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Archive for the ‘Medicare News’ Category

World Kidney Day continues to raise awareness of the increasing burden of kidney diseases worldwide and to strive for kidney health for everyone, everywhere. Specifically, the 2020 campaign highlights the importance of preventive interventions to avert the onset and progression of kidney disease.

National Institutes of Health scientists studying the progression of inherited and infectious eye diseases that can cause blindness have found that microglia, a type of nervous system cell suspected to cause retinal damage, surprisingly had no damaging role during prion disease in mice. In contrast, the study findings indicated that microglia might delay disease progression.

The discovery could apply to studies of inherited photoreceptor degeneration diseases in people, known as retinitis pigmentosa. In retinitis pigmentosa cases, scientists find an influx of microglia near the photoreceptors, which led to the belief that microglia contribute to retina damage.

A new study led by scientists in the Center for Cancer Research (CCR) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) sheds light on one way tumors may continue to grow despite the presence of cancer-killing immune cells. The findings, published March 29, 2019, in Science, suggest a way to enhance the effectiveness of immunotherapies for cancer treatment. NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health..

Dying cancer cells release the chemical potassium, which can reach high levels in some tumors. The research team reported that elevated potassium causes T cells to maintain a stem-cell-like quality, or “stemness,” that is closely tied to their ability to eliminate cancer during immunotherapy. The findings suggest that increasing T cells’ exposure to potassium—or mimicking the effects of high potassium —could make cancer immunotherapies more effective.

If you have dental insurance make sure your dental insurance plan provides coverage’s for a second opinion as not all will. Where as some dental insurance plans may required a second opinion from a specialist before providing benefits for the dental service needed. Call your insurance provider so you know ahead of time the steps required for receiving a second dental opinion

The drug colchicine, used to treat the arthritic condition gout, could potentially reduce complications accompanying metabolic syndrome, a combination of high blood pressure, high blood sugar and other conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health. Their study appears in Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism.

Previous studies have indicated that the system-wide inflammation that occurs in obesity plays a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. In the current study, researchers led by Jack A. Yanovski, M.D., Ph.D., of NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) randomly assigned 21 study participants to received colchicine twice a day for 3 months, while 19 participants received a placebo. Colchicine suppresses a multi-protein complex called NLRP3, which triggers the inflammation seen in obesity.

A research team led by scientists from NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has determined how several antibodies induced by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a herpesvirus that causes infectious mononucleosis and is associated with certain cancers, block infection of cells grown in the laboratory. They then used this information to develop novel vaccine candidates that, in animals, elicited potent anti-EBV antibody responses that blocked infection of cell types involved in EBV-associated cancers.

Currently, there is no licensed vaccine for EBV. The virus is associated with certain cancers (nasopharyngeal and gastric) of epithelial cells, which form the lining of the body’s surfaces, as well as Burkitt and Hodgkin lymphomas, which are cancers of the immune system’s B cells. Worldwide, about 200,000 cases of EBV-associated cancers occur annually, resulting in 140,000 deaths.

Two proteins that bind to stress hormones work together to maintain a healthy heart in mice, according to scientists at the National Institutes of Health and their collaborators. These proteins, stress hormone receptors known as the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), act in concert to help support heart health. When the signaling between the two receptors is out of balance, the mice have heart disease.

The work, published April 16 in Science Signaling, may lead to the development of therapeutic compounds that help people with an increased risk of a heart attack.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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