Search Medicare Blog
Recent Comments

A new study identifies genes that are necessary in cancer cells for immunotherapy to work, addressing the problem of why some tumors don’t respond to immunotherapy or respond initially but then stop as tumor cells develop resistance to immunotherapy.

The study, from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), was led by Nicholas Restifo, M.D., a senior investigator with NCI’s Center for Cancer Research, with coauthors from NCI; Georgetown University, Washington D.C.; the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; New York University, New York City; and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. It was published online in Nature on August 7, 2017. NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

An experimental drug appears to slow the progression of Niemann-Pick disease type C1 (NPC1), a fatal neurological disease, according to results of a clinical study led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The study appears in The Lancet.

NPC1 is a rare genetic disorder that primarily affects children and adolescents, causing a progressive decline in neurological and cognitive functions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any treatments for the condition.

After decades of relative neglect, star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes are finally getting their due. To gather insight into a critical aspect of brain development, a team of scientists examined the maturation of astrocytes in 3-D structures grown in culture dishes to resemble human brain tissue. The study, which confirms that the lab-grown cells develop at the same rate as those found in human brains, was published in Neuron, August 16, 2017.

Brain gene expression associated with depression differed markedly between men and women in a study by NIMH-funded researchers. Such divergent “transcriptional signatures” may signal divergent underlying illness processes that may require sex-specific treatments, they suggest. Experiments in chronically-stressed male and female mice that developed depression-like behaviors largely confirmed the human findings.

According to studies done, there may be a link with excessive alcohol consumption and it having a contributing factor towards mouth cancer. Excessive alcohol consumption increases the chances of developing mouth cancer by 30 percent. However, mouth cancer is the not the only oral health risk associated with alcoholic drinks. alcoholic drinks also often contain high levels of sugar which can lead to tooth decay. Tooth decay happens when the enamel and dentin of a tooth become softened by acid attack after you have eaten or drunk anything containing sugars. Over time, the acid makes a cavity in the tooth. This often leads to the tooth needing to be filled or even removed.

Dental implants have become an important treatment for the replacement of teeth lost due to disease, injury or congenital tooth agenesis. Over the past 30 years, the incorporation of dental implants into everyday clinical dental practice has resulted in major improvements in oral health of patients through enhancements in function, esthetics and phonetics.  However it is important to note that many dental insurance plans do not provide benefits on implants. Providing benefits for bridges, partials, and dentures instead. If you want to have some saving off the cost of dental implants you may want to review the dental discount plan options that are available to you in your state. A dental discount plan offers up around 15 -20 percent off the cost of dental implants

It’s one of those parenting nightmares – you find your baby sitting on the floor with an open bottle of medicine. My story went something like that, but instead of medicine, my 1 year old got her hands on a bottle of cleaning solution for our CD’s. It has no child proof cap and she found it while rummaging through the stereo cabinet. Small children are curious little explorers and it’s amazing what they can get themselves into when you turn your back for a moment.

So there she was, sitting on the floor happily holding the open bottle. I didn’t see her drink any of it, but there wasn’t much liquid left in the bottle. I just didn’t know what to do, so I called the Poison Center.

Read the rest of this post »

There has been a lot in the news in the last several months about food recalls and the resulting illnesses from eating those foods. By paying attention to the news or signing up for recall alerts, we can make sure we’re all aware of what products we should avoid. But food borne illnesses can also result from eating foods that haven’t necessarily been recalled. The FDA released a great video full of tips on how to prevent food borne illness during your trip to the grocery store.

Did you know that cans that are cracked, bulging or have dents in them could be a sign that food has been contaminated? I had no clue and I usually don’t pay that close attention to the can’s condition. I just usually grab one in the front and throw it in my shopping cart.

Read the rest of this post »

Question: Is there any dental insurance plans that I can get for a signal person for only $15.00 or less a month. So far all the plans I see for dental insurance are around $30 – $45 or more a month. I am even willing to have longer waiting periods if that will help reduce my monthly cost. I have no major dental needs but I hate not having dental insurance just in case something was to come up.

Answer: Yes you can find low monthly dental insurance plan. What you would want to look for are HMO dental insurance plans. They normally offer very low affordable monthly cost and good over coverages. Another choice also would be a dental discount plan. They to are very affordable on a monthly cost and will help reduce your dental services needed. We over both of these plans types in most states. Just enter your zip code in the quote box provided to review the plan options available

Question: I have been without dental insurance for over two years now when I was no longer accepted on my parents plan. Now I am on my own trying to get dental insurance but the truth of the matter is I really do not understand how dental insurance works. What is better for me to get a dental HMO or a dental PPO.

