With the opening of the Health Insurance Marketplace on October 1, there has been much media attention provided to the difficulty of navigating the website. There are four options available for applying for health care coverage:
The fourth option is perhaps the one that you may not have heard of. The assister is also called a “Navigator”. A Navigator can help you get information about health insurance options and tax credits and help you enroll in health insurance exchanges. For more information provided by Enroll Missouri on Navigators in Missouri or to find a Navigator near you, click here.
Last week, we wrote about “Living Better, Aging Well” in recognition of World Arthritis Day (October 12, 2013). When considering what it means to age well, it is important to consider what data is available to us describing how aging is perceived in the United States. For the second year, USA Today, the National Council on Aging (NCOA), and United Healthcare insurance surveyed U.S. adults for the United States of Aging Survey, published in July 2013. The survey contained a representative population sample from adults aged 18-59 and adults aged 60 and older. What this means, is that in comparison to the total population of adults in the U.S. who are in those age groups, a similar percentage of adults from each group were included in the 4,000 persons surveyed.
More than half of seniors surveyed indicated the importance of community connections, especially with family and friends. To learn more about what matters most to seniors in the United States, please see the infographic below, or click here.
October 12, 2013 is World Arthritis Day.This day, established in 1996 by Arthritis and Rheumatism International, is celebrated annually to raise awareness for the issues affecting people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and osteoarthritis).More than 1 in 5 adults in the United States (52.5 million) have arthritis.Arthritis can have negative effects on a person’s health, especially on day-to-day activities.With the holidays approaching, conditions like arthritis can really take a toll.Walking, climbing stairs, preparing for guests, playing with small children, bending to put things in and take out of the oven can be impactful on all of our joints.For persons with arthritis, they may be limited in their ability to do these things.
Next Tuesday begins Medicare's Open Enrollment period (October 15 - December 7). The Open Enrollment is a time for Medicare beneficiaries to review costs and/or coverage from their Medicare plan. Changes can be made to the health plan and/or the prescription drug plan.
With the Health Insurance Marketplace opening on October 1, and having a deadline of December 15 in order to get a plan by January 1, it could be easy to compare the two. And, it's easy to get confused! For individuals who have Medicare, it is not likely that they would also need to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), if you are already enrolled in Medicare Part A and/or Part B, you do not qualify for health insurance through the Marketplace. More information on Medicare and the Marketplace, specifically for adults age 65 and older, can be found here. If you are ages 55-64 and are looking to purchase a Marketplace plan, but are wondering how it will work with Medicare when you are eligible, you can view more information here.
There are over 100 million people in the United States who suffer from chronic pain. Also, more than two million Missourians are living with life-changing pain; this is more than those impacted by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. Pain is a major driver of health costs. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that pain costs the US $635 billion per year in medical expenses, lost wages, lost productivity, and other healthcare costs. Studies show that significant savings could be achieved through better treatment of acute pain, reduction in workers’ compensation costs and lost tax revenues, and a reduced burden of opiod abuse and misuse.
Starting October 1, healthcare consumers (aka you and me) can start shopping and enrolling for health insurance. This is a pretty big shift from the current methods in which we seek out insurance. Currently, there are three basic options for health insurance:
We're one day into Active Aging Week! This week, promoted by the International Council on Active Aging, runs from Sunday, September 22 to Saturday, September 28, 2013. The theme for the week is "Discover Your Community". What are ways that you can get out and be active within your community this week? Suggestions to consider include:
Volunteer in your community at a local agency
Pick up trash in your neighborhood, or in the area surrounding your residence
Spend extra time with family, friends, and neighbors this week
Look for new ways to get involved in your community
Statewide there are
events happening for Falls Prevention Awareness Month. Since Falls Prevention Awareness day
fell on a Sunday this year (Sunday, September 22, 2013), there are events happening this week as
well. Take steps now to prevent falls and to be aware of how falls can impact your life!
With flu season around the corner (traditionally cases pop-up from October through early Spring with a peak occurring in January/February), it's time to prepare. While it is recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older receives a vaccination against the flu, it is especially important for individuals 65 and older, those with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, and young children.
There are many great resources available with specific information on the influenza (flu) vaccine, information about flu season 2013-14, and ways you can prevent getting the flu: