News in Touch

News is essential to be in touch with the latest happenings in the world. Unfortunately news has become something unreliable as a result of biased information presented by broadcasting co-operations and news service providers but it is important to be aware about updates in the world we live in. It may seem overwhelming at times but being informed with the current events around the world would help you to be on top of things wherever you are.

News provide the latest information about current affairs that occur politically; technologically as well as in business and we must consider ourselves as privileged to be educated about them at present unlike the ancient days where global information was the least available. In general, people in all walks of life read news and everyone have their own desired category to read. Whatever your interest maybe, it is important to be educated about the current activities that happen around the globe and maybe beyond. As a younger reader, news feeds in Twitter, Facebook or Perez Hilton would find very interesting, but these do not provide the general knowledge which is part of education. Therefore you need to be informed about all extents; no matter you are young or old.

Think about the world leaders. How many of the names of the world’s presidents or prime ministers are you aware of? If you know it all, you are well updated but if you are not, it is time to read. Understanding about the society that you live in and the societies around the world are significant as we are living in a globalized village.

Haven’t you felt clueless about your surroundings when you return home after a long holiday? Similarly you would feel ill-informed about the affairs around the world without making yourself educated about the news. Of course, it is not as easy as it sounds and would be the most uninteresting toil to sit at one place and read news but today the option of reading news online on desktop, laptop or even on mobile phone is available.

Newspaper companies have enabled their news to be read online but they are updated instantly. However, the latest news can be attained through news aggregators who are available online on the internet. A news aggregator is a web application which aggregates syndicated web content such as news headlines, blogs, podcasts and video blogs that arise globally within one site for easy and quick viewing. Online aggregators provide up to date information on various categories such as business, technology, entertainment, politics, travel, health, world news and many more where interesting and useful information on every topic is available. This helps to be in touch with all latest affairs at one place at one time as and when it happens.

Non-Obamacare Short Term Health Plans On The Rise

American’s are looking for lower cost alternatives when it comes to their healthcare needs. Those who do not need a huge demand for medical services to be covered have other options. Even those with some medical requirements on a monthly or quarterly basis are OK with little less coverage if they are saving enough on premiums. The good news is alternative plans are here, and they will continue to grow in demand as 2018 continues.

The Trump Administration signed off on an executive order in the fall of 2017 requiring that short-term health care plans be extended from the current 90-day restriction to the full 365 days as it once was. These types of policies are not there to replace the ACA plans, but to provide individuals and families with more choices for their healthcare needs.

This is great news for millions of Americans who do not qualify for the federal health subsidies and really cannot afford the premiums for the ACA plans. By freeing up some of their hard-earned dollars, they can put it back into the economy, retirement, college or whatever they need.

Short-term plans are non-ACA qualified health plans that are not required to cover preexisting conditions or certain ACA (Obamacare) mandated Essential Health Benefits (EHB), that are covered by ACA-qualified plans.

These benefits include:

  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services
  • Specific preventive care benefits such as routine exams, mammograms, cancer screenings, etc
  • Pediatric services (oral care and vision)

The short-term plans are a great option without the above coverages in the policy. Insurance is supposed to be for sudden, expensive things that you usually could not afford on your own. Look at your homeowners and auto insurance. They provide coverage for the unforeseen, costly risks that you cannot afford to take on yourself. The short-term medical plans do just that.

The short-term medical plan extension from the current 90-day maximum to 365-day maximum takes effect May 1st. After that date, you can apply with an insurance company that offers the short-term plan that does not have the 90-day maximum limit.

One other drawback for 2018 is the individual mandate. The short-term medical plan is not an ACA-compliant plan according to the IRS and will be subject to the tax penalty when you file your taxes in 2018. There are other ways around this. You will need to seek out a professional in the field to get more information. For the tax year 2019, this tax penalty goes away.

Men and Medicare: What You Should Know

In the coming year, more than 1.6 million American men will turn 65. Discounts at restaurants, movie theaters and hardware stores await. Awaiting, too, are new options regarding healthcare coverage that their parents and grandparents never had the luxury to consider.

For past generations turning 65 meant obtaining healthcare coverage through Medicare and the only real decisions were whether or not to enroll in supplemental coverage and, if so, with whom? That all changed with the passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which allowed Medicare beneficiaries the option of receiving benefits through Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. (Many seniors had previously doing so via a series of demonstration projects that dated back to the early 1980s.) Those plans were augmented in 2003 with the landmark Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act, which provides a prescription drug benefit for seniors and people living with disabilities.

MA plans provide all of the traditional benefits found in Medicare plus a host of additional benefits designed to make the plans attractive and appealing to a senior’s specific health and lifestyle needs. These added benefits could include dental, vision, gym membership, transportation and personal case management, especially for those with chronic conditions. But which plan to choose and how to make that decision?

For men entering the Medicare world for the first time, this can be particularly challenging in areas where multiple carriers offer a variety plans that leave seniors with dozens of options from which to choose. When making this important decision, here are five things to consider:

• Remember that you are making this choice for YOU, not for your wife, child or other dependent. When selecting a commercial carrier, most people consider what is right for the health needs of both themselves and their family. But turning 65 is a chance to be selfish – what works for you? If you are 65 and healthy you may want a relationship with a health plan that simply says “Be there when I need you” and are fine with interacting with your plan through unobtrusive online health information and preventative care programs that fit your busy lifestyle. But if you have chronic conditions, your main concern may be affordable physician visits, managing complex medication regimens, and additional help from care managers in navigating the healthcare system.

• Medicare has a quality rating system in which plans are ranked from one to five stars, with five being the highest. The system was established to help educate consumers on quality and make quality data more transparent and comparable between plans. The rankings consider such factors as clinical outcomes, access to preventive services such as screenings and vaccines, managing chronic conditions, preventive care, and consumer satisfaction. Star ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next. Use them in helping to make your decision.

• Monthly premiums and co-pays can vary significantly from plan to plan. The good news is some MA plans have no monthly premium at all in 2016. But there is more to cost than just premiums. Carefully review deductibles and co-payments you’ll be required to pay when you go for care. Consider what best fits your needs and wallet.

• Many seniors take several medications to help them manage chronic, long-term conditions, and out-of-pocket drug costs can vary quite a bit among health plans. Take a good look at pharmacy coverage and be prepared to ask the right questions. Are my drugs covered? What are the copays? Are there discounts to make maintenance medication more affordable, such as getting a three-month supply of drugs at either a retail or mail-order pharmacy while only paying for two months?

• The availability of an individual’s doctor in the health plan’s network is one of the most important factors in choosing an MA plan. This is particularly important for those entering the Medicare population for the first time. See in which plans your physician – and your hospital – participate. Provider networks can vary greatly from plan to plan so don’t be caught by surprise.

Annual enrollment period for Medicare-eligible individuals is currently underway (and ends December 7). Men aging into Medicare should embrace this new chapter in their lives and make smart, informed decisions about their ongoing healthcare needs. Few decisions are as important.