Senior News

Increases In Monthly Premium Rates Are A Bit Surprising

QUESTION: I just got a letter from AARP United HealthCare Options and the letter says the monthly premium rates ARE going up? I don’t understand when will they go up? ANSWER: Well I have to say I am very surprised by the increases that they have chosen to impose. I have told more than one ...

Is It Too Late To Change My Drug Plan?

Question: Is it too late to change my drug plan? I know the date is Dec. 7, and that is Friday this week but is it too late? What do I do if I missed that? Answer: The media coverage for the Annual Open Enrollment Period (AEP) of Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 is intensive. It is hard to imagine missing ...

Use Annual Open Enrollment Period To Evaluate Options

Question: What if I like my insurance and I don’t want to change it for 2019? What do I do? Do I have to reapply for the coverage? Answer: I have to agree with your decision to keep the same insurance. I have found that quite a few people are content with their current insurance coverage ...

Alzheimer’s Awareness

The month of November is known as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. President Ronald Reagan made that designation in 1983 and it is something that is still recognized today. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, at that time there were less than two million people with the disease. Through ...

Ho, Ho, Ho: Staying Lean Unlike Santa Over The Holidays

Here come the goodies and treats at home and work and way over abundant time honored meals. As you celebrate, consider little changes you can make to create healthier and more active days. Doesn’t it feel like you prepare for days and the eating part is over in minutes? This year take time ...

Prior Authorization In Medicare Advantage Plans: How Often Is It Used?

This year, during the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period, more than 60 million people on Medicare have the opportunity to choose between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans. In making this decision, they are encouraged to take into account a number of factors, including ...

What Veterans Need To Know About Health Care Coverage

Question: I am a Veteran and am turning 65. I would like to know why I should join Medicare A and B or even Part D? I am eligible for A with no premium, but Part B will cost me $134 per month now and next year $135.50. I use the Veterans Administration Healthcare system. Will I use Medicare at ...

What You Need To Know About ‘Annual Notice Of Change’

QUESTION: My current drug coverage sent me a letter telling me about the new premium rate, which didn’t change too much. I noticed that for a couple of my medications, they are recommending alternatives, or the “Tier” has changed. What does that mean? What should I do? ANSWER: Each ...

Everything You Need To Know About The HEAP Program

QUESTION: I got HEAP last year, will I get it again this year? How do I hear? Do they send me a form to complete, or do I have to get a form? I just turned on my furnace and am worried about the bills coming in. ANSWER: Yes, I turned my furnace on over the weekend. It got me thinking about ...

New Opportunity To Make Changes To Medicare Plan After Open Enrollment

For those of you who enroll into a Medicare Advantage Plan during the Annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period (Oct. 15 – Dec. 7), you will have an additional opportunity to change from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another starting in 2019. The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (Jan. 1 ...

Health Dept. Partnering On ‘Stop Sepsis At Home’ Initiative

NY State Department of Health is partnering with the NY State Office for the Aging on a new initiative called “Stop Sepsis at Home” to bring awareness to this life-threatening condition that affects over 50,000 people in the state every year. Sepsis is a progressive shutdown of the ...

Plenty Of Plans Available For ’19 Medicare Insurance Season

QUESTION: My insurance company sent information about my Medicare Advantage plan. My monthly premium looks to be the same. I don’t think I should change plans. I am happy with my current plan. What do you think? How would I know which plan to choose for 2019? ANSWER: The 2019 Medicare ...

North Harmony Seniors Hear About Opiate Crisis

At the Sept. 17 meeting of the North Harmony Senior Citizens, Inc., 57 people listened to Adrian Madden and Chanda Lynn speak about the effects that opiates and other narcotics have on people. There are many ways that people get accustomed to taking drugs. They may take drugs for medical or ...

For 2019, Insurance Prices Have Likely Increased

QUESTION: I just received correspondence from my insurance company informing me of my 2019 coverage. The price went up. What should I do? Did all the other plans raise premiums? ANSWER: Happy Insurance Season. It is Oct. 1, and I am knee-deep in learning about the changes to the insurance ...

How To Handle The Beginning Of ‘Insurance Season’

QUESTION: I have seen ads in the paper, and mail in my mailbox about insurance options. How do I research my insurance alternatives? There is so much information, but I don’t know how to understand it. ANSWER: Welcome to Insurance Season. As you know it is my favorite time of year. ...

Employ Older Americans Week

Employ Older Americans Week has been designated by the United States Department of Labor to occur during the last week of September, which is Sept. 23 to Sept. 30. This period is set aside to recognize the many attributes which are exhibited by our mature workers. Some very interesting ...

Our Aging Population In The Country Is Really A Gift

I recently listened to a lecture by Joseph Coughlin, the founder and director of MIT’s Age Lab. He is also the author of a recently published book called “The Longevity Economy.” In both of these he wow’s the audience about his understanding of a world whose population is growing older ...

It’s Almost Medicare Open Enrollment Time

Medicare Open Enrollment is right around the corner beginning Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. Those individuals who currently have Original Medicare, a Medicare advantage plan, Medicare Part D or a Medigap plan may want to consider contacting the Office for Aging to make a health insurance counseling ...

A Dementia Friendly Community Approach

NY Connects is the Aging and Disability Resource Center for Chautauqua County. You can find a NY Connects in every county in New York state. If you have a long-term community care need, we can help. If you need information regarding services and providers of that service, we can help. We are ...

Learning To Abide By The Timeline When Signing Up For Medicare

Question: I turned 65 earlier this year (2018) and signed up for Medicare. I also signed up for additional insurance, the Part D stuff. I am getting mail about plans, but I have until my birthday to change my insurance right? Can I ignore what is happening now? Answer: How do you like ...