Articles Posted in Healthcare

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As many an old hippie might recall, the well-worn adage “Better living through chemistry” can have multiple meanings, especially in this age of miracle drugs and advanced medical cures. Whether one is a confirmed flower child from the 1960s or simply a senior citizen with a few chronic medical problems, it is important for Baby Boomers to understand that there is danger lurking for those who choose to ignore the pharmaceutical elephant in the room.

Popping pills isn't what it used to be in the '60s, though the potential dangers may be just as real.

Popping pills isn’t what it used to be back in the ’60s, though the potential dangers may be just as real.

And, no, we’re not talking about those drug-induced hallucinations “enjoyed” by many enlightened souls during the Age of Aquarius, but the real and actual threat of permanent injury or death that many older people may be facing on a daily basis without even knowing it; a serious danger presented by potentially deadly drug interactions.

According to news reports, the problem of “polypharmacy” (sometimes referred to as polymedicine) has been identified as a key factor in the deaths of more than 100,000 individuals each year; however, it should be noted that the negative effects of Polypharmacy on unwitting individuals should not be confused with the beneficial application of multiple drugs (more commonly known as “combination therapy”) to fight various cancers and other serious medical conditions.

Although the benefits of multiple-drug therapies include enhanced efficacy of treatment, as well as improved safety and tolerability of pharmacotherapy, it is the unexpected or unanticipated side effects from polypharmacy that pose the greatest danger to thousands of people every month in this country. Continue reading →

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While many Baby Boomers are getting up there in years, a good number of us are still, fortunately, working. We say fortunately because the mere fact means that some folks, at least those who are active in the workforce, may still have the ability to generate a little additional income when necessary. While having to work in one’s golden years seems to be less of a blessing and more of a curse, the latest news about healthcare insurance premiums may prompt some seniors and younger Boomers to reconsider chucking their day job and maybe delay that long hoped-for segue into retirement.

What we’re getting at here is reflected in recent news articles that indicate many health insurance companies plan to raise customer premiums by a significant amount this year; significant as in upward of 20 percent or more in some cases. According to reports, the increases may be seen all across the United States as insurers seek to raise premium rates for many of their current policyholders. If the so-called fiscal cliff sent chills up the spines of most people, not to mention small business owners, these anticipated insurance hikes could be even worse.

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Rising health insurance premiums may cause seniors and Boomers alike to juggle their finances even more.

Of those who would be the most greatly affected by any rate increases, financial experts suggest that small business owners and those individuals who do not have an employer-provided insurance plan may be the most vulnerable. Considering that rate hike percentages in some areas of the country will be in the double-digits, this is nothing to sneeze at, especially if that sneeze leads to a doctor visit in the near future.

Examples of the coming onslaught of higher health insurance premiums include consumers in the state of California, namely those who are insured with Aetna, Blue Shield of California, or Anthem Blue Cross, the latter of which is seeking a whopping 26 percent rate hike for certain of its policyholders. For many people who pay for their own insurance the threatened increases could equate to several hundred dollars extra a month. Continue reading →

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As Baby Boomers, many of us either have already reached that so-called magical age where Medicare begins to cover (in part, at least) the cost of one’s medical treatments heading into the future, or you are one of the many millions who are anxiously awaiting the inevitable countdown to Medicare. Whether you’re there already or years away, it’s a fair bet that you have experienced at least one hospital visit yourself or with a loved one that has opened your eyes to the staggering costs of hospital care and other serious medical treatment.


With Medicare alone, covered medical procedures can still hit seniors with some hefty out-of-pocket expenses.

For those born before 1948, who are already taking advantage of Medicare, you have probably learned either through trial-and-error or dogged research and investigation that filling the gaps in government-provided medical insurance can be costly, not only in terms of premiums for Medicare advantage and supplemental plans, but also in terms of co-pays or direct costs that non-covered procedures can result in.

The good news, at least for those yet to enter the realm of the Medicare labyrinth is that enough people are clamoring for facts at the same time that there is more than sufficient information available; one just has to make a concerted effort to begin the search.

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