100” list of the best moves you can make with your money (page 82). Assistant managing editor Elizabeth Fenner and an intrepid crew of 11 writers came up with an informative, fun read that pulls together great ideas on topics from investing to retirement to smart spending. Peruse this package and you’ll come away with at least five things to do to make or save yourself some money.
Finally, with the Dow hitting an 18-month high, we thought it was time to bring a little sobriety to the Wall Street party. The market may be on a roll, but the economy still faces the distinct possibility of a devastating one-two punch, first from deflation and then from inflation, over the coming years. How to invest given the chance of such extreme conditions is the topic of senior writer Penelope Wang’s “The Ultimate Defensive Portfolio” on page 104. Wang synthesizes the advice of leading money managers about how to protect yourself without resorting to a run-for-the-hills strategy that precludes you from riding the current bull. A little extra padding, after all, isn’t a bad idea. ■
EYE ON REFORM
Assistant managing editor Pat Regnier, here in front of New York Presbyterian Hospital’s Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center, digs into how you’ll get and pay for medicacare in the future (page 70).
STYLING BY LULU CHEN; GROOMING BY MISSY TURLA