Health

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Turning 65 Soon? How to Prepare for Medicare

Imagine (and maybe you don’t have to imagine) you are turning 65 years old later this year. A significant milestone, if for no other reason than becoming eligible to receive Medicare. What do you do? How should you prepare for it? What is next? Read Up On Medicare Eligibility And Coverage Individuals who turn 65 and have been paying into the Medicare system for at least 10 years (or have spouses who have paid) are among those automatically eligible for Medicare Part A. This part of Medicare covers inpatient hospital insurance, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and home health care. Inform yourself on what’s covered, what might require additional coverage and how you fit in. Enroll in Medicare Part B Getting covered in Medicare Part B — medical insurance — requires enrolling in the program three months before you turn 65. Delaying enrollment could mean having to pay a…

Diabetes Dilemma: How to Get the Best Life Insurance

A diabetes diagnosis does not mean it’s impossible to get approved for a life insurance policy. Top insurance companies understand which health factors matter when you have a chronic condition such as diabetes. Here are answers to common questions about life insurance coverage for diabetics: How do Insurance Companies Decide Eligibility for Life Insurance for Diabetics? Your overall current health, your age and your gender all considered in the approval process. You must prove your diabetes has been under control for at least 6 to 12 months, as measured through blood tests. Insurers will also look at your overall health, including your lifestyle, diet, whether you smoke, your exercise habits, what medications you take and how you manage your blood sugar level. Does it Matter Whether I Have Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes? Most diabetics – 95 percent of the 30 million Americans with diabetes – have Type 2 diabetes.…

Getting on Medicare Before Age 65

Among the many questions people have about Medicare benefits is, “Can I get on Medicare early, before turning 65?” The annual Medicare enrollment period is about to begin, bringing with it a lot of questions about how to get on Medicare early, choosing your coverage, understanding the alphabet soup of its various parts and finding out why and how to get supplemental coverage. Before we start talking about that, let’s get some perspective on Medicare by looking at some statistics from the 2018 Annual Report of the Boards of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds. It’s the annual report of the boards that oversee the trust funds that provide the money behind the program we all know as “Medicare.” According to the report, “In 2017, Medicare covered 58.4 million people: 49.5 million aged 65 and older, and 8.9 million disabled. Total expenditures in 2017…

What Medicare Covers When Traveling

What do most people say they want to do when they retire? Travel. Depending on your needs in retirement, your Medicare health insurance program may not make the best travel companion.  In the past, we’ve addressed in detail what Medicare A, B, C and D plans cover. Medicare Part A and Part B together cover essential medical scenarios such as hospital stays, doctor visits and medical equipment. Twist an ankle hiking and you may want those crutches. Whether at home or on the road, these are worthwhile services. But if you plan to travel quite a bit in retirement, let’s examine how Medicare meets — or doesn’t — your needs while away from home. When traveling, we enjoy indulging the senses. Often, this is where Medicare programs do a poor job serving as a healthcare concierge. We’ll use both domestic and international destinations to demonstrate some shortcomings in the plans. Santa…

Healthy Habits to Help Reach Your Financial Goals

Living a long, full and happy life is a goal most of us share. Taking time to align your financial, physical, professional and social aspects of your life is important. The idea is to get each area to work in concert to reach your goals. Here are a few ways to keep your eyes on the prize and incorporate healthy habits across all areas of your life to help reach financial success. Use Technology to Set Goals Identify what you are trying to accomplish to increase your odds of success. Then use widely available tools and technology to help you make your plan. Maybe you want to network more effectively, start adding more cardio into your workouts or save enough to retire before you turn 60. Define what you’re really looking to accomplish and set realistic goals. For example, if you are looking to improve your training practices, use BMI…

Choosing the Right Medicare Coverage

,As you approach age 65, Medicare is on your radar. Medical expenses are one of the biggest costs you’ll face. Making a smart decision about Medicare coverage can do a lot for your health and your wealth. To get started, you will want to make sure you are choosing the right coverage option and considering any extra coverage you may need. But how do you enroll in the plan that keeps you covered at a price point that fits your budget? These steps will show you how to do exactly that. Choosing Between Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage The alphabet has never seemed so confusing as it does when most people start looking at Medicare options for the first time. Think of your coverage options as Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage to help you pick the option that is best for you. Original Medicare is Medicare Part A and Part…

How to Help Your Brain Age Gracefully

Living life to the fullest includes keeping the mind and body active at all ages and stages. Our brains actually shrink as we get older, especially the frontal cortex, which has a direct effect on cognitive ability. The good news is there is a long list of ways to keep your brain sharp as you age—probably more than you can, um, remember. Give It a Workout Researchers have found regular mental stimulation can build new connections between nerve cells, maybe even help the brain generate new cells. Who couldn’t use a few more of those? This doesn’t mean you have to bury yourself in a crossword puzzle night after night, although that’s a good idea. So is reading, game playing, puzzles, painting, playing music … anything that forces your brain to process or solve something beyond the plot twists in the latest Netflix series. If you can’t tear away from…

What Should You Do With an Extra $1,000?

So you find yourself with an unexpected, unbudgeted $1,000 sitting in your checking account. You don’t have to think about how that nice sum got there, but you do need to figure out what to do with it. It might be tempting to use the money on a series of small luxuries, but it wouldn’t be smart. And beyond fleeting glimpses of instant gratification, it wouldn’t be very satisfying. Make the most of your windfall by planning for it immediately. Assess your current financial and material needs, your goals for the immediate and far future, and decide where your $1,000 could best be spent or saved. Not sure where to start? Here are some smart ways to spend an extra $1,000: Begin or Bulk Up an Emergency Savings Fund While most experts recommend you keep around six months’ worth of living expenses in an easily-accessible savings account for emergencies, surveys…

6 Health Tips That Can Also Grow Your Wealth

The relationship between our health and wealth is strong. Those in poor health suffer from a variety of illnesses and incur the high cost of medical care. And when someone is struggling financially, looming debt and the daily struggle to pay bills can negatively impact their health. This can become a vicious cycle of increasing financial hardship and declining wellness. There are moves you can make to help break this cycle or even try to prevent it in the first place. Staying healthy can make a big difference in improving your financial situation. Your level of fitness has both short and long-term effects. And many of them are related to money. Here are some important tips that will make a difference to your health and your wallet. Few would argue that not smoking is incredibly important to both our physical and financial fitness. With the average cost of a pack…

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