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Medicare Plan Mail? Open It!

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Tags: 2015, Advantage, drug, enrollment, Medicare, open, plan

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Prescription Drug plan watch your mail.  You will be receiving very important information from your insurance company about what your plan will cost and cover in 2015.  Open it!  Don't set it aside because you may miss out on being able to change your plan for 2015.  Medicare's open enrollment period is October 15 - December 7.  That letter will tell you if you need to change plans for 2015.  It is smart to shop and compare Medicare plans during open enrollment to make sure you still have the right plan at the right price for you!

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Medicare Prescription Drug Premiums Steady in 2015

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Tags: Medicare, Medicare open enrollment, Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans, on average, will increase just a $1 per month in 2015 to $32.  But its important to remember that number is just an average, and some Medicare beneficiaries may see high rate increases in their plans for 2015, along with changes in the drug list that means it could cost them more to go to the pharmacy. That's why it is important to compare Medicare part D plans during Medicare Open enrollment that runs Oct. 15 - Dec. 7.

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Getting Rid of Prescription Drugs

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Tags: Medicare Part D, prescription, seniors

What's the right way to get rid of unused prescriptions? Toss it?  Flush it?  As many seniors find themselves with left over medicines following a change in prescription or diagnosis, you're left with the question of what to do with the unused prescriptions.

There are 3 options: toss it in the trash; flush it; or save it for a medicine take-back program in your community. Which you choose depends on the prescription.  The safest is the community take-back program where the drugs are disposed of correctly for you.

And don't forget to remove all your personal information off the prescription bottle before you toss it!

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Plan for Retiree Health Care Costs

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Tags: Medicare supplement plans, Retiree health insurance, retirement planning

The good news is that retiree health care costs have stopped the steady cllimb.  The bad news is that on average a couple retiring this year will expct to pay $220,000 on average during their retirement years for health care.  So there is good reason to be smart about buying the right Medicare plan and making sure you understand the plan you have.  Begin with knowing whether a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan is better for you.  Then check it every year to make sure it's still right. or if you have a life event or health event that might change your needs.

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Help for Older Smokers Who Want to Stop

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Tags: health living, life insurance, Medicare supplement plans, Medicare supplement rates, seniors

Are you one of 4 million people over the age of 65 that smoke and want to stop?    Or do you want to help an older loved one stop smoking?  Try a new resource from the National Institutes of Health Quitting Smoking for Older AdultsIt offers videos, worksheets, interactive features, strategies, quizzes, and more for older smokers who want to or are thinking of quitting.

The incentives to stop smoking are many from saving on everyday expenses, to lower rates on life insurance and Medicare supplement plans.  But the best incentive is a longer and healthier life.

 

 

 

 

Beyond your health, there can be financial benefits as well.  First, you can reduce a major expenditure out of your budget.  For many older adults reducing their budget to live on a fixed income is essential.

The costs of insurance can go down when you are no longer a smoker.  Smokers pay more for insurance and that includes life insurance and Medicare supplement insurance plans.  While you will need to demonstrate that you have stopped smoking for a period of time (depends on the insurance company’s underwriting questions), being a non-smoker can save you money on insurance.  Some life insurance companies will even offer an incentive to smokers to quit: you’ll pay a lower rate than a smoker if you quit and stay a non-smoker for a certain number of years.

The incentives to stop smoking are many.  Living a longer and healthier life tops the list.  The NIH resource can be a good start.

 

 

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Family Caregivers May Not Be Your Long Term Care Solution

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Tags: baby boomers, caregivers, Long Term Care, long term care insurance

Family caregivers may be a disappearing breed.  As baby boomer live longer, with smaller families and higher levels of divorce, the family pool of who can provide care is shrinking. The caregiver ratio, a term coined by AARP, is the number of people in their 40s and 50s who are able to help care for those over 80. So baby boomers should take some time now to plan for long term care and figure out who will provide care or how they will pay for it and whether long term care insurance is an option.

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Medicare Covers Hepatitis C Screening for Baby Boomers

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Tags: baby boomers, Medicare, Medicare Part D

Baby boomers and those at high risk for Hepatitis C will now have their screening for the disease covered by Medicare.  An estimated 3-5 million people are infected with Hepatis C. Medicare said it will cover the screenings for the diseas.  The treatment for Hepatitis C can be costly - $84,000 for a 12 week treatment -- and those drugs are covered under an individual's drug plan either through Part D coverage or a Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage.

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Make Medicare Plan Choices Easier

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Tags: Medicare, Medicare and turning 65, Medicare health plans

Many seniors find Medicare choices so confusing they stay in the wrong plan or a plan that costs too much, according to a new report from Kaiser Family Foundation.  They want information that is concise, digestible and an easy way to compare plans.  Longevity Alliance has published several booklets to help people navigate Medicare including Getting Ready for Medicare:  Avoid These 7 Traps and a guide to Why Medicare Supplement Plans increase.

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