Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Vantage point magazine
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×
Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

Vantage point magazine

354

Published on

New "flip book" eMagazine is available for you right here. The value of insurance is front and center in this new publication which features an easy to use flip book feature. VantagePoint magazine is …

New "flip book" eMagazine is available for you right here. The value of insurance is front and center in this new publication which features an easy to use flip book feature. VantagePoint magazine is an independently produced quarterly publication that offers valuable information for mature adults (55+).

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
354
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
4
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. In this issue:Re-VisioningRetirementHow Does StressAffect You?Peace of Mind byDoing the Right ThingCaregivers’ ResourcesUnderstandingMedicare
  • 2. VantagePointWelcome to the Inaugural Issue of VantagePoint!Unlike other magazines that state they are written for you, the large and growing audienceof adults 55+, the purpose of VantagePoint is to actually serve your real need for informationyou can trust, rather than to just sell you something.True to this, and making it unique among other magazines, VantagePoint contains no advertising.Rather, VantagePoint is supported and distributed by a small group of companies, each aleader in its field, that are committed to providing our readers with credible information aboutissues that affect you, your family, and the plans you make to reflect the changes in yourfinances, health, and lifestyle.Created and distributed quarterly, VantagePoint is designed to serve and promote an active,involved readership. The electronic version contains active links to websites that offer moreinformation on the article topics, as well as sites that can serve as resources on other, relatedsubjects.Future issues will introduce additional subject areas with information provided by leadingcompanies in those fields.We hope you enjoy VantagePoint and welcome your feedback on the articles presentedand suggestions on topics you would like to see covered.Thank you,Matthew RossPublisherIn This Issue: PageRe-Visioning Retirement 3How Does Stress Affect You? 7Peace of Mind By Doing the Right Thing 9Caregivers’ Resources 13Understanding Medicare 15
  • 3. Life Insurance Re-Visioning Retirement America’s Retirement Re-set This article provided byIt is no secret that the face of retirement is changing. People are working longer, adult children are returning towhat was once an empty nest, and many retirees are headed back to the workforce.But at American General Life Companies*, we wanted to know more. We wanted to know how people really feltabout retirement and we wanted to know how we could help people recover from the financial difficulties so manyhad faced over the past few years.This quest for knowledge led us back to a familiar place. Just a decade ago we completed a major study surroundingattitudes about retirement. Now, 10 years later, we’ve completed a new study - and this time around we found asignificant shift in attitudes and actions.
  • 4. Life Insurance In 2001, SunAmerica Financial Group (SAFG) and Age Wave launched the Re-Visioning Retirement Study. This comprehensive study was one of the first to look beyond basic financial and demographic issues to reveal the attitudes and expectations of retirees nationwide. This year, we rejoined forces to launch a new initiative: the 2011 SunAmerica Retirement Re-Set Study.** As part of SunAmerica Financial Group, American General Life Companies is pleased to share these useful insights regarding how the mindset, expectations and financial planning for retirement have changed in the past decade. 54% view retirement as a new chapter in life. Some highlights of the study include: • We’ve seen a retirement mindset re-set: 54% view retirement as a new chapter in life rather than a winding down – a significant increase over the 38% that held a similar view in 2001. • People have re-set the timing and purpose of retirement: retirement is being postponed by five years – from 64 to 69 – triggered in part by increasing longevity as well as the recession and financial need. And retirement no longer means the end of work: almost two-thirds say they would ideally like to remain productive and include work in retirement. • Achieving financial peace of mind has replaced wealth accumulation as today’s primary financial goal. People are now six times more likely to say their top financial goal is “saving enough to have financial peace of mind” (82%) versus “accumulating as much wealth as possible” (13%). • Nearly half of Americans 55 and older expect to provide intergenerational support for family members and, in a new twist on childcare, 70% of those believe their adult children will need financial assistance. • And nearly half of today’s retirees retired earlier than they planned. The top reason? Unexpected health problems. While the past decade has been a time of change and tumult, the Retirement Re-Set Study shows that Americans are emerging from this period with a more thoughtful and realistic financial outlook. And at American General we’re using the findings of the study to ensure we continue to provide consumers with the products and tools they need to help build a secure future. So what does this really mean for Boomers who are looking to ensure their financial security?
