Archive for the ‘Medicare News’ Category

Low Health Literacy Linked to Cardiovascular Death Rate

Elderly people with low levels of health literacy have higher mortality rates—and, in particular, higher levels of cardiovascular deaths—according to a new study. Health literacy is the capacity to obtain, process and understand the basic health information needed to make appropriate decisions about your health. It’s been shown in previous studies to affect several health outcomes. For example, some studies report that people who have trouble reading and understanding basic health materials such as prescription bottles and doctors’ instructions have higher rates of hospitalization.

A team of researchers led by Dr. David W. Baker at Northwestern University set out to explore whether there is a relationship between health literacy and mortality. With support from NIH’s National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the researchers recruited in 4 cities among new enrollees in a Medicare managed care plan. The scientists interviewed 3,
344 people who were 65 and older for 1 hour in their homes between July 1 and December 31, 1997. The researchers assessed each participant’s ethnicity, education, annual income, body mass index, self-reported physical and mental health, and their health behaviors such as smoking, drinking and exercise. The scientists evaluated health literacy with an established test that included 2 reading passages and 4 items involving numbers. They then tracked the number and causes of deaths through 2003.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Baltimore Sun Consuming Interests blog posted a great explanation  about when you actually have to provide your Social Security number.

Some of the most common instances include when you open bank accounts or apply for a new job.  You may need to provide a leasing office with my social security number so they could run a credit check before you are approved to live there. That’s fairly common too. There are lots of other circumstances when you may need to provide your Social Security number, and you can learn how companies and organizations use it.The Social Security Administration identified a few instances when legally you must provide your number.

If you’re uncomfortable with giving out your social security number, the Sun recommended asking the company what they need it for and if there is some alternative form of identification you can give. If there’s not, ask about how the company will protect your identity.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lack of Vitamin D could cause serious health problems, including osteoporosis, depression, anxiety, and cancer.

About Vitamin D:

  • Vitamin D does not penetrate glass, e.g. car windows. Note: While the good rays do not penetrate your car windows.  the wrinkle rays (UV) do.
  • Sunscreen blocks Vitamin D.
  • Vitamin D is not found in dairy products, only fortified dairy.
  • Vitamin D is rarely present naturally in food.
  • Overweight individuals manufacture less Vitamin D.
  • It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet. You would have to drink ten glasses of vitamin D-fortified milk each day just to get 1000IU of vitamin D from your diet.
  • Chronic Vitamin D deficiency cannot be reversed overnight. It takes months of supplementation and sunlight exposure to rebuild the body’s bones and nervous system.


Anxiety caused by stressful events like moving or losing a job is a normal part of life. Anxiety disorders, on the other hand, are characterized by persistent, excessive and disabling fear and worry and get progressively worse if left untreated. It is estimated that anxiety disorders affect between 3 and 14 percent of older adults in a given year. To provide an older audience with additional information, NIHSeniorHealth, the health and wellness website for older adults from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has added a topic about anxiety disorders.

In Alzheimer’s disease, a protein fragment called beta-amyloid accumulates at abnormally high levels in the brain. Now researchers funded by the National Institutes
of  Health have found that in the most common, late-onset form of Alzheimer’s disease, beta-amyloid is produced in the brain at a normal rate but is not cleared, or removed from the brain, efficiently. In addition to improving the understanding  of what pathways are most important in development of Alzheimer’s pathology, these findings may one day lead to improved biomarker measures for early diagnosis  as well as a new approach to treating this devastating disorder.

Losing your wallet or purse is stressful. Your money, credit cards, driver’s license, all gone. Don’t fret too much about tracking down contact information to close accounts and get things replaced. puts the answers you need in one easy-to-find place.

Read the rest of this entry »

Seniors have may dental insurance options finding the best plan for your needs is made easier on our website.  We provide a broad range of dental insurance plan types such as HMO, PPO and Indemnity dental insurance plans. In addition we also provide dental discount plans as a low cost dental alternative

One way seniors can save money is by choosing a dental insurance plan that provides coverages on the services they may use.   As an example people over 65 may not feel the need to have orthodontic coverages so paying more for a plan the provides that benefit may not be best. However seniors my have a higher need for Perodontics services so choosing a plan that provides the best benefits for that type of dental service would be advised.


The Social Security Administration has announced that monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase 3.6 percent in 2012. The 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with the January 2012 benefit payments. Increased payments for people on SSI will begin on December 30, 2011. For some beneficiaries, the increase in their Social Security benefit amount may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums in 2012.

Yesterday President Barack Obama announced several new initiatives to help Veterans translate their military skills for the civilian workforce and provide Veterans with new tools to aid their search for jobs.

  • The new Veterans Job Bank connects unemployed Veterans to job openings with companies that want to hire them. The Obama Administration partnered with leading job search companies to create a new, easy to use online service that enables employers to “tag” job postings for Veterans. It launched with more than 500,000 job listings, a number that will continue growing as more companies tag the job postings on their own websites and add them to the Veterans Job Bank.
  • My Next Move for Veterans is an easy-to-use online tool created by the Department of Labor that allows Veterans to enter information about their experience and skills in the field, and match it with civilian careers that put that experience to use. The site also includes information about salaries, apprenticeships, and other related education and training programs.

Read the rest of this entry »

New York Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped is the State Vocational Rehabilitation agency that serves individuals who are legally blind. Services include adaptive skills related to vision loss, vocational assessment and counseling, assistance with transition from school to work, job training and placement, job follow-up and other programs that help people get jobs.

Representatives of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will join other governmental agencies on November 5, 2011 from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. in Baton Rouge, LA for a public town hall meeting to educate and assist the public on employment issues and problems. People who believe they have been victims of employment discrimination based are invited to attend. The event is free and no registration is required.

Members began receiving their annual notice of Creditable or NonCreditable prescription drug coverage in early September; those notices will be delivered to Members began receiving their annual notice of Creditable or NonCreditable prescription drug coverage in early September; those notices will be delivered to members through the end of the month.

This disclosure is required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to inform Medicare Supplement members of their options and expectations if they decide to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan.  We have been providing this disclosure notice annually since 2005 to Medicare Supplement members who have drug benefits as part of their plan. All members receiving the notices have been in their Medicare Supplement plan at least since December 2005, 84 months.   Therefore all members in NonCreditable coverage plans will be subject to penalties if they enroll in a Medicare Part D plan.

Read the rest of this entry »

Eighteen-day periods of mandatory school closures and other social distancing measures were associated with a 29 to 37 percent reduction in influenza transmission rates in Mexico during the 2009 pandemic. The research was carried out by scientists at the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health and published in PLoS Medicine.

The federal government’s YouTube channel features videos on careers with the government, food safety, interviews aboard a space shuttle, and much more.

Autism blurs the molecular differences that normally distinguish different brain regions, a new study suggests. Among more than 500 genes that are normally expressed at significantly different levels in the front versus the lower middle part of the brain’s outer mantle, or cortex, only 8 showed such differences in brains of people with autism, say researchers funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.

Delineation of the origin of the retrovirus known as XMRV from the genomes of laboratory mice indicates that the virus is unlikely to be responsible for either prostate cancer or chronic fatigue syndrome in humans, as has been widely published. The virus arose because of genetic recombination of two mouse viruses. Subsequent infection of lab experiments with XMRV formed the basis of the original association.

Contact Us | Privacy Statement