Answer: Which is best depends on personal factors for you. Like do you want to stay with a current dentist? Is cost a factor ? Do you have current dental care needs you are trying to address? To determine which plan type would best work for you, you need to first determine what it is you want in a dental insurance plan. Review our dental insurance options we provide, if you have any questions about the plans then call our member service line at 310-534-3444 as we be happy to assist you.

Overall, only about half of Americans diagnosed with major depression in a given year receive treatment for it, and even fewer—about one fifth—receive treatment consistent with current practice guidelines, according to data from nationally representative surveys supported by NIMH. Among the ethnic/racial groups surveyed, African Americans and Mexican Americans had the lowest rates of use of depression care; all groups reported higher use of past-year psychotherapy vs. medication for depression.

Seasonal flu shots are available right now. H1N1 (Swine) flu vaccine is being shipped and will soon be widely available. Flu refers to illnesses caused by a number of different influenza viruses. Flu can cause a range of symptoms and effects, from mild to lethal. Two strains of flu, seasonal flu and the H1N1 (Swine) flu, are currently circulating in the United States. A third, highly lethal H5N1 (Bird) flu is being closely tracked overseas.

Most healthy people recover from the flu without problems, but certain people are at high risk for serious complications. Extensive efforts are underway to track and monitor the spread of all flu viruses. In the U.S., epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are working with states to collect, compile and analyze reports of flu outbreaks. More on the current situation.

Read the rest of this post »

Question: Do to a job change I no longer have dental insurance. It is very important that I maintain dental insurance for my health care. I have diabetes and because of my diabetes I have on and off again problems with my teeth. I have problems mostly with my gums but I also get many cavities due to being a diabetic. I have to see my dentist every three months just so I can keep my teeth in good shape. So I would like to know if getting dental insurance is going to be a problem with having diabetes? Also I do not want to change dentist since mine knows about my diabetes and I like the way he takes care of me. I do not know where to look for dental insurance and I want to make sure I will be covered for my future dental needs.

Answer: Most dental insurance plans do not exclude for pre-existing. You being diabetic and having dental care under the plan should not be an issue. However just read terms and conditions of the plans you are viewing. Most dental insurance will not cover work in progress which is not what you have. The other factor you mention was about keeping your current dentist. I would suggest calling your dental office up and finding out what plans they are a provider of. This will save you from reviewing plans they they do not accept. If you have to buy a PPO or Indemnity dental insurance plan in order to stay with your current dentist then make sure you carefully read the plans term and conditions, since these types of plans will normally have waiting periods and maximum limitations that may effect your current dental care needs.

Question: Right now I an in school so I do not receive dental benefits from my part time job. Is it possible for me to get dental insurance on my own? I do not have a lot of money but want to have some dental for my oral health needs.

Answer: Since you are looking for a lower cost dental insurance plan I would suggest reviewing any dental HMO options available in your state. Dental HMO insurance plans are the more affordable plans with fewer limitations, however you will need to go to a plan provider. You may so want to review any dental discount plans that are available to you in your state. As dental discount plans make dental care more affordable for a very monthly cost.

Need a Replacement Card? Order a Medicare Card by Phone or Online

If you lose or damage your Medicare card, you can obtain a replacement card from Social Security one of the following ways:

Log into your MyMedicare.gov account. If you do not have a MyMedicare account, sign up now.
Order Online by visiting the Medicare Card Replacement section of Social Security’s Web site. You card will be mailed within 30 days to the address SSA has on record. To make an online request, you will need the following information:
Your last (exact) payment amount or the month and year you last received a payment if you have received benefits in the last 12 months.
Your name as it appears on your most recent Social Security card
Your Social Security Number
Your Date of Birth
Your phone number in case we need to contact you about your request
Your e-mail address (optional)
You may also need:
Your Place of Birth
Your Mother’s Maiden Name (to help identify you)

Immunization, or vaccination, helps prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. To stay protected against serious illnesses like the flu, measles, and pneumonia, adults need to get their shots – just like kids do.

National Immunization Awareness Month is a great time to promote vaccines and remind family, friends, and coworkers to stay up to date on their shots.

Mild Lung Disease Linked to Heart Function

People with a mild form of a common lung condition—even those without symptoms—are at increased risk for heart problems, according to a new study. This is the first report that mild, often-symptomless chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be linked to the heart’s pumping ability.

COPD is the nation’s fourth leading cause of death. It affects an estimated 1 in 5 Americans over age 45, but as many as half the people who have it may not even be aware of it. The condition is strongly associated with smoking, and it often involves the destruction of lung tissue, called emphysema. COPD can bring persistent coughing, mucus production, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. Symptoms often worsen over time.

Read the rest of this post »

Contact Us | Privacy Statement