Health Matters

Calyx Health is not a typical doctor’s office. Along with a refreshing clinic atmosphere, modern finishes and nostalgic decor of historic Alameda, patients can now enjoy art by other seniors in the community. 

On Dec. 12, the seniors-only clinic Calyx Health hosted its Jingle & Mingle event — a holiday celebration and art reception, where the work of seven students in the Mastick Senior Center’s drawing and painting classes was unveiled.

 

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. 

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