  • 5. This article provided byIt means retirement continues to defy a “one size fits all” mentality.In 2001 we found for the first time, that there were four distincttypes of retirement experiences: “Ageless Explorers,” “CautiouslyContents,” “Live for Todays,” and “Worried Strugglers.” The 2011 studyrevisited these distinct retirement categories and examined how thoseexperiences have changed in character and scope, and how consumerscan navigate the most effective paths to a successful retirement.When it comes to retirement, Americans fall into four distinct categoriesdriven by three key factors: optimism or pessimism in respectiveworld views; how socially engaged, active and connected they are;and how well they plan and prepare for retirement. • 20% are Ageless Explorers, and have a positive, active and fulfilling vision of retirement as a new chapter in life with new opportunities. • 18% are Cautiously Contents who seek a traditional retirement with more rest, relaxation and leisure. • 27% are Live for Todays who have many retirement ambitions, but often find themselves financially unprepared. • 35% are Worried Strugglers who are the least happy and see retirement as a period of financial worry and stress.Understanding which category you currently occupy and whichcategory you aspire to be in during retirement is an important toolin assessing your financial reality and retirement preparedness. Inupcoming editions of VantagePoint, we’ll briefly review each of thesecategories of the Four Faces of Retirement, starting with a look atAgeless Explorers here.Ageless ExplorersAgeless Explorers see retirement as a positive, active and fulfilling new chapter in life, and an opportunityfor new experiences and continued personal growth. Before retiring, they gave considerable thought tothe retirement lifestyle they desired and planned accordingly— substantially raising the odds of their idealretirement occurring.Retirement They are highly likely to have benefited from professional financial advice, and in most cases they have developed solid financial plans for their retirement.continues Very optimistic in general, they are strong believers that now is a good time to invest, and most find their financial situation even stronger now than before theto defy economic downturn.a “one size Ageless Explorers find themselves ahead of the game because they realize that retirement preparation is not a “do-it-yourself” project.fits all” They’ve looked for more guarantees in their financial strategies and solutions, whether they be retirement accumulation products, or protection vehicles.mentality.
  • 6. Life Insurance At American General Life Companies we know that life insurance can help protect families from the catastrophic effects of the death of a family member. While life insurance products protect families from unexpected death and the death benefit can serve as income to replace a loved one’s salary, there may also be living benefits with life insurance. Some universal life insurance policies offer guaranteed premiums, and some even guaranteed cash value. And with a universal life insurance product, you may be able to access withdrawals or loans of cash value tax free. That tax treatment may help when planning for supplemental retirement income particularly if you are concerned with future tax rates. In addition to considering the supplemental role of universal life insurance when planning for retirement, annuities can also play a valuable role. Some index annuity products issued by American General include new optional riders that offer guaranteed lifetime income as well as a degree of inflation protection in retirement. Long-term disability and long term care insurance products are another reason Ageless Explores tend to flourish in retirement. These financial tools provide protection against the financial devastation that could occur as the result of a critical illness, injury or disability. Long term care products can help protect assets and, in some cases, even allow for care in the comfort of your own home. Contact your financial profes- sional today to learn more about these solutions and how you and your family can better prepare for a future that reflects your vision of retirement. Take a moment to review the findings from the SunAmerica Retirement Re-Set Study at retirementreset.com. In the next issue we’ll discuss the path to success for “Cautiously Contents.” * American General Life Companies, www.americangeneral.com, is the marketing name for a group of affiliated domestic life insurers including American General Life Insurance Company and the United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York. **The 2011 SunAmerica Retirement Re-Set Study is a public opinion poll conducted by Harris Interactive in conjunction with Age Wave ( the nation’s foremost thought leader on population aging and its profound business, social, healthcare, financial, workforce and cultural implications) in the second quarter of 2011 with a national sample of 1,001 adults age 55 and older who were representative of the general population by income, ethnicity, geography and gender. This article provided by For additional information, please visit www.americangeneral.com
  • 7. Heart Health How Does Stress Affect You? This article provided by What’s the link between stress and heart disease? Does chronic stress cause high blood pressure? Find out the answers to these and other questions with our FAQs About Stress. What’s the link between stress and heart disease? Stress sets off a chain of events. First, you have a stressful situation that’s usually upsetting but not harmful. The body reacts to it by releasing a hormone, adrenaline, that causes your breathing and heart rate to speed up and your blood pressure to rise. These physical reactions prepare you to deal with the situation by confronting it or by running away from it — the “fight or flight” response. When stress is constant (chronic), your body remains in high gear off and on for days or weeks at a time. The link between stress and heart disease is not clear. However, chronic stress that causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure may damage the artery walls. Does chronic stress cause high blood pressure? Chronic stress does not cause high blood pressure. The exact causes of high blood pressure are unknown, but contributing factors include being overweight, eating too much sodium (salt), lack of physical activity and drinking too much alcohol. But chronic stress can take a physical toll on you. It can weaken your immune system and cause uncomfortable physical symptoms like headache and stomach problems. Can medicines help me lower my stress level? Medicines are helpful for many things, but usually not for stress. Some people take tranquilizers to calm them down, but it’s far better to learn to manage your stress through relaxation or stress management techniques. Be careful not to confuse stress with anxiety. If you suffer from severe anxiety, speak with your doctor about whether you need medication.
