The new Medicare cards are coming!

Starting April 2018, CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards that include a new Medicare Number. Medicare is removing Social Security Numbers from the Medicare cards. This new number will be unique to you, and will help protect your identity. As soon as you receive your new card please dispose of your old card securely and start using the new one right away.

Medicare will be mailing the new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019.  Please keep in mind that mailing everyone a new card will take some time. Your card could arrive at a different time than your neighbor’s or friend’s.

Here is an example of the two cards so you can be aware of the changes:

Please make sure that your mailing address is up to date. If your address needs to be corrected, contact Social Security by clicking HERE or by calling 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.

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Open Enrollment for Covered California

 

The Health Insurance Open Enrollment is fast approaching, both for those with Covered California and those with individual and family plans direct with insurance providers. Change is coming in 2018 to both the plan benefits and costs, and this is your opportunity to reevaluate your existing coverage or begin a new plan starting next year!

ENROLLMENT DATES TO REMEMBER

If you enroll between…

Your insurance will start:

Nov. 1st – Dec. 15th

January 1st, 2018

Dec. 16th – Jan. 15th

February 1st, 2018

Jan. 16th – Jan. 31st

March 1st, 2018

If you’ve been without coverage, or recently lost coverage, now is your chance to choose a plan that will fit your health needs!  Open enrollment can also benefit those who are already enrolled, giving you the opportunity to reassess your needs and a chance to choose a new level of coverage, change your insurance provider, or both.

Give us a call to set an appointment!  We’re here to answer your questions and help ease your way into 2018.  And remember, a referral is the highest compliment you could offer us!

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Have you gotten the Pneumonia vaccine?

We need to talk about Pneumonia. There are 674,000 Americans that end up in the emergency room every year with Pneumonia. Spread by person-person contact, Pneumonia is a lung infection that starts as a bacterium that causes pneumococcal disease. This can also cause blood infections and meningitis.

Higher risk patients include:

  • Those who are 65 and older
  • Have a chronic illness (diabetes, asthma, or even heart, kidney, or lung disease)
  • A condition that compromises your immune system (cancer, HIV, AIDS)
  • If you live in a nursing home or other type of long-term facility
  • Smoke tobacco
  • Have cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks or cochlear implants

Check out this video to find out more about Medicare-covered vaccines. Medicare Part B covers the pneumococcal shot and a second shot one year after you received your first shot. This can help protect you from pneumococcal infections.

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It’s Officially Autumn!

Time to break out the warm jackets and put away the bathing suits. Autumn has arrived!

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September is Healthy Aging Month

Staying healthy is an important part of getting older. Please make sure you talk to your doctor before you make any changes in diet or exercise.

  1. I like to move it, move it

Get out there and exercise. Either by taking classes at the local gym or senior center, or even taking your dog out for a walk. Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body and brain.

  1. Talk it out

Be more social. Call an old friend, make a new friend, join a club, or even a support group. Everyone can use more friends, and this can help your mental health.

  1. Magical beans

Eating beans and other high-fiber foods are good for digestive and heart health. So, make sure you’re eating your fruits and veggies!

  1. Spice it up!

Vitamins and prescribed medications seem to be a staple of staying healthy while aging. As we get older we are prescribed different medications that can make our food taste bland. Add herbs and spices to your meals if medications dull your taste buds.

  1. Balancing act

Yoga is a great way to get exercise and improve balance. This could help prevent falls in the future.

  1. Take a hike

Get out and take a brisk walk all this month. This way you can possibly bolster both your heart and lungs.

  1. Nighty night

Did you know that sleep helps aid the repairing and healing of your heart and blood vessels? It is important to get a good night’s sleep because it’s benefits play an important role in your physical health. Talk to a sleep specialist if you don’t sleep soundly through the night.

  1. Beat the blues

About 6 million Americans 65 and older are affected by late-life depression, but only 10% actually receive treatment. Reason is likely because seniors display the symptoms of depression differently. This may be confused with effects of multiple illnesses and the medicines that are used to treat them.  If you’ve been down for a while, see a doctor. Depression can be treated.

  1. Remember to remember

To aid your memory you can make lists, organize, follow routines or schedules and slow down.

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The Benefits of Being Fit

Staying active can be hard, but can keep you feeling and looking your best at every stage of life. Being active can help prevent diabetes, heart disease, reduce pain associated with arthritis, and heart disease. By improving your endurance, flexibility, balance, and strength you are increasing your chances of staying healthier longer.

Please make sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Aerobics

Even just starting with 5-minute aerobic sessions a few days a week to raise your heart rate can build your endurance. Doing this can burn off calories, lower blood pressure, improve heart health, and maintain joint movement. Eventually you will be able to complete 30 minutes of activity. This could include walking and swimming. You might even be able to work your way to hiking, tennis, and running!

Walking

Do you know the reason why you should be trying to walk more often?

  • It is possible that walking can stop bone mass loss.
  • Walking can strengthen your muscles.
  • It may improve circulation.
  • Walking can burn calories which could lead to weight loss.
  • You may find that it improves your sleep.
  • Walking can make you happy!

Just 30 minutes a day is recommended for both seniors and people of all ages. Walk your way into a happier and healthier life. It is also possible that you could greatly reduce the need for a walker or other type of walking aid.

Group Fitness

Some places have group fitness classes that you can get involved in. These classes tend to be low impact, with some weight lifting and light aerobics. There are even some places that offer water aerobics classes when a pool is available. If you do not have classes available to you or nearby, you can always check online and find a video that suits your exercise needs. Here is a video I found for a low impact workout geared towards seniors.

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