— AARP is encouraging Medicare beneficiaries to read their annual Notice of Change and to review their health and prescription drug plan options for 2018 during Medicare Open Enrollment October 15 – December 7. Given the trend in high prescription medication prices, consumers are advised to pay close attention to their Medicare Part D drug plan options to help save money. Medicare plans often change their cost-sharing and coverage benefits every year. However, insurers must notify all their enrollees of any …

— AARP Maine is hitting the road to talk about what’s been on everyone’s minds: health care. Funded by a grant from Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF), AARP Maine is holding a series of community forums throughout the state (please see our schedule, below).   During these open discussions, we hope you will share with us your concerns as well as your ideas on these sometimes complicated issues. Each forum features a panel of local experts including hospital administrators, physicians, public …

4 States

— Federal officials have taken action to ensure that Medicare will pay for nursing homes stays for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Generally, Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care. But it pays for a limited nursing home stay after someone has been hospitalized and needs rehabilitation. In those cases, Medicare reimburses for the skilled nursing services after someone has been treated in a hospital for at least three days. Last week, officials with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a waiver …

— Retirement isn’t as simple as reaching age 65 and quitting your job. It takes planning and the earlier you start the better. You need to think about when to take Social Security,  how to pay for health insurance, and how much you can spend on living expenses and just enjoying life. That’s why AARP Hawaii is holding free “Think of Your Future” workshop in Kaneohe and East Oahu. The Kaneohe workshop will be held on Saturday, Sept. 30 at the …

4 States

— Medical stations are open in Houston and Dallas by Victoria Sackett Thousands of people rescued from rooftops and plucked from rising water during Hurricane Harvey had to leave everything behind. For many, prescription drugs were among the items they abandoned. Missing days of essential medicine can pose a health threat and adds to the sense of panic people feel during such emergencies — especially natural disasters. Fortunately, disaster response teams and medical units have been set up across the ravaged …

— Have you received a phone call or a postcard in the mail offering you a back brace or knee brace? It is not uncommon for Medicare beneficiaries to receive these types of solicitations, even when your doctor has not deemed a medical device necessary. Often the “salesperson” will tell you that the product will help you and it’s “free” because it’s “covered by Medicare.” They will also request lots of personal information, including your Social Security number. If you receive …

— Melinda Dunn of Sugar Land is battling a cancer that has spread from her lungs into her spine. Right now, private insurance is covering her treatment, but she fears that changes in federal health laws could limit her coverage. “That worry is a horrible feeling when you’re trying to stay healthy but you’re sick, and you’re trying not to worry about money,” says Dunn. “It’s just right there in the front of your mind. You go, is this worth it?” …

— WASHINGTON, D.C.—In response to today’s U.S. Senate vote on the motion to proceed to consider a health care bill that would cut Medicare and Medicaid and impose an Age Tax on older Americans, AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond released the following statement: “AARP is disheartened that a majority of Senators voted to move forward on a bill that would devastate millions of Americans. Today’s vote means the Senate is one step closer to passing legislation that will price gouge …

— DEFEATED SENATE HEALTH CARE BILL WAS UNFAIR AND UNAFFORDABLE FOR MAINERS AARP Maine was opposed to this deeply flawed legislation after analysis showed that it would have a disastrous impact on Mainers 50 and older.  During the crucial weeks of June and July, when a vote was imminent and the pressure on Senators across the country was mounting, volunteers, staff and local residents met with both Senator Collins and Senator King to express our concerns.  AARP Maine urged both Senators …

— CHARLOTTE — AARP in Charlotte is presenting a series of free workshops this month to help people prepare the challenges of caregiving and long-term care as well as an overview of Medicare, from how to choose a plan and the benefits Medicare offers, to what changes to the program may come in the future. The events are free and open to the public, but registration is requested. Prepare to Care This workshop includes information on how to have vital conversations …