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Senior Spectrum is a monthly publication dedicated to inform, serve, and entertain. Publication of advertising contained does not constitute endorsement. Signed columns are the opinion of the writers, and not necessarily the opinion of the publishers. Copyrighted publication.
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October 2014

Medicare Open Enrollment and Benefits for 2015

Seniors and people with disabilities will have continued access to a wide range of Medicare health and drug plan.

Health Screenings

Senior Care Plus, a Medicare Advantage Plan from Hometown Health, will offer these free screenings to attendees age 50 and older, regardless of your health insurance carrier:

The Annual Open Enrollment period for Medicare health and drug plans begin on October 15, and ends December 7. Each year, plan costs and covered benefits can change. Medicare beneficiaries should look at their Medicare coverage choices and decide what options best meet their needs. Beneficiaries who need assistance can visit www.medicare.gov, call 1-800- MEDICARE, or contact their State health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that more people with Medicare will have access to higher quality Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, and for the fifth straight year, enrollment is projected to increase to a new all-time high, while premiums remain affordable.

The average MA premium submitted by health plans for 2015 would increase by $2.94 next year, to $33.90 per month. However, CMS estimates the actual 2015 MA average premium will increase by only $1.30, as more beneficiaries elect to enroll in lower cost plans. The vast majority of MA enrollees will face little or no premium increase for next year with 61 percent of beneficiaries not seeing any premium increase at all.

More MA plans will offer supplemental benefits that traditional Medicare beneficiaries value, such as dental and vision benefits.

For more information on Medicare Open Enrollment visit: http://www.cms.gov/Center/Special-Topic/Open-Enrollment-Center.html.

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It’s Not Too Early To Decide to Get a Flu Vaccine this Flu Season

News reports continue to tell the tale of the Ebola virus, which is spreading through West Africa; the World Health Organization estimates almost 1,500 are dead due to the disease from this current outbreak.

And while the Ebola threat is real overseas, a far more ominous virus is undoubtedly marching its way toward Nevada in the coming months: influenza.

“Despite the seriousness of the flu, people don’t seem to recognize the urgency of protecting themselves and those around them by getting an annual flu vaccine,” said Immunize Nevada Executive Director Heidi Parker. “With all of the attention on Ebola right now, it’s important to remind people: Flu is the No. 1 cause of infectious disease death, and it is — unlike Ebola — an actual, direct threat to Nevadans.”

While the height of flu season is months away, Nevadans should start thinking now about how to protect themselves. The best bet: an annual flu vaccine, which are already available in many local pharmacies and doctor offices.

“An annual vaccination is the best prevention strategy we have against flu,” Parker said.

Each year, an estimated 20 percent of the U.S. population gets flu, with more than 200,000 people finding themselves hospitalized, missing work and unable to recover quickly. The CDC estimates that flu kills between 3,000 and 49,000 people each year, including many young, perfectly healthy people.

“It’s important for us to try to re-direct attention to the flu,” said Parker. “Flu is going to be in Washoe County. It’s going to be in Clark County. It’s going to be in rural parts of the state. If you find yourself hearing frightening stories about Ebola and feeling nervous, try shifting that concern to a real threat instead. The flu is serious, and a quick and easy flu vaccination is your best option for not getting it this year.”

This flu season, Immunize Nevada is encouraging Nevadans to pair up for the annual trek to get their vaccine, launching a “2 Against Flu” campaign.

“Exercising, eating right, even getting a flu vaccine is easier and can even be fun when you do it with a friend,” said Parker. “And the nice part is, most insurance plans cover the cost of the vaccine.”

More information, the “Flu Vaccine Finder” is available at www.influencenevada.org/healthcare-providers or visit ImmunizeNevada.org.

2014 Golden Pages
   Information & Referral Guide

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We have removed the old Golden Pages because much of the information was out of date. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 

Golden Pages Senior Resource and Information Guide was founded in 1987 by Senior Spectrum Newspapers, and publishers Chris and Connie McMullen, who realized the tremendous need for senior resource information that helps connect people and resources.

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