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Medicare Open Enrollment Coming-Get Ready

Health insurance seemed simple at work. Your company offers a couple of plans. You think about the deductibles, and make a choice. Not so easy with Medicare. Some tips: You can sign up three months before you turn 65, and four months later. Coverage starts with the month in which you celebrate your 65th birthday….

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Aging Gets a Bad Rap: Groups Seek Better Public Image

(This story appeared on NextAvenue.org on March 21)   Part of the Transforming Life as We Age Special Report It’s a scary and depressing image of aging: If you are sick or poor and over 65, it’s your own fault because you didn’t do the right things when you were younger. This is a commonly…

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What’s Up, Doc? Diagnostic errors cause 10% of patient deaths

When a doctor makes a mistake in diagnosis, the results can have “devastating consequences,” says a new Report by the Institute of Medicine, calling for a major effort to improve the work of detecting and treating disease. “Most people will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetimes, said the report, “Improving Diagnosis in…

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You Can Get a Big Chunk of Cash from Social Security

You probably don’t know it, but Social Security can give you a big, lump-sum check for $40,000 or $50,000 or even more — a bonus, like winning a lottery. Should you take the bucks? It’s a complex business and depends on your age, your health, whether you are married and how much money you have…

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With No Cash or Delegates, White House Conference on Aging Goes Big for Social Media

With zero funds to bring delegates to Washington, Monday’s White House Conference on Aging will rely on a mixture of tools to spread its message: tweets, questions delivered through Facebook, and “watch” parties in all 50 states. What it won’t have, for the first time since these once-a-decade conventions began happening in 1961, will be…

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Over 65? Check This Tax Break for Medical Bills

You can get a special tax break to deduct your medical expenses. And they can be a lot more than you realize. Here are just some of the potentially deductible items: the Part B Medicare premium you pay every month ($104.90 for most people), the Part D premiums you pay for drug coverage, the premiums…

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Don’t Mess Up Your Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B pays for doctor bills. You need to know when to sign up to avoid a big gap in coverage. When you turn 65, you automatically get enrolled in Medicare Part A, which pays for hospital bills. For Part B, which covers doctor bills, you have lots of choices. If you aren’t working,…

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Don’t Go Broke Paying for Cancer Care: Check these Resources

Cancer  care is costly. Many patients struggle with their bills; some of them skip taking medicine because they can’t afford to pay for the prescriptions. About two-thirds of cases are diagnosed in people over the age of 60. The Medicare Part D prescription plans  pose serious problems for people with cancer, whose treatment often calls…

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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…

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