From Reuters.com

Choosing a health plan

Photo
-

–Linda Stern is a freelance writer. Any opinions in the column are hers. You can follow Linda Stern’s financial notes on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/lindastern –

Washington’s health-care reform debate could go on for a while, but who can afford to wait?

In the next few months, most employees will have to choose a health insurance plan for 2010. Others may face job loss and the loss of employer-provided benefits, or are newly emancipated — graduated and unemployed — young adults who need to find their own coverage.

They all have this in common: The likelihood of higher premiums, more confusing choices, and more policy “gotchas” that can limit, or even kill, their coverage after they’ve paid those costly premiums. And, the need to nail down coverage before Washington acts. Here’s how to make smart health insurance decisions while hoping that Congress does the same.

PersonalFinance: College money management 101

Photo
-

(Linda Stern is a freelance writer. Any opinions in the column are hers. You can follow Linda Stern’s financial notes on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/lindastern )

By now, most incoming college freshmen have met their new roommates, spruced up their dorm rooms, and run out of ready cash. Going to college is expensive, and it’s not all about tuition bills. There are textbooks and highlighters and midnight snacks. And for most new college students, this is really the first time they’ve had to manage their own money and living expenses.

  •