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Worried about healthcare reform? Get the latest facts on Medicare - Aging Wisely

There is a lot of uncertainty for everyone about healthcare these days and much of what will happen remains to be seen. The one given is that everyone needs to pay close attention to their options and coverage, now and as changes occur in our system. There has been much said about the financial devastation of healthcare crises for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured. Even when people feel they are well covered, costs can be staggering. Hopefully any reform will help to address some of the gaps…most everyone agrees that is needed, but how to do it?? The million dollar question (billion….trillion??)…

In the meantime, our work focuses primarily on clients in their Medicare years (whether 65+ or disabled) so we await what impacts will be on that program. But, no matter what, it is important for all insured persons to understand what they have, potential costs and gaps, and to carefully review coverages and bills. So…for our Medicare recipients, we have provided our annual “Medicare Fact Sheet” for 2010 ( which provides all the latest copays, deductibles, and premiums plus a valuable summary about the various “parts” of Medicare and things to keep in mind.

It is important to keep in mind that the average Medicare recipient spends more than $250,000 out of pocket while covered (from eligibility to death)…like most insurance, health insurance doesn’t cover everything at 100%. We all bear the responsibility of understanding our coverages. However, that can be extremely confusing especially when it comes to Medicare because it has so many moving parts & options and often as people age, they have a myriad of health concerns. The good news is there is help…Medicare has great info. on their website, each state provides volunteer counselors (SHIP or SHINE programs, available through the Area Agency on Aging/state agencies), and consultations with experts like my colleagues at Aging Wisely (who do not sell any insurance). As family members with aging loved ones, we must be advocates for our family members and help them get the right information. If you don’t feel comfortable navigating this, get help from the experts.

Here’s a couple good places to get some education: (Plan Compare tools, Medicare and You 2010, review your Medicare drug plan options from 11/15-12/31 open enrollment) Information on paying for long term care, Medicare, Medicaid

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Our goal is to enable every individual we work with to live the most fulfilling life possible, with utmost dignity, focusing on their physical, mental, spiritual, family and financial wellbeing.