HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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Kentucky Health Solutions hosts free educational talks on “Understanding Your Medicare Options.” The presentation is designed to help new beneficiaries and their caregivers have a better understanding of the Medicare program. “Even those who currently have Medicare coverage could benefit from this detailed overview,” Alberti said. The presentation details what Medicare covers and discusses supplemental Medicare Health plans, including Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage plans, and Part D prescription drug coverage. The sessions last an hour, including time for questions and answers.


Kentucky Health Solutions will offer presentations during the Medicare open enrollment period on the following dates at these locations:



Call (859) 312-9646 to RSVP for a presentation or contact the library or senior center directly. If you are unable to attend one of the presentations but are interested in receiving more information about Medicare or you want help navigating all your health insurance needs, contact Kentucky Health Solutions or visit its Web site at www.kentuckyhealthsolutions.com.

Medicare open enrollment starts Oct. 15 and continues until Dec. 7 this year. This is when you can enroll in or change Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements or Prescription Drug Plans.


Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people age 65 years or older, certain younger individuals with disabilities and people with end stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant). Original Medicare, commonly known as straight Medicare, is the traditional fee-for-service program offered directly through the federal government. It is divided into Part A and Part B. Part A primarily covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care and home health care. Part B is medical insurance that covers physician care services, labs, tests and durable medical equipment. Once enrolled in Medicare, you receive these benefits automatically and do not pay premiums for them. The two parts can work together; however, coverage does not overlap.


Part C Medicare, or Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans, are offered by private insurance companies as HMOs and PPOs covering original Medicare’s Parts A and B. MA Plans have lower premiums with copays. Part D Medicare covers prescription drugs. Part E was discontinued in 2011. Parts F and G are coverage gap plans known as Medicare Supplements to cover Part B excess charges – the difference .

GET READY FOR MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT

between what a doctor or provider charges and the amount Medicare will pay. Part F is a very popular choice for baby boomers because it is the most comprehensive plan offered. Part F pays the Part A hospital deductible and coinsurance, the Part B deductible and excess charges, the skilled nursing facility coinsurance and foreign travel emergency care. Supplements have higher premiums than MA Plans.


Even those who have a private insurance plan without Medicare will want to review their coverage options during open enrollment if they’re eligible. “Probably more plans offer Medicare now more than ever,” said Pete Alberti of Kentucky Health Solutions.


While private insurance plans – both on and off the Affordable Care Act Marketplace – can be hit or miss, since the ACA’s passage, Medicare has gotten much better and streamlined, Alberti says.


Kentucky Health Solutions is a consulting company of independent agents representing more than 20 insurance providers. There is never a fee to clients for an individual consultation with up-to-date information on industry changes and national A-rated carriers.

 

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela S. Hoover is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

more articles by Angela S. Hoover