Holiday Health for Seniors
11 Tips for keeping healthy this holiday season.
Repost - Brought to you by: Care.Com
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
2017 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles Announced
2017 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles Announced
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the 2017 premiums for the Medicare inpatient hospital (Part A) and physician and outpatient hospital services (Part B) programs.
Medicare Part B Premiums/Deductibles
Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and other items.
On October 18, 2016, the Social Security Administration announced that the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits will be 0.3 percent for 2017. Because of the low Social Security COLA, a statutory “hold harmless” provision designed to protect seniors, will largely prevent Part B premiums from increasing for about 70 percent of beneficiaries. Among this group, the average 2017 premium will be about $109.00, compared to $104.90 for the past four years.
For the remaining roughly 30 percent of beneficiaries, the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B will be $134.00 for 2017, a 10 percent increase from the 2016 premium of $121.80. Because of the “hold harmless” provision covering the other 70 percent of beneficiaries, premiums for the remaining 30 percent must cover most of the increase in Medicare costs for 2017 for all beneficiaries. This year, as in the past, the Secretary has exercised her statutory authority to mitigate projected premium increases for these beneficiaries, while continuing to maintain a prudent level of reserves to protect against unexpected costs. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will work with Congress as it explores budget-neutral solutions to challenges created by the “hold harmless” provision.
“Medicare’s top priority is to ensure that beneficiaries have affordable access to the care they need,” said CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt. “We will continue our efforts to improve affordability, access, and quality in Medicare.”
Medicare Part B beneficiaries not subject to the “hold harmless” provision include beneficiaries who do not receive Social Security benefits, those who enroll in Part B for the first time in 2017, those who are directly billed for their Part B premium, those who are dually eligible for Medicaid and have their premium paid by state Medicaid agencies, and those who pay an income-related premium. These groups represent approximately 30 percent of total Part B beneficiaries.
CMS also announced that the annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries will be $183 in 2017 (compared to $166 in 2016). Premiums and deductibles for Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans are already finalized and are unaffected by this announcement.
Since 2007, beneficiaries with higher incomes have paid higher Medicare Part B monthly premiums. These income-related monthly premium rates affect roughly five percent of people with Medicare. The total Medicare Part B premiums for high income beneficiaries for 2017 are shown in the following table:
|Beneficiaries who file an individual tax return with income:||Beneficiaries who file a joint tax return with income:||Income-related monthly adjustment amount||Total monthly premium amount|
|Less than or equal to $85,000||Less than or equal to $170,000||$0.00||$134.00|
|Greater than $85,000 and less than or equal to $107,000||Greater than $170,000 and less than or equal to $214,000||53.50||187.50|
|Greater than $107,000 and less than or equal to $160,000||Greater than $214,000 and less than or equal to $320,000||133.90||267.90|
|Greater than $160,000 and less than or equal to $214,000||Greater than $320,000 and less than or equal to $428,000||214.30||348.30|
|Greater than $214,000||Greater than $428,000||294.60||428.60|
Premiums for beneficiaries who are married and lived with their spouse at any time during the taxable year, but file a separate return, are as follows:
|Beneficiaries who are married and lived with their spouse at any time during the year, but file a separate tax return from their spouse:||Income-related monthly adjustment amount||Total monthly premium amount|
|Less than or equal to $85,000||$0.00||$134.00|
|Greater than $85,000 and less than or equal to $129,000||214.30||348.30|
|Greater than $129,000||294.60||428.60|
Medicare Part A Premiums/Deductibles
Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, and some home health care services. About 99 percent of Medicare beneficiaries do not have a Part A premium since they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment.
The Medicare Part A inpatient hospital deductible that beneficiaries pay when admitted to the hospital will be $1,316 per benefit period in 2017, an increase of $28 from $1,288 in 2016. The Part A deductible covers beneficiaries’ share of costs for the first 60 days of Medicare-covered inpatient hospital care in a benefit period. Beneficiaries must pay a coinsurance amount of $329 per day for the 61st through 90th day of hospitalization ($322 in 2016) in a benefit period and $658 per day for lifetime reserve days ($644 in in 2016). For beneficiaries in skilled nursing facilities, the daily coinsurance for days 21 through 100 of extended care services in a benefit period will be $164.50 in 2017 ($161 in 2016).
