1 Million in Part D Paid $3,200 O-o-P

By Juliette Cubanski – Kaiser Family Foundation – June 24, 2019

Since 2007, the number of Part D enrollees without low-income subsidies who have spending above the threshold more than doubled, topping 1,000,000 enrollees per year from 2015 to 2017. Although people with out-of-pocket costs above the catastrophic threshold accounted for only 2% of Part D enrollees in 2017, their costs accounted for 20% of the total $16 billion spent O-o-P by beneficiaries that year.

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Are Human Lives Long Enough Already?

Humanity added three decades to human’s life span in the past 150 years By Amanda Mull – The Atlantic – June 24, 2019

In 2019, more people than ever get to see their grandkids grow up. They get to enjoy a lengthy retirement – if they have the resources. The price they pay, tho’, is “the rise of heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and everything we associate with aging and growing old,” said Jay Olshansky at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. Aren’t people living longer precisely because they’re healthier? They’re not “healthier”; instead, aging brings with it new health challenges; old age becomes a series of health emergencies, growing more and more frequent as people get older.

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Heart Attacks Making a Deadly Comeback

The death rate for cardiovascular disease – which includes heart disease and strokes – has fallen just 4% since 2011 after dropping more than 70% over six decades, according to mortality statistics from the CDC. Particularly alarming is that the death rate is actually rising for middle-aged Americans. Heart disease was once on course to fall below cancer as the nation’s leading cause of death, a change public-health statisticians most recently predicted would occur by 2020. No longer, said Robert Anderson, chief of the CDC’s mortality statistics branch. “It’s highly unlikely given the current trend that there will be a crossover anytime soon,” he said.

The obesity epidemic and related rise in the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes are key culprits in the new wave of cardiovascular disease mortality; studies link obesity and diabetes to high blood pressure and other conditions that increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart failure. Heart disease is still the nation’s top killer, and strokes, a primary component of cardiovascular disease, ranked fifth in the latest data.

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Age is a State of Mind, So ‘Aim’ Younger

By Bruce Horovitz – KaiserHealthNews – June 11, 2019

Many people are convinced that while everyone else is aging, the person they see in the mirror every morning is magically aging at a slower pace. A study from the University of Zurich determined  older adults often avoid the negative stereotypes of their age group by distancing themselves from their age group. Another study, from Columbia University, found considerable evidence that when confronted with negative age stereotypes, older adults tend to distance and dissociate themselves from this stereotype. In most cases, people say they feel about 20% younger than they really are, according to Michigan State research. Beginning at 50, many say they feel about 10 years younger. So if you treat senior clients like old people, they’ll treat you like an interloper.

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Caring for Loved One Takes a Huge Toll

By LIMRA – June 12, 2019

According to LIMRA, 43 million Americans serve as an unpaid caregiver for a family member today. Aside from the out-of-pocket costs associated with caring for a loved one – which AARP estimates is $7000 annually – there’s often a cost in terms of lost opportunity for those who work outside the home. LIMRA found half of unpaid caregivers work full-time outside the home, but the demands of taking care of a loved one has impacted their career: 4 in 10 had to take an unpaid leave of absence or decrease the number of hours they worked because of the demands of caring for a family member; 3 in 10 say they have turned down a promotion; a quarter say they lost job benefits – such as medical, retirement, insurance, etc. because they had to cut back their hours due to their caregiving responsibilities.

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