  • 8. This article provided byHeart Health What is “Type A” behavior and does it cause heart disease? Since the early 1970s, doctors have used the term “Type A” personality or behavior to describe a person who is always in a hurry, impatient, often irritated, angry or hostile, and who strives for perfection. Studies found that 50 percent of men were Type A, and these men were nearly twice as likely to have heart disease as men who were not Type A. More recent studies have questioned whether all aspects of Type A behavior are equally important. These studies show that the Type A traits linked to heart disease probably are anger and hostility. Why? When you are angry or hostile, your body releases stress hormones into your blood, causing your heart rate and blood pressure to go up temporarily, and making your heart work harder. How do I know if I need a stress management class? Stress management classes can help you learn to handle your stress, especially if you have a “Type A” personality (constantly rushing, angry, hostile or competitive) or if your stress is nonstop. Stress management classes can be found at community colleges, rehab programs, in hospitals or by calling a therapist in your community. Classes normally last for 10 to 12 weeks and offer many techniques to help you. Think about how stress affects you. Common responses to stress are listed below. Aches and Pains* Energy Level and Sleep* • Headache • Feeling tired without a good reason • Backache • Trouble sleeping • Neck ache • Stomach ache Other Emotional Signs • Tight muscles • Easily irritated • Clenched jaw • Impatient • Forgetful Feelings • Anxiety • Anger • Depression • Helplessness • Out of control • Tense *Some physical signs of stress may be caused by your medical condition or by medicines you take. If you aren’t sure what’s causing your physical symptoms, ask your doctor if stress might be the cause. How Do You Respond? When you are under stress, do any of these behaviors apply to you? • I eat to calm down. • I speak and eat very fast. • I drink alcohol or smoke to calm down. HEART ATTACK WARNING SIGNS • I rush around but do not get much done. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in • I work too much. the center of the chest that lasts more than • I delay doing the things I need to do. a few minutes, or that goes away and • I sleep too little, too much or both. comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable • I slow down. pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. • I try to do too many things at once. For more information on warning signs, Engaging in even one of these behaviors may mean that you are visit: www.heart.org not dealing with stress as well as you could.
  • 9. End-of-Life PlanningPeace of Mind byDoing the Right Thing This article provided by Losing a loved one is one of life’s most stressful events. When a death occurs, a myriad of decisions must be made in a short period of time. If you’re unprepared, the emotional and financial costs of planning a funeral service can be overwhelming and unfortunately, those burdens often fall to the ones we love the most….. our family and friends. That’s why we encourage people to do the right thing by planning ahead.
