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Getting Personal: Health care, nursing, and investing

One way or another, if Americans want healthcare coverage, someone's going to have to pay. KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

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This week, Tess and David Lazarus from the L.A. Times answer your personal finance queries.

On paying For The Health care Law

“No matter how you feel about health care reform and Congress and all of that,” says Lazarus, “most Americans, surveys show, agree with the proposition that insurance companies should not be able to turn people away if they look like a bad risk. And if the insurer has to take on more risk by taking on sicker people, well, you need to spread the risk farther and wider.”

Lazarus posits that more risk means more revenue will be needed to cover the costs of coverage, and if people don’t want mandated coverage, they need to come up with another way to fund health care.

On funding A Nursing Degree

Lazarus advises those looking to take on student debt in order to send themselves to nursing school to look into programs that could help them financially. Federal loans are a good thing, as are grants and scholarships, but he says many cities and counties will pay off your loan for you if you will agree to work for them, as will many hospitals. Try calling the nursing association in your state to learn more.

Consolidate Old Investment Accounts

Tess says rolling multiple older 401(k) accounts into one IRA is a good idea. “I think the advantage of moving into one regular IRA,” she says, “is that you get rid of the aspect of the employer still determining which plans you can choose from.”

Consolidating old accounts into one account can really simplify, says Lazarus. “Then you can gradually make moves that are your own moves… as you’re prepared to do it.”

For more advice, click on the audio player above.

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