Enrollees age 65 and over who have fewer than 40 quarters of coverage and certain persons with disabilities pay a monthly premium in order to receive coverage under Medicare Part A. Individuals who had at least 30 quarters of coverage or were married to someone with at least 30 quarters of coverage may buy into Part A at a reduced monthly premium rate, which will be $227 in 2017, a $1 increase from 2016. Uninsured aged and certain individuals with disabilities who have exhausted other entitlement and who have less than 30 quarters of coverage will pay the full premium, which will be $413 a month, a $2 increase from 2016.
|Part A Deductible and Coinsurance Amounts for Calendar Years 2016 and 2017 by Type of Cost Sharing|
|Inpatient hospital deductible||$1,288||$1,316|
|Daily coinsurance for 61st-90th Day||322||329|
|Daily coinsurance for lifetime reserve days||644||658|
|Skilled Nursing Facility coinsurance||161||164.50|
For more information on the 2017 Medicare Parts A and B premiums and deductibles (CMS-8062-N, CMS-8063-N, CMS-8064-N), please visit https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection.
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Thursday, November 10, 2016
THE OFFICIAL BLOG FOR THE U.S. MEDICARE PROGRAM. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT WWW.MEDICARE.GOV
MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT: BE A SMART SHOPPER
*REPOST* Brought to you by The Medicare Blog:
Brought to you by: Medicare
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Daylight Saving Time (United States) 2016 began at 2:00 AM on
Sunday, March 13and ends at 2:00 AM on
Sunday, November 6
Tips for Surviving Daylight Savings Time
*REPOST* Brought to you by: ABC News
What's better than sleeping in on a Sunday? How about dodging the days-long consequences of rolling the clocks back this weekend.
Sure, you'll gain an hour when daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday. But spending said hour in bed after sunrise will do you few favors in the long run, sleep experts say.
"It will hit you Sunday evening," said Dr. Yosef Krespi, director of the New York Head and Neck Institute's Center for Sleep Disorders. "But if your body clock is tuned to waking up with sunlight, you're going to benefit."
The body clock is a cluster of neurons deep inside the brain that generates the circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle. The cycle spans roughly 24 hours, but it's not precise.
"It needs a signal every day to reset it," said Dr. Alfred Lewy, director of Oregon Health and Science University's Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory in Portland.
The signal is sunlight, which shines in through the eyes and "corrects the cycle from approximately 24 hours to precisely 24 hours," said Lewy. But when the sleep-wake and light-dark cycles don't line up, people can feel out-of-sync, tired and grumpy.
With time, the body clock adjusts on its own. But here are a few ways to help it along.
|Wake Up at a Normal Time Sunday Morning|
Many people see the extra hour as an excuse to stay up later and sleep in longer. But sleeping through the Sunday morning sunlight can leave you feeling out of sorts for the start of the week, according to Krespi.
Instead, try to get up at the same time. Use the extra hour to go for a morning walk or make a hearty breakfast.
|Eat Well and Exercise|
Speaking of morning walks and breakfast, an active lifestyle and a healthy diet can work wonders for your sleep, according to Krespi. So grab your partner, your dog or your favorite playlist and get outside some fresh air and exercise. And dig into a breakfast packed with whole grains and protein to keep you energized through the 25-hour day.
|Get a Good Night's Sleep Sunday Night|
Still have extra time to kill Sunday? Use it to turn your bedroom into a full-fledged sleep zone.
"It has to be quiet, it has to be cool and it has to be dark," said Krespi. "Shut down your gadgets and turn away that alarm clock so you don't watch it tick."
Try to hit the sack at your usual bedtime, even though it will be dark one hour earlier.
|Try a Low Dose of Melatonin|
While light synchronizes the body clock in the morning, the hormone melatonin updates it at night. The exact function of the hormone, produced by the pea-size pineal gland in the middle of the brain, is unclear. But it can activate melatonin receptors on the neurons of the body clock, acting as a "chemical signal for darkness," Lewy said.
Taking a low dose of melatonin in the evening can help sync the sleep-wake and light-dark cycles. But be careful: Although melatonin is sold as a dietary supplement, it can cause drowsiness and interfere with other drugs. Talk to your doctor about the dosage and timing that's right for you.
|Know That Your Body Will Adjust|
It might take a few days to feel 100 percent normal, but fear not: Your body will adjust to the new light-dark cycle.
"Some people suffer more, some people less, it all depends," said Krespi, adding that falling back in November tends to be easier than springing forward in March. "On Monday morning, we'll appreciate that we're waking up for work or school with sunlight."
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
LTC Awareness Month >>>
Eight Things People Should Know
*REPOST* Brought to you by: Mutual of Omaha
November is LTC Awareness Month – time again to devote your efforts to helping people understand the importance of planning for their future long-term care needs.
Monday, October 24, 2016
It’s your choice: Take advantage of open enrollment
*REPOST* Brought to you by UHC:
Seven questions to ask
1. Is my doctor in the network?
2. Is my medicine covered?
3. Who else needs to be on my plan?
4. What type of health coverage is right for me?
5. What other costs should I plan for?
6. Will I have access to an HSA, HRA or FSA?
7. What other benefits does my employer offer?
What to do next
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