Health Matters

 

Since Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period commenced five weeks ago, Calyx Advantage has been diligently meeting with seniors to evaluate their Medicare insurance and recommend better alternatives — plans with lower premiums and broader benefits. In just the past five weeks, the clinic has already saved Alameda seniors more than $50,000 annually on their premiums alone — with a company goal to reach $100,000 in savings by tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 7.

At a family reunion, my Aunt Abby and Uncle Glen got into a squabble over the best way to get their Medicare benefits. Uncle Glen is an Original Medicare man, and has been for a decade or so. Aunt Abby prefers Medicare Advantage, which is similar to a health plan she had before enrolling in Medicare.

When they turned to me, asking me to referee and declare which form of Medicare is better, I gave them a big smile and answered, “Well, it depends.”

 

2010 was the first year that more 65-year-olds entering Medicare selected Medicare Advantage plans over Medigap plans (also known as Medicare Supplement). The appeal of Medicare Advantage plans continues to grow at a 70 percent or more increase since the passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. In the next five years, it’s expected that the majority of Medicare beneficiaries nationwide will be enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans.

 

The topic of sexual abuse surfaced in a major way more than a year ago. We have been made aware of abuse to children in churches and to people in the performing arts. Many famous names surfaced as both perpetrators and victims. People accused of abuse lost their work positions. 

It often begins with one person disclosing abuse. This prompts others to come forward. The numbers can be shocking. 

Sadly, the monarch butterfly population is declining. One of the primary reasons is the loss of open space where the monarchs’ host plants, milkweeds, grow. Alameda gardeners can help increase the monarchs’ numbers by building habitats in even the smallest of yards. Encourage monarchs to multiply by offering them food, drink, a place to stay and a milkweed patch where they can lay eggs.  

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