  • 10. End-of-Life Planning A new planning tool, Dignity Planning®, has helped thousands of people achieve peace of mind not only for themselves, but for their loved ones. You can start your end- of-life plan right now by visiting Dignity Planning. Research indicates than an increasing number of adults today plan their funerals as a natural part of preparing for life’s milestones – such as weddings, college education and retirement. Just as creating a will and estate planning are responsible decisions, making your final arrangements in advance makes a lot of sense. And there are many benefits to making funeral arrangements in advance, such as: • Helps your loved ones avoid painful guesswork about what you may have wanted • Helps avoid emotional overspending • Ensures that your final wishes are honored. • Make decisions together with spouse, friend or other family members • You can lock in the cost of the funeral at today’s prices and hedge against inflation which can save thousands of dollars • (Veterans and spouses) Coordinate with veteran VA burial benefits • PEACE OF MIND! And remember, the only right decision is your decision. The most important decision however is getting started and Dignity Planning will help. A Straightforward Process Planning a funeral requires making thoughtful personal decisions and the Dignity Planning tool helps you plan in the privacy and comfort of your own home. Regardless of what type of service you choose, it’s simple to start making your prearrangements using our four-step approach: Reflect, Record, Share and Support. Step 1: Reflect First, take some time to reflect on how you envision your funeral service. Think about funerals you may have attended in the past. Ask yourself what you liked or disliked about each service. Think about what other family members traditionally did. What would they be comfortable with? Start with some of the basic questions. Do you prefer burial or cremation? Although burial is considered traditional in many areas, cremation is on the rise. A recent survey by the National Funeral Directors Association indicates the percentage of people choosing cremation will surpass 50 percent by the year 2025. The current national average is estimated to be over 38 percent. So once you answer that first basic question, much of the rest of the planning details begin to fall into place. Your end-of-life plan can include as many details as you would like. Think about the type of service
  • 11. This article provided by If you are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, you may be eligible for additional funeral benefits. When you prearrange your funeral, you’ll be able to learn about and access these benefits in advance so your loved ones will have all the information they need in advance.that would best celebrate and commemorate your life.Consider the tone and atmosphere of the services.Should they be somber? Upbeat? Traditional? Highlypersonal? What type of music do you prefer? Howwill they reflect your unique personality, interests andvalues? How do you want to be remembered? Again,the only right decision is your decision but you muststart making those decisions now!Here are some things to consider when making your final arrangements: • Burial or Cremation: Do you wish to be buried? Cremated? Entombed in a mausoleum? Have your cremated remains scattered? Your funeral provider can provide you with a full list of options. • Funeral Service: A formal or informal ceremony or ritual prior to burial, the funeral service provides a sense of closure and community to family and friends. At a funeral service, a casket or urn is present. You may choose to have the casket open or closed. Although your faith or culture may dictate some elements of the service, you may want to personalize others. • Visitation, Wake or Viewing: Held the night before or immediately prior to the funeral service, the visitation – also called a wake or a viewing – provides a way for friends and acquaintances to pay respects and offer condolences to your family. As with the funeral service, you may decide whether you want an open or closed casket if one is present. • Memorial or Tribute Service: Similar to a funeral or visitation, a memorial service gives family and friends a time to come together in your memory and celebrate your life. At a memorial or tribute service, a casket or urn is usually not present. • Graveside Service: As the name implies, a graveside service may be held just prior to burial of a casket or urn and usually consists of final remarks, prayers or tributes. The service may occur after or in place of a funeral service.Step 2: RecordReflecting on your final arrangements helps you create your end-of-life plan. But, recording your wishesis the best way to ensure they will be carried out. Start your end-of-life plan now at Dignity Planning. TheDignity Planning tool will walk you through documenting a few initial choices. Then, once your private,secure account is started, you have the flexibility to add service details to your plan immediately or to spendsome time reflecting on the details that are important to you and your loved ones.Once you are ready to add personalization and service details to your plan, you can do so online or overthe phone when it is convenient for you.When properly documented and communicated, your written wishes will enable your loved ones to acton your behalf without having to guess your wishes. Just as you keep your will and financial documentsupdated, you should keep your end-of-life plan current to reflect your latest preferences.
  • 12. End-of-Life Planning Step 3: Share After recording your wishes, the Dignity Planning tool will help you share them with your loved ones and keep your planning documents in a safe but accessible space. If you choose to keep your plan in a home filing cabinet or security fire-proof safety box with other important documents, be sure to notify your family of that location. And remember; never keep these important documents in a banks safety deposit box as they may not be accessible after a death occurs! Step 4: Support If you are financially unprepared, the costs of planning a service can be overwhelming for your family. Supporting your funeral and cemetery plan relieves your loved ones of the stress of gathering Regardless of what type of service you money at the time of your death. And funding choose, it’s simple to start planning your plan in advance can provide protection against inflation. Some funeral providers offer your final arrangements using the four- a price guarantee that essentially locks in the step approach: reflect, record, share funeral cost at today’s prices so that your loved ones will not have to pay more for your selected and support. products and services at the time of your death. Planning or prearranging is one of the most caring gifts you can give your family. It not only makes sense financially, it also eliminates the