If you have Medicare coverage, you are probably familiar with a time of year known as the Annual Enrollment Period. This is a timeframe, typically from mid-October to early December, when people who are eligible for Medicare can enroll in, disenroll from or change their Medicare Advantage plan for the upcoming year.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rates the relative quality of the private plans that are offered to Medicare beneficiaries through the Medicare Advantage program. CMS rates Medicare Advantage plans on a one- to five-star scale, the highest quality being five stars. This star rating provides an overall measure of the plan’s quality and is an indication of the quality of care, access to care, responsiveness, and beneficiary satisfaction provided by the Medicare Advantage plan. This means that the higher the star rating a plan receives, the more likely you are to receive the care you need, when and where you need it - and most of all, you are more likely to be satisfied with your plan.
Having access to affordable health care is critical for many seniors. That’s why it’s important that those approaching age 65, or already 65 or older understand the four parts of the Medicare health insurance program.
As we approach the primary election, Arizona is in an envious place right now. Of the six Republicans running for the governor’s office, each of the four front-runners arguably have the credentials to become a good governor for our state.
In a ruling potentially affecting thousands of Arizonans, a federal appeals court on Tuesday voided a cost-saving bid by the state's Medicaid program to deny incontinence briefs to some adults who need them.
Recently, we observed May Day, a celebration of spring. And, after a long and hard winter in many parts of the country, most of us are ready for sunshine, warmer temperatures and the hopefulness that spring always symbolizes. But as winter gives way to spring, we are also reminded that our lives have “seasons,” too — and it pays to be prepared for all of them. So, as you move into the “retirement season,” you’ll need to prepare for several possible challenges, including the following:
Retirement can be an exciting, active time of your life. But if you’re going to get the full benefits from your retirement years — which could last two, or even three, decades — you’ll need to have a vision for what you want to do. And to transform this vision into reality, you’ll need to take a “holistic” approach — one that involves a financial strategy, clear communications with family members and an awareness of the challenges that may stand in your way.
If you participate in almost any program at the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA, you’re bound to notice a number of people who may look like seniors, but exercise like middle-aged adults. That’s because they participate in the SilverSneakers Fitness program. SilverSneakers is an innovative program offered free of charge by several Valleywide participating Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement plans, and group retiree health plans that give seniors the freedom to get fit in a variety of ways. In fact, one out of every five people who are 65 years and older and who are enrolled in one of the 68 participating Medicare supplement plans are eligible to exercise in over 11,000 participating facilities nation-wide.
As you save and invest for retirement, what are your ultimate goals? Do you plan on traveling the world? Purchasing a vacation home? Pursuing your hobbies? People often think and plan for these costs. Yet, too often, many of us overlook what potentially could be a major expense during our retirement years: health care. By preparing for these costs, you can help yourself enjoy the retirement lifestyle you’ve envisioned.
Life expectancies are almost five years longer today than they were 30 years ago, a fact that increases the likelihood you will provide some form of support for aging parents — through home care, helping out with day-to-day chores and errands, or even covering living expenses. That role can make significant demands on your time, energy and financial resources.
I found out Feb. 11 that since April 2013, Medicare granted itself a 2 percent discount from doctors and medical providers with a contract with Medicare. They then sent AARP United Healthcare a form with the full payment so my supplemental insurance also did not pay the 2 percent. Meanwhile, the discrepancy had a note that local state and federal law required an adjustment.
Glaring headlines about Arizona’s public worker retirement system suggest that your typical retired teacher, firefighter or police officer is sipping margaritas on a beach somewhere enjoying a six-figure pension. Meanwhile the state’s pension funds are running out of money, leaving you, the taxpayer, stuck with the bill.
Ronald Reagan’s famous quote, “We declared war on poverty and poverty won,” has come in for some harsh criticism lately. For example, Linda Valdez of The Arizona Republic recently excoriated the Gipper for his “cynicism,” pointing out that a “great nation does more than make jokes at the expense of the poor.”
One of the hard lessons we are learning about health care reform is that while we are fixated nationally on the Affordable Care Act, there really is no single solution that will fix our nation’s health system.
Every day of our lives, we make assumptions. We assume that the people we encounter regularly will behave in the manner to which we are accustomed. We assume that if we take care of our cars, they will get us to where we want to go. In fact, we need to make assumptions to bring order to our world. But in some parts of our life — such as investing — assumptions can prove dangerous.
The Mountain Pointe football program enters the 2014 season with a new standard for success after winning its first state championship.Produced by David JolkovskiNarrative by Jason P. SkodaInterviews (in order of appearance):Head Coach Norris VaughanBruce HesterPaul LucasCollin LambdinGarvin AlstonMusic: 1:13am by Soap and Foam