Markets – 4th Quarter Rally?? & Medicare Open Enrollment Info!

Stock Markets jumped last week as 6 major banks started off earnings season with a major positive and overall optimism, believing the September/early-October slide is over.

For the week, the Dow jumped 1.58%, the S&P 500 1.84%, the Nasdaq Composite 2.18% and the Russell 2000 1.47%.

Over the pond, foreign stocks rose 2.42% and emerging market stocks 2.13%.

Bond yields remained towards recent highs, with the 10-Year ending last week with a yield of 1.574%.

This week continues the early part of 3rd quarter earnings season, with 72 S&P-500 companies reporting.  Worth paying attention to, is what these companies will say about consumer demand, supply constraints, inflation and wage pressures!

Will this rally continue thru year-end?  As always, time will tell!

Medicare Open Enrollment

The Medicare Annual Open Enrollment period runs from October 15th thru December 7th.

This is the time to can review your coverages and make changes as warranted.

*Medicare Advantage Participants*:

  • Can change Medicare Advantage plans regardless of current health
  • Examine to make sure your preferred providers are still on the company list
  • Check to see if your co-pays and out of pocket costs have changed
  • Check to see if your prescription drug deductible and co-pays have changed.

You can check and compare plans on the Medicare Plan Finder

You can enroll in a new plan, with new coverage becoming effective January 1st, 2022.

*Original Medicare/Medigap/Part D Drug-Plan Participants*:

  • There are 5 tiers to your Part-D drug plan; preferred generic, generic, preferred brand, non-preferred drug, and specialty. It’s important to see if the prescriptions you take have been put into another tier, which can significantly impact your out-of-pocket costs.
  • The Medicare Plan Finder is the place to compare Part-D drug plans.  When you find a plan that is more cost effective, you can enroll directly with that plan.  The new plan will become effective on January 1st

Social Security COLA/Medicare Part-B

The Social Security Administration announced on October 13th, the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) will be 5.9%.  64 million Social Security beneficiaries will see the increases in January 2022.

The Medicare Part B premium for 2022 has not been announced, however expectations are for an increase of approximately 6.2%.  Combined with current levels of inflation, the Social Security COLA benefit will be muted for many, however the increase is still very welcome!

The amount of wages subject to the Social Security tax will increase to $147,000.

The earnings-test limits will increase for those collecting under Social Security full retirement age, to $19,560.  For those reaching SS full retirement age sometime in 2022, the earnings test limit is increasing to $51,960***Keep in mind, the earnings test is no longer applicable when you reach your Social Security Full Retirement Age***




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