Find the latest news and information on Medicare plans, costs, changes, eligibility, enrollment and comparisons from the experts at PlanPrescriber.
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Older Adults and HypothermiaWith a major winter storm hitting the Northeast this week, in New England and beyond, here are tips for staying safe when temperatures dip drastically. Cold weather puts older adults at risk for hypothermia, a condition that can lead to hospitalization and death.

How are you coping with this huge January storm? If you’re an older adult, bad weather in the winter months can make it harder to drive and increase your risk for falls. But colder weather can also put you at risk for more subtle dangers like hypothermia, a condition that occurs when your body temperature drops to dangerously low levels. Untreated, hypothermia can cause heart problems and even death.

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The CMS Hospital SurveyHave you ever wondered if the government asks its beneficiaries for their perspective on their treatment? Read on to learn about this hospital survey, how Medicare uses the results, and how you may be able to use the results to help choose a Medicare plan.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare’s parent organization, developed and oversees a comprehensive survey about care in hospitals from the patient’s point of view. CMS worked with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to create the survey. CMS and Medicare use the patient responses to help rate hospitals.

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Insulin Pumps for Seniors with DiabetesTo pump or not to pump? If you’re living with diabetes and need insulin to manage the disease, whether or not a pump is right for you may be a question on your mind. An insulin pump is one way to deal with diabetes when the condition requires regular insulin dosages.

The choice is usually between a pump or injections of insulin (either by syringe or pen). Each of these methods has pros and cons, and what works best for one person may not work as well for another. But insulin pumps are becoming more popular, especially as manufacturers make the devices smaller and more user-friendly. A pump can be as small as a pager or an iPod, and it’s worn next to the body, connected by a tube inserted just under the skin. Insulin pumps deliver measured amounts of insulin directly throughout the day.

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2015 Medicare Advantage Plans A recent study from the Kaiser Family Foundation highlights key trends among Medicare Advantage plans in 2015.

Medicare Advantage, the private alternative to the traditional fee-for-service program, continues to be a popular choice among Medicare beneficiaries. According to Kaiser data, 99% of people with Medicare beneficiaries will have access to a plan in their area, and 30% of all beneficiaries will be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

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Medicare and Non-Emergency Medical TransportationMedicare has strict rules governing coverage for non-emergency medical transportation. The problem is this leaves many of Medicare’s most medically needy–dialysis and cancer patients–without safe transportation to medical treatment.

Need to go to the hospital, but feeling too sick to drive there or back? If you have Medicare, you may be out of luck. Unless it’s medically necessary for you to be taken in an ambulance, Medicare generally doesn’t cover non-emergency transportation costs.

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Adult Day Care for SeniorsWhether you’re a homebound senior who’d like to make friends and stay busy or a caregiver who goes to work but needs to make sure your loved one is safe and active, adult day care programs can be a healthy alternative to an assisted living facility.

When you live alone or with a spouse who needs your care-giving assistance, you can start feeling a little isolated, especially if you don’t drive. This is another reason to consider an adult day program. Staying active in a safe environment can help you stay mentally and physically healthy, according to caring.com.

Adult day programs usually have many of the same activities as typical assisted living facilities offer, such as gentle, in-chair exercises and stretches; arts and crafts; games; discussions; and sing-alongs. Some may have group outings. Many of them group people with fairly similar social capacity together so everyone can benefit from interaction.

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Could genetic testing pose health risks?Genetic testing has become more affordable than ever, allowing individuals to learn their genetic risk for a variety of conditions. But some health experts argue that genetic testing can be harmful, driving people to make health decisions based on incomplete or inaccurate information.

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing products have grown in popularity. These at-home testing kits are simple: Send a blood or saliva sample to a lab, and learn your genetic risk for a range of conditions, from arthritis to Huntington’s disease. Yet some health experts argue that genetic testing could be harmful for people who base major health decisions on results without fully understanding how much their genes contribute to their risk of getting a disease.

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Over-medication in nursing homesDeciding it’s time to choose a nursing home for a friend or family member can be one of the hardest decisions you have to make. So learning that some nursing homes routinely medicate residents into submission can be horrifying.

For the past few years, reports have surfaced that antipsychotic drugs have been used in some nursing homes on seniors with dementia. These drugs are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for dementia or other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease — antipsychotics are intended to treat mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. While physicians can prescribe drugs for other uses or “off-label,” the side effects may be unpredictable. In addition, Medicare and other insurance may not always cover this type of usage.

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Heart Disease in WomenWomen tend to ignore potentially serious symptoms of heart issues. Yet, according to the Mayo Clinic, women are more likely than men to die of heart disease.

When women feel certain kinds of pain, we don’t always take it seriously. Women are often inclined to focus on the health of loved ones rather than our own health. We might not recognize these signs as threats to the heart (like a possible heart attack). Or, we may be frightened by the symptoms and hope they’ll just go away. For whatever reason, women often don’t seek medical attention until some heart damage has already happened.

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Travel Tips for Seniors During the Holiday SeasonWhether you’re traveling in country or abroad this December, the PlanPrescriber blog has some tips for seniors to consider during this hectic time of year.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the amount of people traveling during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays increases by 23%. As such, many seniors may be making travel accommodations for the upcoming holiday season. It doesn’t matter if you’re visiting friends and family, or simply taking a vacation, here are some tips you may wish to consider as you finalize your travel plans.

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