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What Medicare Won’t Pay For: Check Your Teeth, Eyes, Ears and Feet

Need a tooth implant to replace a cracked or rotten tooth? Need hearing aids because you listened to too much rock’n roll when you were a kid? Need glasses because you are having trouble driving at night? Often, Medicare won’t help you at all unless these problems are triggered by some underlying disease. Here is…


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The Spouse Keeps the House: Fixing Reverse Mortgages


The reverse mortgage is a new source of cash for aging homeowners. Instead of paying the bank each month, you get a payment, depending on the amount of equity in your home. A big drawback has been the potential for financial suffering and loss by the spouse who isn’t listed on the mortgage. When the…


Hospice Patients Get a Break: Medicare Eases Drug Coverage Rules

Medicare Observation

Medicare  has eased significantly its rules for insurance coverage of medications for many thousands of  hospice patients, responding to intense criticism from patient advocates and members of Congress. The new policy should eliminate 95% of the cases in which hospice patients need prior approval from an insurance company to get coverage for their drugs, according…


When You Have to Tap the IRA


All the rules and the pundits tell you: don’t take money out of your IRA before you retire. This stash of cash, invested carefully, should grow steadily until you have entered retirement. And then you can withdraw the money on a steady but careful basis to pay for an enjoyable lifestyle. These rules need some…


Broccoli Plus Your Gut’s Bacteria: A Cancer Fighter


Chemicals in vegetables -including the ones your mother wanted you to eat but maybe you balked at them-could become powerful soldiers in the war against cancer. Special molecules found in broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts may be transformed by microbes in your gut into cancer fighting  compounds, according  Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the…


Red Wine, Chocolate Won’t Help Us Live Longer


Resveratrol was the great gift to lovers of red wine and chocolate. This powerful antioxidant “was eventually isolated from red wine, as well as cocoa, red grapes, and a variety of other berries and roots,” says Dr. Francis Collins, director of the federal National Institutes of Health, in a May 20 blog post. “After that,…

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