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Posts made in February, 2018


When do you think you’ll retire? Not too long ago, the most common answer was, “age 65”. That’s because 65 was once the standard age for reaching “full retirement age” according to Social Security, meaning you would access your full benefits at that point. Plus, it was – and still is – the age of Medicare eligibility. So, a worker could reasonably assume that once he or she reached age 65, they could retire, claim their Social Security benefits, and receive healthcare through Medicare. These days, Social Security’s full retirement age has risen to 66 for those born in 1943 or later, and to 67 for anyone born in 1960 onward. So, many people are delaying retirement at least another year or two (and sometimes longer if their retirement savings falls short of what they need). This means a lot of you are still working at age 65, when you become eligible for Medicare. Now, here’s a funny thing: You’re actually required to enroll in Medicare when you turn 65. If you don’t, you will face higher premiums when you eventually do retire. For some people, the wait might make sense, but this definitely creates a bit of a puzzle for you. If you already have health insurance through your employer, it’s important to understand how Medicare will coordinate with that plan. You need to talk with your employer’s health plan administrator, to find out whether you’re required to enroll in Medicare, if your insurance will change once you enroll, and how much you’re paying for health insurance currently. Remember, since you don’t pay taxes on payroll deductions for health insurance, you need to consider the tax implications of keeping your insurance versus enrolling in Medicare. Should you enroll in Medicare? For most people, Medicare Part A is premium-free. Your hospital expenses will be covered by your employer health care plan, and Medicare Part A would kick in as a secondary payer. In many cases this is a good idea since you might, for example, have a large deductible. On the other hand, if your employer provides healthcare through a Health Savings Account, their contributions might stop if you enroll in Medicare. You need to investigate this issue before making a decision. As for Medicare Part B, or doctor and inpatient coverage, the answer is not so clear. If you already have employer coverage, you might not want to enroll in Part B in order to avoid the premiums you will be charged. Part B provides only a very limited value to most people with employer-provided insurance. But if you’re self employed, or work for a small employer with...

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Follow These 5 Tips for Heart Health

Follow These 5 Tips for Heart Health


Posted By on Feb 12, 2018

The American Heart Association has designated February as American Heart Month, and for good reason: At 17.9 million deaths per year, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the world. Many of us are under the impression that heart disease will simply “happen” to us, no matter what we do, but that simply is not true. Knowledge can empower you to take better care of your heart, to ward off cardiovascular disease or at least manage the progression if you do develop a condition. Watch your stress level. Numerous research studies have demonstrated a clear link between stress and various health conditions, and heart disease is no exception. For example, chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, which in turn damages your blood vessels and heart over time. So take care to manage your stress, by utilizing relaxation techniques, yoga, hobbies that help you feel calm, meditation, exercise, or anything else that helps you feel balanced. Speaking of exercise… Do it! Exercise is one of the best ways to keep your heart healthy. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity each day. Do check with your doctor first, to make sure your exercise plans are safe for your level of health. And if your knees, hips, or other joints bother you, try lower-impact activities like swimming or an elliptical machine. Don’t smoke. Yes, you’ve heard it before, but smoking cigarettes can damage your lungs and heart over time. It’s never too late to quit! Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble identifying a smoking cessation program that works for you. Eat a heart-healthy diet. Three types of food are known to promote heart health: Fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids. These are the healthy unsaturated fats found in fish, nuts, and some seeds. Incorporate more of these foods into your diet, and avoid unhealthy foods that contain empty calories. Visit your doctor regularly. An annual physical and appropriate health screenings can help you detect problems early, often while they can still be managed or even reversed. Don’t wait until you’re already very sick to seek medical care. Regular consultations with your primary physician can keep your health on a good track, and help you live a longer, happier life. If you have questions or require assistance with your health insurance policy or any other insurance needs, please feel free to contact us at any time. We’d love to hear from...

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