guesswork for your family by providing them with a clear picture of what you want your service to say about you. So to achieve peace of mind, do the right thing and visit Dignity Planning today! The Dignity Difference The Dignity Memorial® network is North America’s largest network of funeral homes and cemeteries. Dignity providers serve over 300,000 families each year through our 1,800 locations in the United States and Canada. For us, there is no higher honor than to be chosen to bring loved ones, friends and a lifetime of memories together in celebration of a special life. When you create a plan using Dignity Planning with a Dignity Memorial provider, our commitment to you includes exclusive benefits and services, which only Dignity Memorial providers offer. To learn more about these benefits, such as the award winning Dignity Memorial Guidance Series, the 24-Hour Compassion Helpline®, the Everlasting Memorial® or our 100% Service Guarantee, please visit www.DignityMemorial.com. This article provided by www.DignityMemorial.com
  • 13. Caregivers’ Resources Caregivers’ Resources The following sites have been selected from lists compiled by the US government to provide information and services to senior citizens. They are presented only as suggested resources and are not intended to be viewed as ‘authorized’ or ‘approved.’ In future issues we will present additional resources on complementary subjects we hope will be both of interest and value. Find a nursing home, assisted living, or hospice; check your eligibility for benefits; get resources for long-distance caregiving; review legal issues; and find support for caregivers. Find Help Providing Care Advocates for Residents of Nursing Homes, by State Assisted Living Choosing a Health Care Facility Eldercare at Home Eldercare Locator Family Care Navigator Health for Seniors Home and Community Based Programs for Veterans Home Care Services Home Health Agency Comparison
  • 14. Caregivers’ Resources Find Help Providing Care (continued) Hospice Care Hospice Locator Hospital Comparison Long Term Care Information Clearinghouse Nursing Home Comparison Respite Care Locator Government Benefits Benefits for People with Disabilities Government Benefits – Check Your Eligibility Medicaid Overview and Eligibility Medicare Basics for Caregivers Legal Matters and End-of-Life Issues Legal Matters and End-of-Life Issues Writing a Will Long-Distance Caregiving Caring from a Distance Long-Distance Caregiving from the U.S. National Institute on Aging Support for Caregivers Caregiver Resources from Medicare.gov Caregiver Resources from Medline Plus Caregivers of a Spouse or Partner Caring for the Caregiver Checklists and Forms for Caregivers National Caregivers Library National Family Caregiver Support Program Respite Care Locator Stress and Caregiving Looking for information on what other resources might be available? Let us know for future issues of VantagePoint. Email your suggestions to info@vantagepointtoday.com
  • 15. Understanding MedicareUnderstanding Medicare This article provided byStaying healthy used to be as easy as following a few simple rules – Eat right. Exercise. Get adequate sleep.But for today’s seniors, healthcare is much more complicated than it used to be. While those basic guidelines stillapply, there’s so much more to think about as we age. Staying fit and active may not be as easy as it once was.Certain health issues may become bothersome, chronic problems. Add the ever-changing healthcare system – andescalating medical and drug costs – to the mix, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.To get the most value from your healthcare, it’s essential to have good partners on your side. Good healthcare is notjust about treating illness. It’s about improving health and living life to the fullest. Only you and your doctor knowwhat’s best for you. Y0036_12_0845 File & Use 12152011
  • 16. Understanding Medicare At HealthSpring, we understand that and strive to be a partner in your health. We have made it our mission to help support you and your doctor in order to improve both your health and your healthcare experience. Navigating Medicare Choices Today, nearly 49 millioni Americans are eligible for Medicare and that number will only grow as baby boomers start to age into the Medicare population. Many seniors feel overwhelmed when trying to navigate the Medicare maze. Throughout these next issues, we hope to provide you with a few insider tips so you ask the right questions and make the right choices to ensure you get healthcare that not only keeps you healthy, but is also affordable. All persons aged 65 and older or those disabled for longer than 24 months are eligible for Medicare services. Original Medicare, provided by the federal government and administered through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), charges a monthly premium for hospital and medical coverage, which represents Medicare Parts A and B. However, that does not include prescription drug coverage or other supplemental coverage, such as vision, dental or hearing, or provide a limit to out-of-pocket spending. For that reason, many seniors choose additional health coverage to ensure their financial and physical well-being. The most popular options are Medicare Advantage plans or supplemental plans such as Medigap policies. In order to qualify for Medicare Advantage or Medigap, you must have both Medicare Parts A and B and continue to pay your Part B monthly premium, as stipulated by CMS. The ABC’s of Medigap Medigap policies are sold by private insurers and have standardized basic benefits stipulated by the 2010 Monthly Medigap Premiums government. The different policies correspond to (Range of State Averages) letters A-M, so Plan A in New York will cover the same basic benefits as Plan A in California. While Plan Type Average State Highest State Lowest State the benefits are universal, prices are not, so it’s A $147 $286 $61 important to be a smart shopper and compare premiums. B $173 $269 $77 C $178 $248 $117 Currently, there are 10 Medigap policies offered: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N, D $194 $246 $137 with Plan F being the most popularii. Four E $186 $238 $108 discontinued plans—E, H, I, and J—are still available to people who had the plans before F $172 $220 $79 they were closed. G $165 $222 $71 H $191 $317 $113 It is not a requirement that all Medigap policies be available in each state, so be sure to check offerings I $201 $271 $119 and eligibility in your area. It’s important to J $191 $283 $113 remember that Medigap policies are supplemental insurance and not a replacement to Medicare. K $82 $97 $42 L $122 $143 $73 A basic Medigap policy works with Original M $53 $58 $49 Medicare to help pay some of your out-of-pocket costs like co-payments, coinsurance, and the N $28 $44 $16 yearly Medicare deductible, or the “gaps” in Source: Kaiser Family Foundation Medicare coverage.
