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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

 

Seniors Need Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Plans

 
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans: Seniors Need Their Web-Savvy Boomer Children To Help Them Make an Informed Choice

The December 31st deadline to enroll or change Medicare Prescription Drug plans is fast approaching. Unfortunately, seniors are still confused. The solution lies with their Boomer children getting involved to compare plans by using the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov. Here's what Boomers need to know.

San Mateo, CA (PR Web) December 19, 2006 -- The first annual December 31st deadline for the new Medicare Prescription Drug Program is fast approaching. Unfortunately, the complexity of the program has many seniors still confused.

"The best solution is for web-savvy Boomers to help their parents by using the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder to systematically compare the 50 or so plan choices," says eldercare advisor Esther Koch who is also a Medicare Aging Network Partner with the Administration on Aging and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION BOOMERS NEED TO KNOW
Boomers first need to know exactly what type of healthcare coverage their parent has and whether it also includes prescription drug coverage. For seniors with an employer or union retiree health plan or a Medicare Advantage health plan, prescription drug coverage is likely to already be included. In these instances, there is probably nothing to do as long as the senior received notification that the drug coverage is 'creditable' coverage.

It is important to understand that there are two types of  Medicare drug plans: Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (commonly referred to as 'stand alone' plans) and Medicare Advantage Plans. "The seniors that really need to review plans annually are those who have 'stand alone' Prescription Drug Plans," says Koch.

"The goal is to select a Prescription Drug Plan whose formulary covers all of a senior's drug needs," Koch points out. Since it is likely that a senior's drugs plus the plan's formulary, tier structure and pricing will change annually, that may not be the same plan each year.

MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLAN FINDER
Koch stresses, "The primary web-based tool is the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov." By entering their parent's zip code and drug names, dosage and 30-day supply, Boomers will obtain a prioritized list of their parent's plan options. They can even save their work and return to it.

Plan options will be sorted from least expensive to most expensive plan based on total estimated annual costs including premiums, deductibles, copays and coinsurance. Total costs vary widely by plan. Koch emphasizes, "Think of this as getting a list of the total cost of all of your holiday gifts if the same gifts were purchased from some 50 different retailers. You should be most interested in the least expensive plans."

In addition, Koch continues, "It is the total estimated annual cost that is most important, not just the amount of the monthly premium or whether donut hole coverage is included."

The five least expensive plans will show up initially. "You can show all plans, do side-by-side comparisons of up to 3 plans at a time, and drill down to more detailed information. Once you have analyzed options and decided on a plan, it is best to go to the plan's website to enroll," Koch points out.

SENIORS WITH LIMITED INCOME AND RESOURCES
Special rules apply to seniors with limited income and resources. These rules are very detailed so the best sources of assistance are:

- Your parent's State Health Insurance Assistance Program at
http://www.medicare.gov/contacts/static/allStateContacts.asp
- Social Security at www.socialsecurity.gov and 1-800-772-1213; and
- Medicare at
www.medicare.gov and 1-800-MEDICARE.

CONCLUSION
Koch concludes, "This is an opportunity for Boomers to be there for their parents. They need you!"

For more information on Medicare Rx and how to use the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder visit the Encore Management website at www.encoremgmt.com under the Medicare Rx tab.

ABOUT ESTHER KOCH
Esther Koch is a gerontologist and eldercare advisor. Her firm, Encore Management, provides personal and corporate advisory services and seminars to assist Boomers with the range of issues associated with caring for an aging parent and their own aging. Her media interviews and articles have appeared on television, radio and in print.

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Press Contact: Rini Browning
Company Name: Encore Management
Email: email protected from spam bots
Phone: 562-833-7764
Website:
www.encoremgmt.com


Friday, December 08, 2006

 

America's Deadliest Cancer

 
Deerfield Walk to Fund Research on America’s Deadliest Cancer

The Second Annual Deerfield Lung Cancer Awareness Walk will kick off from Deerfield’s Maplewood Park at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 21, with proceeds from the event benefiting the LUNGevity Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated exclusively to funding research in the treatment and cure of lung cancer.

Deerfield, IL (PRWEB) October 10, 2006 -- Eighty-five percent of lung cancer patients do not live very long after their diagnosis, but a walk in Deerfield this month hopes to provide them with better treatment options and, ultimately, a cure.

The Second Annual Deerfield Lung Cancer Awareness Walk will kick off from Deerfield’s Maplewood Park at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 21, with proceeds from the event benefiting the LUNGevity Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated exclusively to funding research in the treatment and cure of lung cancer.

Although lung cancer is the number one cancer killer, claiming the lives of more than 160,000 Americans annually – more than breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer combined – it receives a small fraction of research funding as compared to other cancers. Learning this inspired lung cancer patients Gayle Levy, Kay Barmore, Patti Helfand, Melissa Zagon, and other survivors to establish the LUNGevity Foundation in 2000.

LUNGevity supports the innovative work of clinical researchers seeking new treatments, and ultimately, a cure. In six years, the organization has grown into a recognizable force in funding lung cancer research, partnering on more than $2.5 million in grants with national organizations such as the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, and the American Thoracic Society.

Gayle Levy lost her life to lung cancer, but her mother, Joan Grossman, continues her commitment to a cure by raising money for LUNGevity through the Deerfield Lung Cancer Awareness Walk. The Walk hopes to raise several thousand dollars for lung cancer research.

The Second Annual Deerfield Lung Cancer Awareness Walk is one of more than a dozen events taking place around the country this fall and spring to benefit the LUNGevity Foundation and bring attention to the need for more research funding.

Registration is $25 for adults, $10 for children 16 years and younger. All walkers will receive a t-shirt. To register, contact Joan Grossman at joan(at)grossmanpartners.com or register on-line at www.lungevity.org/deerfield.

About the LUNGevity Foundation:
The LUNGevity Foundation is the only organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to funding lung cancer research. Its goal is to save the lives of the 170,000 Americans newly diagnosed with lung cancer each year, eighty-five percent of whom will die within five years without the development of new diagnostic and treatment methods. Partnering with the foremost physicians and research scientists in the world, the foundation supports innovative lung cancer research. For more information, contact (773) 281-LUNG (5864) or www.lungevity.org.

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Press Contact: Cate Huetter
Company Name: LUNGevity Foundation
Email: email protected from spam bots
Phone: 773-281-5864
Website:
http://www.lungevity.org


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