Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.

Medicare will settle short-term care bills
Medicare announced its proposal to offer deals with hundreds of thousands of hospitals to settle the bills for short-term care services given to patients. The deals, which could amount to several hundred million dollars, are designed to cover more than two-thirds of the bills that hospitals want Medicare to pay. The proposal is open “to eligible hospitals willing to resolve their pending appeals in exchange for timely partial payment” and would enable these hospitals “to alleviate the administrative burden of current appeals on both the hospital and Medicare system,” says a spokesman from Medicare.  -- The New York Times

Are long-term care insurance hybrids all they're cracked up to be?
Instead of getting straight long-term care coverage, more clients are choosing life/long-term care insurance hybrid policies that require less strict health screening and won't have premium increases as the premium is paid in lump sum, according to an article in Morningstar. But unlike straight long-term care insurance, clients may find shopping and comparing hybrid policies available in the market difficult, and these options may not look appealing in case long-term care insurance premiums stabilize and interest rates increase. Read the discussion on the consequences of buying hybrid policies. -- Morningstar

3 reasons not to raid your retirement accounts
Workers are advised to avoid taking a loan or an early withdrawal from their retirement accounts as much as possible as they may have to pay a 10% penalty, according to this article in USA Today. Such a move could also lead to lost opportunity cost, resulting in reduced investment returns. Workers may also face unintended consequences, such as paying taxes and probably a 10% penalty if they fail to complete the payment on time. -- USA Today

How dividends can make the 4% rule easy
The common advice retirees get is to adopt the 4% withdrawal rule to ensure their nest eggs will last, but investing in dividend stocks that promise a 4% return can also be a good strategy, according to an article in Motley Fool. While such a strategy comes with financial risks, retirees also face the risk of running out of money in their later years if they withdraw from their savings. The 4% rule can also pose problems for retirees who invested most of their assets in stocks and other products, especially in a low-interest rate environment.  -- Motley Fool

5 retirement planning must-haves
Pre-retirees need to take some actions to ensure they will experience a hassle-free transition into retirement, according to this article in U.S. News & World Report. First, they need to determine the activities they want to engage in when they retire, and ensure that they have a network of loved ones and friends who will support them through their golden years. They also need to decide whether they should stay in their current home or move to another place, carry an insurance coverage that suits their needs, and have a clear set of goals they want to accomplish in retirement.  -- Yahoo Finance

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