Archive for April 2012
May has been designated as Older Americans Month.
This year’s theme is ”Never Too Old to Play,” which highlights the importance of staying active, both mentally and physically. We have all seen the articles about the importance of exercise, and of socializing, to maintaining our mental health. (A recent article also said that housework and gardening might be as beneficial as golfing and playing bridge, but what fun is that?!)
As with any exercise program, for any reason, what is most important is finding something your enjoy so that you will stick with it. I have previously reported in this blog about my own experience as a competitive power lifter, a sport to which I was introduced through Senior Olympics. (Go to www.seniorgames.org to learn about that organization in Arizona, and for links to the Senior Olympics site for your state.) Senior olympics invites people over 50 to engage in friendly competition in the sport they enjoy, as a way to maintain physical and mental health. Once I got my feet wet through Senior Olympics, I learned that I can compete against my own age group in all sorts of competitions, which opened the door for me to compete, and make new friends, in competition events throughout the Mountain West.
What will you do to play this month? I would love to hear your stories!
The theme of World Health Day this past Saturday was “Good health adds life to years.” (www.cnn.com). I was pleased to see the focus on aging well and the challenge to stereotypes about elders. The article described the need to ensure that people are living healthier, as well as longer lives, as a public health issue that the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified as a priority.
Though the catalyst for retaining a life care planning law firm may well be a precipitating event such as a sudden or worsening illness, the benefit is that people get the help they need to find the best possible care, in the least restrictive environment, and assistance with accessing resources to pay for it. By bundling asset protection, public benefits qualification, care coordination, long-term care advocacy and crisis intervention services, people can live healthier and longer lives. The opportunity for improved quality of life and lower costs to society as a whole are enhanced.
Mr. Jones is able to live within his $1300 Social Security check, but the cost of of his prescription medications take a big bite out of his income. I was able to make his family aware that their father, who is covered by Medicare and has limited income and resources, may be eligible for Extra Help — available through Social Security — to pay part of his monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments.
To qualify for the extra help, the recipient must be receiving Medicare and have:
• Income limited to $16,335 for an individual or $22,065 for a married couple living together. Even if annual income is higher, he still may be able to get some help with monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments. Some examples where income may be higher include if he and, if married, his wife:
—Support other family members who live with them;
—Have earnings from work; or
—Live in Alaska or Hawaii.
• Resources limited to $13,070 for an individual or $26,120 for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds. We do not count the primary residence or car as resources.
If you think that you or your parent may be eligible, Social Security has an easy-to-use online application. Find it at www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp. To apply by phone or have an application mailed to you, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask for the Application for Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (SSA-1020). Or go to the nearest Social Security office.
I was happy to be able to help my client save an estimated $4,000 a year on Medicare prescription drugs.