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State Health Insurance Counselors – Experts to Help You Navigate Medicare

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A famous writer, J.W. Goethe, said, “Everything is hard before it is easy.” This quote certainly rings true in regards to navigating health insurance and Medicare — a constantly changing, often confusing landscape. Many find it challenging to understand what’s available and how to meet their needs. We’re here to make it less hard.

Age Well’s State Health Insurance Counselors offer free and confidential counseling for people 60+ years of age and Medicare beneficiaries. We can provide you with available options and guidance so that you can manage your health, plan for your future, and continue aging confidently.  

Case in point:

Recently, we had a beneficiary call to review her Medicare Part D plan because she had list of medications that were no longer covered. Their cost had exceeded the allotted funds for the year. She was in a position where all costs would now be out-of-pocket, an unaffordable option.

One of our experts reviewed her medications, checked for potential restrictions and made sure she had access to the proper dosage. By the end of the call, she had saved over $2,000!

Why it matters:

Throughout our lives, those that we work for (i.e. our employers) define the health insurance and options that are available, but now you have the privilege of choice – and there are many.  Health insurance is a philosophical consideration as much as it’s a financial one. Knowing the rules and options prior to being eligible for Medicare (65+ years of age), will help you make informed decisions to best meet your individual needs.

The basics:

All of us have finite resources and must make decisions that fall within the current market offerings.

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Your coverage selection is composed of three primary factors:

  • Your health
  • Your money
  • Your personal beliefs

There are also several questions to consider including:

  • When should I begin my coverage?
  • Which coverage plans are available?
  • What rules do I need to know so as to avoid penalties?
  • Am I eligible for financial assistance?

For more information regarding "How to Get Started with Medicare," check out a guest blog post from the University of Vermont’s Medical Center.

And don’t forget - we’re here to help:

Age Well’s State Health Insurance and Assistance Program (SHIP) is a free, confidential unbiased service that has counselors available to answer your Medicare questions. Getting started is easy, just call our helpline: 1-800-642-5119

We also offer Medicare informational sessions. Topics include: Learning the Top Medicare Considerations, Starting Medicare at 65 to Avoid Late Penalties, Selecting the Best Coverage for You, and Protecting Yourself from Fraud. Click here to see our upcoming class schedule.

Meals on Wheels – Providing Much More Than A Meal

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In response to confusion around federal funding received by Meals on Wheels:  Meals on Wheels services are provided directly to seniors by a nationwide network of 5,000 local community-run programs that, in the aggregate, receive 35% of their funding from the federal government. Some media outlets have incorrectly reported this number to be 3%, confusing it with the federal funding received by Meals on Wheels America, the national membership organization that does not provide direct services (e.g., meals). This miscommunication dramatically understates the significant impact of any federal budget cuts that may affect Meals on Wheels.

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Ready to March? Join Age Well's 2017 March for Meals

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Are you ready to March for Meals? Help us fight the three biggest threats facing our aging population: hunger, isolation and loss of independence. The statistics regarding Vermont seniors are startling: 

 42,112 are living in or near poverty

 39,866 are isolated, living alone

 20,356 are threatened by hunger

 

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Guest Blog: Experience Never Gets Old

Liz VogelThere is a brilliant element of our personal development and it is the level of our awareness at any given time. The awareness of what we know. Our experience. In our youth, there is often a bravado of how much we know and some of that comes from how fast we learn new things measured against the scope of our world. When we are young, the scope of our world is fairly contained and the awe of learning something new, and having the ability to share it, rivals little else. We are discovering things for the first time.

The sensation of sharing our knowledge rarely leaves us throughout our lives, but the boundaries of our worlds expand and we can sometimes be more in awe of the breadth and depth and complexity of our world, and that thrill of sharing our knowledge gets melded with so many other components of our lives. We can forget what that feeling is like to have the time and space to share our wisdom.

 

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Aging with Purpose

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Welcome to Age Well’s first 2017 blog post! With the holiday season behind us, I want to share with you some of our exciting plans for the coming year.

Our name change last year (from CVAA to Age Well) signified a new way of thinking about the process of growing older. Instead of dreading or denying the reality of aging, Age Well believes that we should embrace and celebrate it.  We’re committed to maximizing quality of life by enabling our community to approach the aging process with confidence, determination and purpose.

In the months ahead, Age Well will continue to roll out new programs and strategies designed to enhance the health and well-being of the people we serve, placing an emphasis on monitoring and optimizing our clients’ health and wellness. 

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