Most dental PPO and Indemnity plans have an annual dollar maximum. This is the maximum dollar amount a dental plan will pay toward the cost of dental care within a specific benefit period (usually January through December). The patient is personally responsible for paying costs above the annual maximum. When buying dental plan make sure to know what the maximum limitation is on average it can range between $500 – $2000 though plans can very.
Archive for May, 2015
Share of Cost, At Least Half of New Medicare Advantage Enrollees Had Switched From Traditional Medicare During 2006-11
With ongoing interest in rising Medicare Advantage enrollment, we examined whether the growth in enrollment between 2006 and 2011 was mainly due to new beneficiaries choosing Medicare Advantage when they first become eligible for Medicare. We also examined the extent to which beneficiaries in traditional Medicare switched to Medicare Advantage, and vice versa. We found that 22 percent of new Medicare beneficiaries elected Medicare Advantage over traditional Medicare in 2011; they accounted for 48 percent of new Medicare Advantage enrollees that year.
People ages 65–69 switched from traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage at higher-than-average rates. Dual eligibles (people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid) and beneficiaries younger than age sixty-five with disabilities disenrolled from Medicare Advantage at higher-than-average rates. On average, in each year of the study period we found that fewer than 5 percent of traditional Medicare beneficiaries switched to Medicare Advantage, and a similar percentage of Medicare Advantage enrollees switched to traditional Medicare. These results suggest that initial coverage decisions have long-lasting effects.
For your dental care some of the worst food choices are: Candy, cookies, cakes, crackers, breads, muffins, potato chips, french fries, pretzels, bananas, raisins and other dried fruits. These foods provide a source of sugar that certain bacteria can use to produce acid. The problem can be worse if the foods stick to teeth or get caught between them.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicare coverage expanded in 2011 to fully cover annual preventive care visits. We assessed the impact of coverage expansion, using 2007–13 data from primary care patients of Medicare-eligible age at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (204,388 patient-years), which serves people in four counties near San Francisco, California. We compared trends in preventive visits and recommended preventive services among Medicare fee-for-service and Medicare health maintenance organization (HMO) patients as well as non-Medicare patients ages 65–75 who were covered by private fee-for-service and private HMO plans.
Among Medicare fee-for-service patients, the annual use of preventive visits rose from 1.4 percent before the implementation of the ACA to 27.5 percent afterward. This increase was significantly larger than was seen for patients in the other insurance groups. Nevertheless, rates of annual preventive care visit use among Medicare fee-for-service patients remained 10–20 percentage points lower than was the case for people with private coverage (43–44 percent) or those in a Medicare HMO (53 percent). ACA policy changes led to increased preventive service use by Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries, which suggests that Medicare coverage expansion is an effective way to increase seniors’ use of preventive services.
If you want to prevent cavities, how often you eat can be just as important as what you eat. That is because food affects your teeth and mouth long after you swallow. Eating cookies with dinner will do less harm to your teeth than eating them as a separate snack. Of course, overall poor nutrition can contribute to periodontal disease. It also can have other long-term effects on your mouth.
For people with food allergies, vague warnings on food products – such as “may contain nuts” – can be confusing; is the product safe to consume or not? In a new study, researchers claim to have identified the levels at which five common food allergens – peanut, hazelnut, celery, fish and shrimp – cause a reaction in only 10% of people who are allergic to them.
The research team – led by Prof. Clare Mills of the Institute of Inflammation and Repair at the University of Manchester in the UK – says they hope the findings will lead to improved allergy warnings on food products.
Fluoride is safe and effective when it is used properly. All water-fluoridation systems are checked daily to maintain safe fluoride levels for drinking. Parents should supervise the use of all fluoride products in the home. Fluoride-supplement tablets should be stored safely away from young children. In 2010, the American Dental Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs recommended fluoride supplements only for children who have a high risk of caries.
This advice applies regardless of the amount of fluoride in the child’s drinking water. Dentists limit the amount of tablets they prescribe at one time to reduce the risk of overdose. To avoid any chance of overdose, do not stock up on fluoride tablets in your home. If you have any questions regarding fluoride risks, talk to your dentist or physician.
Share of Cost, Antacid cimetidine could be 1 of many common over-the-counter medicines to treat cancer
A drug used to treat indigestion – found in medicine cabinets across the country – has anti-cancer properties, researchers are claiming in a newly published paper.
The drug cimetidine can increase survival rates in colorectal cancer cases, according to the study published in ecancer.
