Friday, July 22, 2016

Benefit Awareness News

Benefit Awareness News | July 2016

Brought to you by: UHC

7 things to bring to your next doctor visit

When you need to see a doctor, it may save time if you already know what you need to bring with you.

Some of these things you'll need to gather right before your visit. But others can be ready to go ahead of time.

What to do in advance

Before your next sick day, make yourself a grab-and-go kit with these four things:

1. Your health plan ID card. You can review your benefits and print a copy of your ID card right from®.
Cool tool: Did you know you can use the UnitedHealthcare Health4Me® mobile app to view and share your ID card information with your doctor?

2. Your health history. Your doctor will want to know about your current medical conditions, as well as any past illnesses or surgeries.
Cool tool: You can use the Health4Me app to collect, track and share your personal health records.

3. A list of all the medications you take. Be sure to include both prescription and over-the-counter products, such as vitamins and supplements. And note how much you take and how often.
Cool tool: Use this prescription checklist any time your doctor prescribes a new medicine. It may help you better understand why you need the medicine — and how to take it safely.

4. A list of your questions. Asking questions may help you make more informed decisions about your health care. Between visits, jot down what’s on your mind so you won’t forget to ask.
Cool tool: Visit to browse questions on a range of health topics.

What to gather on the fly

If you have time before you see your doctor, here are three more things that can help you have a good visit:

5. A cost estimate. Review your benefit plan — and understand what costs you may be responsible for.
Cool tool: You can compare estimated costs for procedures and providers at Just look for the “Estimate Health Care Costs” button.

6. Online research. If you’ve looked up your symptoms or other information on a website, bring along your findings to discuss with your doctor.

7. A buddy. You can bring a friend or family member to your visit. This person can take notes, act as your advocate or offer other support.

LightbulbWhat to do next
Not sure if you need a doctor? With NurseLineSM, you can talk with a registered nurse 24/7 for help with health or medication questions, finding a doctor or hospital, or understanding your treatment options. Choose the “Talk With Us” feature on the Health4Me app. Or call the member number on your health plan ID card.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Alzheimers: A defining disease for aging baby boomers

Alzheimers: A defining disease for aging baby boomers

*Repost Brought to you by: Aetna
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 93,000 people each year. The progressive and fatal brain disorder causes issues with memory, thinking and behavior. Currently without a cure, Alzheimer’s has a good chance of being one of the defining diseases for Baby Boomers as they age.
Age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Once someone reaches 65, their risk of developing the disease significantly increases. An estimated one in eight baby boomers will get the disease after they turn 65. At age 85, that risk increases to nearly one in two.
The disease currently affects more than 5 million Americans, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. By 2040, when the Baby Boomer generation will be from 76 to 94 years old, Medicare costs related to Alzheimer’s are projected to account for more than 24 percent of total Medicare spending, or about $328 billion in 2014 dollars, recent analysis has shown.

Alzheimer’s is a family matter

It’s not just the person with Alzheimer’s that suffers, the caregivers — typically family and friends — often take the brunt of the disease. It is particularly hard because Alzheimer’s robs a person of their memories and independence, leading to a steady increase in the need for monitoring.

In 2015, 15.9 million family and friends provided 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Nearly 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high; about 40 percent suffer from depression.
A majority of caregivers report they are “somewhat” to “very” concerned about maintaining their own health since becoming a caregiver. One in five care contributors cut back on their own doctor visits because of their care responsibilities. Most people survive an average of four to six years after being diagnosed, but many can live for as long as 20 years with the disease.
Family members and friends providing care for someone (other than their children) have to squeeze in an average of more than 24 hours a week to take care of their loved one, according to AARP research. Caregiving is particularly time-intensive for those caring for a spouse or partner, which requires an average of 44 hours a week. That doesn’t leave much time for any of the other priorities you might have in your life. A good game plan can help get things under control.

Where can you find help for Alzheimer’s?

Non-profits like the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America offer good information on resources and support networks for patients and families. You can also search by zip code and/or state to find area resources.


From the Desk of SBS:

As you read above, "1 in 8 Baby Boomers are susceptible to acquiring Alzheimer's and that increases to 1 in 2 around the age of 85. Along with that, care-giving for this disease requires an average of 44 hours a week." If this were to happen in your family, what would your game plan be? 

Senior Benefit Services has representatives all over the U.S. that would love to sit down with you to help you start planning. We are a brokerage that represents many reputable companies (such as above) and we offer a variety of insurance plans including: 
  • Long Term Care
  • Short Term Care
  • Home Health Care
  • Nursing Home Care
When something such as Alzheimer's arises in your life, we want your biggest worry to be enjoying those precious moments with your family - not worrying about the financial side of it.  
We're just one phone call away: 800-627-2768
Visit us Online at:

Saturday, July 2, 2016

You’re 65 and Working: What about Medicare?

 | Tue, Jun 14, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

You’re 65 and Working: What about Medicare?

Posted by Medicare Made Clear: Retirement used to be closely linked to turning 65. No more. The full retirement age — when you can receive 100% of your social security retirement benefit — is 66 for anyone born in 1943. And, it’s 67 if you were born in 1960 or later.
However, Medicare eligibility still begins at age 65, even if retirement does not. People on disability could be eligible for Medicare before they turn 65.The question is: What do employed 65-year-olds do about Medicare

Medicare Before You Retire? Maybe

If you or your spouse is working, then you may have health insurance through an employer. It’s important to understand how Medicare may work with your existing insurance.
Before you do anything about Medicare, you need to talk with your employer health plan administrator. Questions you may want to ask include:
  • What kind of health plan do I have? For example, many employer plans are HMOs (health maintenance organizations).
  • Does my employer require that I enroll in Medicare?
  • How would my health insurance change if I enrolled in Medicare?
  • How much is deducted from each paycheck for health insurance? (Remember that you do not pay taxes on payroll deductions for health insurance. You need to consider the tax savings to determine the total value.)
This information may help you evaluate your Medicare choices and decide what’s best for you.

Enroll in Medicare Part A? Probably

Most people enroll in Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) when they turn 65, whether they are working or not. This is because Part A is premium-free for most people. You earn this benefit by paying into the Medicare program while you’re working. You qualify for premium-free Part A if you or your spouse contributed to Medicare for at least 10 years.
In general, hospital expenses are covered first by your employer health plan. Medicare Part A is the secondary payer. It’s a good idea to enroll in Part A as soon as you’re eligible, so you don’t have to worry about signing up later.
There may be reasons to delay Part A, such as if your employer health plan is a Health Savings Account (HSA)—employer contributions could stop if you have Medicare. It’s very important for you to learn how Medicare may change your employer health benefits.

Enroll in Medicare Part B? Depends

Medicare Part B (doctor and outpatient coverage) charges a premium. In 2016, the monthly premium starts at $121.80 per month for new enrollees. It may be more for people with higher incomes.
Many people who have employer coverage delay enrolling in Part B to postpone paying the premium. You can sign up later during a Special Enrollment Period without penalty.
Part B may be of limited value when you have other health insurance. Exceptions may be people who are self-employed or who work for an employer with less than 20 full-time employees, since Medicare would become the primary payer in these situations.
It’s very important to find out how Part B would work with your employer plan before making your decision.


You have a number of Medicare decisions to make when you become eligible for Medicare. This is especially true when you have other health insurance. You may want to start learning about your choices ahead of time. Preparation may help you avoid unnecessary costs.

Brought to you by UHC - Medicare Made Clear