  • 17. This article provided byMedicare Advantage and YouToday, nearly 12.5 millioni seniors are enrolled in Looking Aheada Medicare Advantage plan, and that number is Medicare currently covers nearly 49 millioni people,growing. and millions of baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 will soon begin to qualify. Start asking questions now so when you are eligible for Medicare you get theMany seniors choose Medicare Advantage, care that suits both your lifestyle and your wallet.commonly referred to as Medicare Part C, becausethey see it as an all-around good value: the Most beneficiaries can only make changes toextra benefits over and above original Medicare supplemental coverage plans, such as Medicarecontribute to high quality coordinated care and Advantage, during the annual enrollment period,outcomes – all at an affordable cost. which is October 15 – December 7, but it’s never too early to start preparing. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (TTYMany seniors like the convenience of Medicare 1-877-486-2048) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week orAdvantage because they can have one plan to cover visit www.medicare.gov to learn more and see if you qualify to enroll.all their healthcare needs. As an added bonus, youonly have to keep up with one insurance card, Taking Charge of Your Healthcareinstead of having to carry around three different Start this New Year off right and make your healthcards for Medicare, Medigap and prescription a priority. Early prevention and treatment is key todrugs. Life is confusing enough, healthcare doesn’t maintaining your health. If you haven’t seen yourhave to be. primary care doctor in over a year, make your annual appointment today.As the name implies, the advantages of MedicareAdvantage lie in the extra benefits not covered by January: Glaucoma Awareness MonthOriginal Medicare. But not all Medicare Advantage According to the U.S. Department of Health andplans are created equal. Human Services, approximately 2 million American over the age of 40 have glaucoma. Half of that number are unaware they have this potentially blindingWhile many Medicare Advantage plans include disease because they do not have any symptoms or areoptions with zero or low monthly premiums, they unaware of the signs. Discuss the need for a glaucomavary in price and the extra benefits they offer, so it’s screening with your physician.important to compare the plans available in yourarea and talk to your doctor and family about what Glaucoma Signs:is right for you, both physically and financially. • Blurred vision • Gradual loss of peripheral or side visionWhen making your Medicare choices, someimportant questions to ask include: • Difficultly focusing on objects • Are my prescription drugs covered? February: American Heart Month Keep your heart healthy by controlling your cholesterol • What are the copay amounts for primary care, and blood pressure. Know your cholesterol and blood specialist and hospital visits? pressure numbers and get them checked as often as your doctor recommends. • Do the doctors and hospitals in the provider network meet my needs? Cholesterol – Your HDL (good cholesterol) should be • Are there coinsurance or deductible amounts 60mg/dL or higher to protect against heart disease. Your LDL (bad cholesterol) should be low, less than associated with procedures and/or visits? 100 mg/dL is optimal. Talk to your doctor to see what • Is there a cap on out-of-pocket spending for cholesterol levels are right for you. both prescription drugs and other care needs? Blood Pressure – Your blood pressure target should be • What extra benefits are offered (dental, vision, 120/80 or less. The top number (systolic) measures the hearing, fitness club, etc.)? pressure in your arteries when your heart beats; the bottom number (diastolic) measures pressure in the arteries between heartbeats.