“Cimetidine is an interesting drug as it’s very safe, very well-known, and has clinical results in cancer that have been confirmed in a number of trials,” says lead author Dr. Pan Pantziarka, a member of the Repurposing Drugs in Oncology (ReDO) project.
Children between six months and sixteen years old should take fluoride supplements if: They do not drink water fluoridated to optimum levels. They also are at high risk of cavities (caries/tooth decay) Fluoride supplements are available as liquids for younger children and tablets for older children. Either your pediatrician or your dentist can prescribe them.
If your child has had cavities or is at high risk of tooth decay, he or she should use extra fluoride. This will promote remineralization. Fluoride mouth rinses are recommended for children over the age of six. They are found in the mouthwash section of most stores. Your dentist can prescribe fluoride rinses and gels if your child needs a higher level of fluoride. Carefully supervise your children when they use any fluoride product. Keep fluoride out of reach of young children.
Did you know it’s illegal for Medicare beneficiaries to use coupons for their Part D drugs? Most people don’t….but it is. Coupons are a way that drug companies can entice beneficiaries to use drugs whose copayment, let alone the full cost of the drugs, would otherwise be too expensive. This means Medicare is then footing the bill for these more expensive brand name drugs that without coupons beneficiaries wouldn’t use. They would instead use lower cost generics. Drug companies are supposed to use safeguards to ensure beneficiaries don’t use coupons to get these high cost drugs, but such efforts are lacking, according to a recent Office of Inspector General report (PDF). The OIG found that up to 7% of beneficiaries use coupons to purchase their drugs, which amounts to about 2 million people buying more expensive drugs than they would otherwise and hence racking up Medicare’s Part D drug tab.
While beneficiaries are just doing what seems like a smart and legit way to get the drugs they require at a price they can afford, this coupon use is illegal and drug companies are most likely letting it go unchecked to protect and sustain their own profit margins.
Plaque is a soft, gooey substance that sticks to your teeth. Plaque is a type of biofilm which contains large numbers of closely packed bacteria, components taken from saliva, and bits of food. Also in the mix are bacterial byproducts and white blood cells. Plaque grows when bacteria attach to the tooth and begin to multiply. Plaque starts forming right after a tooth is cleaned. Within an hour, there’s enough to measure. As time goes on, the plaque thickens. Within two to six hours, the plaque teems with bacteria that can cause cavities and periodontal disease.
If you notice a prescription you do not take or a service you did not receive listed on your MSN, take action! Speak to your hospice provider to see if there has been a billing mistake. If you don’t get a straight answer or the billing is not corrected, report the hospice provider to your local California Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 855-613-7080.
Review your Medicare Summary Notices (MSNs) carefully to check that the hospice has billed Medicare properly for services received. One way that hospice providers commit fraud is by inflating the level of care beyond what the patient actually needs. This can include falsely documenting patient needs or billing for additional services while providing a lower level of care.
Your mouth and teeth are constantly bathed in saliva. Most people never give much thought to their spit, but this fluid is remarkable for what it does to help protect our oral health. Saliva keeps teeth and other parts of your mouth moist and washes away bits of food. Saliva contains minerals that strengthen teeth. It includes buffering agents. They reduce the levels of acid that can decay teeth. Saliva also protects against some viruses and bacteria.
Once you start hospice care, you must develop a plan of care with the hospice director and your physician. This plan of care is an important way to ensure that you receive appropriate hospice services.
Under the hospice benefit, Medicare will pay in full for the following: skilled nursing services, skilled therapy services, home health aide services, durable medical equipment (DME), medical social services, pastoral care, nutrition and dietary counseling, and prescription drugs related to pain relief and symptom control for inpatients. If you are a hospice outpatient, you will pay no more than $5 for these drugs.
Remember, the purpose of hospice is to empower the patient at the end of life and help them die with dignity. If you feel that you or a loved one is receiving unnecessary treatments or their needs are not being met, you should speak with your hospice care providers about providing appropriate care. Additionally, you can choose to end hospice care and resume receiving curative treatments for your illness at any time.
You can never get rid of all the bacteria in your mouth. However you can take steps to control and disrupt the bacteria so that it does not attack your teeth and cause dental health issues such as tooth decay. To do this make sure to brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily and reduce the number of times each day that you consume fermentable carbohydrates.
Some mouthwashes reduce bacteria in your mouth. This can help prevent decay. Chewing sugarless gums, especially those with xylitol, can help reduce the number of bacteria that cause cavities and increase the flow of saliva. Also you need to make sure that you visit your dentist regularly. The dentist can find and treat any decay before it causes larger dental issues.