The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Columns

February 1, 2014

Dennis Lanane: Do your research when comparing Medicare plans

Triad has been doing quite a bit of research on the future of Medicare Advantage plans. We had a report in October at our monthly Triad meeting by one of our presenters that the plans will be losing some of their federal subsidies, which could cause some policy holders to lose or see reductions in some of their benefits.

There is evidence that Medicare Advantage plans are designed to make benefits unattractive to people with costly conditions or high risks of needing expensive treatments, and they are steered into the traditional Medicare. The intention of the federal government subsidizing these plans was to lower the costs of Medicare by having private insurance companies offering the same or better benefits than Medicare. Because of the way the insurance companies have designed these Medicare Advantage plans, this is not working. So the subsidies will be reduced.

Those who have Medicare Advantage plans — and their families — will be especially interested in attending this month’s Triad meeting at Mounds Mall, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 20 at 10:30 a.m. John W. Williams from the Indiana Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) will speak about Medicare Advantage plans and other healthcare policies. SHIIP is a free and unbiased counseling program provided by the Indiana Department of Insurance.

One of the most serious problems is the expense of rehabilitation after patients leave hospitals following a surgery or other serious illness. Many people end up in a nursing home for rehabilitation. The problem is that the Medicare Advantage plans do not always pay what Medicare pays.

For instance, in one Medicare Advantage plan, the patient pays $25 for the first 20 days and with Medicare the patient pays zero. If the nursing home’s cost per day is $200, the patient pays $125 a day for days 21 to 56. Under Medicare the patient would pay $40 a day. The Advantage plan costs for 56 days would be $4,875, compared to Medicare’s $1,400. Because of the expense, some nursing homes are requesting your financial information to make sure you have the money to pay the bills, or you cannot get admitted.

A hundred people braved the cold, snowy weather to participate in our January Triad meeting. Our topic was about how people with chronic pain can use different strategies to relieve those symptoms. Dr. Howe from St. Vincent Regional Hospital in Anderson was our speaker. Dr. Howe is a pain management specialist.

Dr. Howe continually mentioned a patient’s mindset in regard to acting responsibly to follow the instructions that could help them. A few things Dr. Howe talked about was the need to keep exercising in order to maintain some range of motion for everyday living activities. Also, we should try to reduce stress in our life. Eat a healthy diet. Join a support group. Learn deep breathing exercises to help your body relax.

At this month’s meeting, we will have informational handouts available on pain management.

Dennis Lanane is chairman of Madison County Triad. His column appears the first Sunday of each month. He can be reached at qparadigm1@gmail.com.

1
Text Only
Columns
  • OPN - Mootry column mug [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Primus Mootry: The African-American community toward a new narrative African Americans are entirely unique in the annals of American history and, perhaps, the whole history of mankind. This uniqueness demands an African American agenda and, with it, a new narrative, or way of articulating that agenda.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • underwood mug [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Scott Underwood: Headlines can capture imagination I'd just left the newspaper office one morning and was driving north on Jackson Street, when I stopped at a red light and glanced at the rearview mirror.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charo Boyd: 'My Social Security' simplifies your life So many people buzz through extremely busy and complicated schedules these days. A smartphone in one hand, a computer in front of you, and a digital task list that never seems to end. In addition, to complicate things just a little more, there’s another event you need to add to your list — National Simplify Your Life week.

    July 28, 2014

  • Maureen Hayden: 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress for national security failures Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous.

    July 27, 2014

  • Vaughan, Nancy mug [Duplicate] Nancy Vaughan: Fireworks and fireflies mean summer in full swing Hasn't July been a fabulous month? It began with multiple fireworks venues and parades and ends with fairs and football in full swing. We have been blessed with mild weather and if you haven't had to travel much outside of the county, roadwork has been minimal.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ken de la Bastide: City unions go without contracts for many years How Anderson deals with unions has changed dramatically over the years. In the past it would have been unheard of for union members to continue to work without a contract or an agreed upon deadline. But members of three unions that represent Anderson city employees have been working without a new contract agreement for up to seven years.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jim Bailey: Traveling by passenger train was a page from the past My wife doesn’t remember riding on a full-fledged passenger train as a baby. Our children have never ridden. It’s an experience rapidly going the way of the horse and buggy and the stagecoach throughout a nation now obsessed with jumbo jets and sport-utility vehicles.

    July 26, 2014

  • Howard Hewitt: When it comes to wines, small can be very good Repeating the familiar is an easy way to go through life as is taking the safe road. We all do that but find unexpected rewards when taking the path less traveled. That little bit of philosophy applies to visiting wine country.

    July 26, 2014

  • Maleah Stringer: Hats off to the staff at Animal Protection League I often talk about the wonderful volunteers and community support we have at the Animal Protection League. And that volunteers are every non-profits "life blood" this is true for the Animal Protection League as well.

    July 26, 2014

  • Clark, Big Joe mug 'Big Joe' Clark: Beat the market or meet your goals? True or not, my experience tells me that goals – especially when written down – undoubtedly serve as catalysts for success. However, danger arises when a goal does not properly focus on the long term result you expect.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Now that Andrew Luck is getting ready to start the third year of his NFL career, did the Colts make the right decision to release Peyton Manning and turn the offense over to Luck?

Yes, the future is bright.
No, the Colts would have won another Super Bowl by now if they had kept Manning.
Don't know; don't care
     View Results