  • 18. Understanding Medicare The HealthSpring Difference How is HealthSpring different? Our success is based on several key factors that set us apart and enable us to serve our members in a complex market. First, our focus on Medicare Advantage has allowed us to better understand the specific needs of beneficiaries and tailor plans for each of our service areas. We also have a local market presence to allow us the flexibility to respond to the needs of members in each community we serve. We have on-site personnel and local support in each of our markets, so member service is highly personalized. HealthSpring has developed a unique approach to healthcare that collaborates closely with both the physician and patient. We partner with physicians and hospitals that are dedicated to improving the quality of care and reducing the costly over-practicing of medicine. HealthSpring then passes the value on to our members in the form of increased benefits and lower premiums and co-payments. HealthSpring is also committed to a coordinated healthcare approach, with the primary care physician as the key to managing members’ health. This team approach, with the physician in the lead working with specialists, provides open communication among all providers and results in better care for members. As Medicare’s rolls swell and the country wrestles with improving healthcare efficiency and cost, HealthSpring remains dedicated to growing a system that aligns the interests of members, physicians, and health plans to provide healthcare as it should be. HealthSpring’s expertise, innovation and commitment enable us to truly help seniors get more from Medicare and more from life. This article provided by For more information, please visit www.myhealthspring.com. A Coordinated Care plan with a Medicare Advantage contract. i Centers for Medicare & Medicaid enrollment data, November 2011. ii Kaiser Family Foundation: Issue Brief Medicap Reform: Setting the Context.
  • 19. Content ContributorsAbout AMERICAN GENERAL LIFE COMPANIESAmerican General Life Companies, www.americangeneral.com, is the marketing name for a group of affiliated domestic lifeinsurance companies. American General Life Companies insurers offer a broad spectrum of life insurance, fixed annuities, accident& health products and worksite benefits to serve the financial and estate planning needs of its customers throughout the United States.To learn more, please visit the company website, www.americangeneral.com, or contact:American General Life Companies2727-A Allen Parkway, Houston, TX 77019Phone: (800) 231-3655 Fax: (713) 831-3028 TDD: (888) 436-5256About SERVICE CORPORATION INTERNATIONAL:Founded in 1962 and headquartered in Houston, Texas, Service Corporation International is a top provider of death-care productsand services offering funeral, cremation, and cemetery services to hundreds of thousands of families each year. Compassionateemployees in over 1,800 network funeral homes and cemeteries work with families on a pre-need basis to plan their most idealtribute to passed loved ones.Service Corporation International (SCI) is the umbrella title for seven individual brands: Dignity Memorial, National CremationSociety, Advantage, Funeraria del Angel, Making Everlasting Memories, Memorial Plan, Neptune Society/Trident Society. Eachof SCI’s brands offers a unique experience allowing families to choose which best fits their needs and desires, whether it be thesimplest of funeral arrangements or an extravagant ceremony involving ample planning and resources.To learn more, please visit the company website at www.sci-corp.com or contact:Service Corporation International1929 Allen Parkway, Houston, Texas 77019Phone: (713) 522-5141 GeneralInquiries@sci-us.comAbout HEALTHSPRING:Based in Nashville, Tennessee, HealthSpring is the largest health plan in the United States focused exclusively on MedicareAdvantage. HealthSpring’s concentration on this market has led to the development of a unique approach to healthcare and a deepunderstanding of the needs and challenges facing both patients and physicians.HealthSpring’s physician engagement model provides more access to high quality preventive care for members while supplyingphysicians what they need to deliver that care more effectively and cost efficiently. Specifically, HealthSpring recognizes andrewards physicians for quality over quantity of care, and provides extra resources to physicians so they can devote more time andattention to patients. The result: healthier members with lower medical costs. It is a common-sense model, but an uncommonpractice.HealthSpring currently owns and operates Medicare Advantage plans in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland,Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia. Additionally, HealthSpring offers anational stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan.For further inquiries, please visit the company website at www.healthspring.com or contact:HealthSpring, Inc.9009 Carothers Parkway, Suite 501 Franklin, TN 370671-800-472-1823
  • 20. VantagePoint is published quarterly and is Please forward this issue to family and friendsdistributed free of charge by those companies who you believe might also benefit from thecontributing content of interest and value to information contained in the articles appearingthe readers. in this issue.The articles in VantagePoint reflect those issues For additional information or to providethat affect you, your family, and the plans you feedback or suggestions on future topics youmake to accommodate the changes you face in would like to be covered, please email to:your finances, health, and lifestyle. info@vantagepointtoday.com

×