ADVICE FOR YOUR BUCKET LIST

Do you know what a bucket list is? Most people think it is a list of things you want to do before you die. A typical guess is people want to visit a particular place before dying. Based on an unscientific poll about bucket lists, that is not a bad guess. Travel appears to be a frequent bucket list ambition.  Anne is an American who is proud her ancestors lived for centuries on the group of small islands in the English Channel between the southern coast of England and mainland Europe.

REDUCE STRESS, INCREASE ENJOYMENT FOR A HAPPY 2018

Family caregivers provide practical assistance and enhance the quality of life for frail seniors who might otherwise require placement in a long-term-care facility. Typically, caregivers are spouses or adult children, many of whom are seniors themselves. Their role involves physical, psychological, emotional and financial demands. It can be a heavy load.  If you are a caregiver, consider the following strategies for not only surviving but thriving in the year ahead.

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DISCOVER A LOVE OF LIFELONG LEARNING

Curiosity, exploring interests and engagement are a few crucial ingredients to healthy and happy longevity. Enrolling in a class just for the love of learning is a great way to do this. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Kentucky offers educational and enrichment courses, forums, shared interest groups, trips and more for adults age 50 years and older. Membership for the full year is $25; summer programs are at a prorated fee.

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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