February 16, 2014 |
Dear Liz: Recently I've paid off almost $20,000 in credit card debt and am determined not to go down that path again. Because I haven't used these cards in a while, though, I'm starting to get notifications from the credit card companies that they're closing my accounts because of inactivity. I know having long-standing accounts on your credit report is a good thing, but I don't want to be tempted to use these cards just to keep the account open. Is it a bad thing if almost all of my credit card accounts get closed?
February 12, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Health insurance sign-ups under President Obama's healthcare law have continued to surge, as more than 1.1 million Americans selected a private plan in January on new marketplaces created by the law. That brings to nearly 3.3 million the number of Americans who have enrolled in coverage since the marketplaces opened in October, according to new data released by the Obama administration. California continues to lead the nation with 728,000 enrollees, more than twice as many as the next-highest state, Florida.
February 9, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Got problems with the company that services your home mortgage - the one that collects your payments, keeps track of your escrow account and lets you know when you're late? So your monthly numbers don't look right? You got blown off by servicing personnel when you tried to get inaccuracies in your account corrected? Well, move over. You've got lots of grumpy company. As of Jan. 31, just under half of the 187,818 complaints filed with the federal watchdog Consumer Financial Protection Bureau concerned mortgage foul-ups, and the vast majority of these involved servicing, loan modification and foreclosure activities by servicers.
February 3, 2014 |
Maybe reforming federal farm subsidies is a task fit for Sisyphus. Every five years or so, when the farm programs come up for reauthorization, fiscal conservatives and good-government types try to make the subsidies look less like corporate welfare and more like an industrial policy designed to preserve the food supply. The former hands out money to agribusinesses regardless of their size or need for help; the latter focuses aid on farmers whose resources are too thin to buffer them from the vicissitudes of weather and crop yields.
December 23, 2013 |
After months of technical glitches and political tumult, a burst of last-minute insurance shoppers illustrated the growing appetite for Obamacare and the enormous challenges ahead in making the massive healthcare expansion work. On Monday, the crush of consumers prompted the Obama administration to put thousands of applicants on hold and push back another key enrollment deadline to Tuesday. This unexpected move came despite weeks of computer fixes aimed at improving the troubled HealthCare.gov website.
December 19, 2013 |
With Republicans hoping to make next year's election another referendum on the 2010 healthcare law (better known as Obamacare), the White House issued a report Thursday aimed at those calling for the law to be overturned. "Repeal Would Raise Costs, Strip Protections from Families Across America," the report declares. As usual, though, the administration left out one no-trivial part of the equation: how much those benefits are costing the public. The Times' editorial board has steadfastly supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, warts and all, because it makes a credible effort to make a more sustainable healthcare system.