Ideology threatens to trump facts in official Medicare handbook

CHICAGO (Reuters) – In September, the federal government will mail a handbook on Medicare enrollment to 43 million households. “Medicare & You” is an important, authoritative source on a wide array of plan options for the annual enrollment period that runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, and it has been mailed out to beneficiaries each year since 1999. But this year, advocate groups for seniors are crying foul over language contained in a draft of the 2019 handbook edition sent to them for review by the U.S. Centers for…

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The next frontier in workplace wellness: financial health

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Study after study shows that money stress can be as bad for workplace productivity as back pain. Employees talk to one another at an Eastman Chemical Company plant in Kingsport, Tennessee, U.S., in this photo provided May 22, 2018. Courtesy of Eastman Chemical Company/Handout via REUTERS The latest study, released by PSC on Tuesday, found that a quarter of U.S. workers said financial worries caused them health problems. Forty percent said finances distracted them at work and 15 percent said these problems made them miss work,…

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Hedge fund Jana Partners has no shares in Casey's Stores: spokesman

BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Jana Partners said on Wednesday it was not invested in Casey’s General Stores Inc after speculation that the hedge fund had built a stake in the company helped push its stock price up more than 9 percent in afternoon trading. “We do not own a single share,” a Jana spokesman said. Bloomberg earlier published a story saying the New York-based hedge fund had built a small stake in the company. Casey’s could not be reached for comment. Often, news or even speculation that a so-called activist…

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Norway's wealth fund voted against Shell climate target motion

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s $1 trillion wealth fund voted against a motion at Shell’s annual meeting urging the energy giant to set climate targets, despite a push the fund is making for more firms to do so. Long-term investors with $10.4 trillion of assets under management, including banks BNP Paribas and HSBC, had called on Shell to set firm carbon emission targets in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. Tuesday’s motion was opposed by 95 percent of the company’s investors on Tuesday, including the Norwegian fund, whose…

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Daycare costs harder to afford than college for many

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Americans are not having enough babies. The nation’s fertility rate hit a record low in 2017, and one has to wonder: Could the cost of raising children be discouraging a generation that was choked by the Great Recession? Employment is strong, but pay has been stagnant. College student loans average $35,000, and renting or buying a home is unaffordable in most metro areas. Throw daycare costs of $10,000 a child into the mix, and families ask themselves: How can they afford a baby? Childcare is the third-largest…

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Norway's wealth fund voted in favor of Shell CEO pay, against climate targets

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, voted against a motion presented at the annual general meeting of Royal Dutch Shell calling on the energy giant to set climate targets. Long-term investors with $10.4 trillion of assets under management, including banks BNP Paribas and HSBC, had called on the energy giant to set firm carbon emission targets in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement. The motion was defeated by 95 percent of Shell investors on Tuesday. The fund also said it had voted in favor…

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Corvex, Icahn to mull bid for oil and gas producer Energen

BOSTON (Reuters) – Activist hedge fund manager Keith Meister and billionaire investor Carl Icahn said they may try to buy oil and gas producer Energen Corp (EGN.N), according to a regulatory filing made on Monday. FILE PHOTO: Billionaire activist-investor Carl Icahn gives an interview on FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto show in New York, U.S., February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File PhotoIcahn, 82, reunited with Meister, his 45-year old former right-hand man, by buying a stake in Energen and throwing his weight behind Meister’s year-long campaign to push for Energen’s management…

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Remedy for high drug costs: Let Medicare negotiate

CHICAGO (Reuters) – (The writer is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.) Americans do not agree on much these days, but we are united on the cost of medicine. Large majorities of Republican, Democratic and independent voters say they would be more likely to vote for candidates in this year’s midterm elections who are committed to bringing down the cost of prescription drugs, according to a poll released last week by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). “The public feels strongly about doing something on drug prices and…

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Parents inch closer to college saving goals, study says

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When optimism and realism about college savings collide, you get parents who are confident that they will meet their goals – as long as they reduce the amount of money they save, that is. According to the latest “How America Saves for College” report from lender Sallie Mae, 90 percent of parents who have set a college savings goal say they will meet it. But perhaps this is because they cut the amount they plan to save to $55,342, down from $61,902 last year. Regardless, the…

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Cboe and BlackRock to launch corporate bond index futures

(Reuters) – Exchange operator Cboe Global Markets Inc said on Wednesday it has collaborated with the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock Inc, to develop U.S. corporate bond index futures. The exchange said the new futures, also developed along with data service IHS Markit Ltd, can help institutional investors temper their exposure to credit risk in the corporate debt market, including high-yield “junk” bonds. The futures contracts will be listed and are expected to trade on Cboe Futures Exchange from the summer of 2018, subject to review by the U.S. Commodity…

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