Those MediCare Advantage Plans

You have seen the ads…..everybody sells these plans, even AARP, that say they can put money back into your Social Security check….but what of these plans?

First of all the whole US health care system is a scam.

But what of these ‘advantage’ plans?

At least one Senator is not convinced these are anything but a deception….

Sen. Ron Wyden on Tuesday launched an inquiry into “potentially deceptive” marketing tactics being used by private insurers and other companies that offer Medicare benefits through Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans, citing “alarming reports” about contractors “engaging in aggressive sales practices that take advantage of vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities.”

In his capacity as chair of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal healthcare programs under the Social Security Act, including privately run Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D drug plans, Wyden (D-Ore.) sent letters requesting more information from 15 state insurance commissioners and state health insurance assistance programs.

The letter—sent to officials in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas—comes amid a surge in complaints about MA and Part D marketing materials that purport to inform seniors of their coverage options.

In May, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which has the authority to regulate materials used to market MA and Part D plans, reported that complaints from seniors more than doubled from 2020 to 2021.

Among other things, Wyden wants officials to provide data on the number of complaints about MA and/or Part D marketing materials they have received in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, including possible patterns of discrimination, as well as “examples of potentially false or misleading marketing materials and advertisements in MA or Part D, including mailers, robo-calls, websites, television commercials, and online advertisements.”

Of Medicare’s 60 million beneficiaries, nearly half are enrolled in MA plans and 50 million are enrolled in Part D plans. Corporations that manage MA plans have come under fire for upcoding, or exaggerating patients’ illnesses in order to reap larger payments from the federal government—something they do while refusing to provide necessary care for tens of thousands each year.

So the question remains….is Medicare Advantage a necessary expense?  Is it a scam?

My thoughts are this is an unnecessary expense with promises that may not be realized or needed.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


That Usual Saturday News–27Aug22

It is Saturday again and time for the usual news that no one can use…..

It’s what is called the ‘Dog Days Of Summer’ that time before Autumn, that time when the final vacay days like going to the beach before cooler weather sets in.

If you are planning that last trip to the seaside keep in kind the dangers that could await you… sharks, jellyfish, rip tides ans of course beach umbrellas…..

Beach umbrellas?

Glad you asked.

A midweek beach outing turned tragic for a South Carolina woman after an umbrella blew over and fatally impaled her. WMBF reports that 63-year-old Tammy Perreault of Horry County was struck in the chest Wednesday around 12:40pm by the umbrella. It had toppled with the wind on the shore of Garden City. “It just kept going and going,” friend Sherry White tells the news station. “Everyone [said], ‘Duck,’ and we did, but unfortunately she was in the line of fire.” Off-duty medical professionals and other beachgoers assisted Perreault, who was suffering from chest trauma, until first responders arrived to take her to a nearby hospital, per a spokesman for Horry County Emergency Management.

She died there about an hour after the accident. Per a study last year in the Journal of Safety Research, most patients treated at the ER due to injuries from beach and patio umbrellas were women over the age of 40 like Perreault, reports CBS News. “The most frequently reported injury was laceration followed by contusions or abrasions and internal organ injury, and the body part with the highest proportion of injuries was the head/neck followed by the upper extremity,” the study notes.

Such incidents have been concerning enough that Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia asked the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to run a safety campaign around them, spurred by the death in 2016 of a 55-year-old Virginia woman. WTKR cites a CPSC warning that “airborne beach umbrellas can be dangerous, even deadly.” The agency notes that between 2010 and 2018 there were about 2,800 unconfirmed injuries due to beach umbrellas. The CPSC offers tips on safely erecting one, including anchoring the base of the spiked pole with something hefty to keep it down, packing sand down around the base, and tilting the umbrella into the wind.

Keep that in mind while you visit the seaside.

How many of you old farts remember the gorgeous Gina Lollobrigida?

She has decided to enter into Italian politics…..

The Italian screen legend Gina Lollobrigida has said she is running in general elections next month because she is “fed up with quarrelling politicians”.

Lollobrigida, who turned 95 in July, is endeavouring to become a senator with the Sovereign and Popular Italy party (ISP), a new Eurosceptic, anti-Mario-Draghi political alliance that opposes sending arms to Ukraine and “warmongering Atlanticism”.

She told Corriere della Sera she was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, for his “way of doing things, for his non-violence” and that she was a “great friend” of India’s first female prime minister, Indira Gandhi. “I saw her every time she came to Rome. She was an extraordinary woman.”

If you live anywhere mosquitoes are a problem and what to do about them in your yard…..

Life comes with lots of little annoyances, few of them littler or more annoying than mosquitoes. Although it may seem difficult to avoid mosquitoes, the AP offers some ways to reduce or eliminate them from your yard and garden—without resorting to insecticidal foggers or sprays (which the AP points out threaten essential pollinators and other beneficial insects while controlling only a small portion of the adult mosquito population). With the exception of those who live near a lake, marsh, or swamp or in densely packed neighborhoods, most of the blame for mosquito invasions usually falls on the property’s residents.

Mosquitoes need only one-quarter inch of water to breed, and a female can lay hundreds of eggs at a time. Inspect your property for standing water. Drain or dump water as you see it, even if the amount appears insignificant—in a children’s playset, clogged gutter, pot saucer, overturned trash can lid or flying disc toy—and drill drainage holes in the bottoms of vessels like tire swings. For water that’s intended to stand, such as in ponds and bird baths, the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) is a safe and effective way to kill mosquito larvae.

Several strains of Bt are available, each targeting different insects, so be sure to buy the israelensis strain to target mosquitoes. Bti comes in various forms, including donut-shaped briquettes called “Mosquito Dunks.” The floating rings offer 30 days of protection and “will not harm people, pets, and other animals, aquatic life, or other insects, including honeybees,” according to the CDC. If you don’t have a pond or bird bath, you can make a DIY mosquito trap. Add a handful of straw, hay, or grass clippings to a (preferably dark-colored) pail filled with water, and let it sit for 1-2 days. Then add one mosquito dunk.

For large infestations, tuck several buckets around the yard. The decomposing organic matter will attract the insects, which will lay eggs on the treated water. Replace water and add a fresh dunk every 30 days to thwart future generations of mosquitoes. As for so-called “mosquito plants” marketed as repellents: They do contain oils or chemicals that the insects find unappealing, but they’re not effective unless those compounds are released, such as by crushing the leaves. Merely having such a plant in the garden or a pot will not provide any benefit. In case you’re wondering, mosquitoes do serve a purpose—as pollinators and bird food. Still, because the roles they serve in these areas are minor, eliminating them from your yard will not adversely affect the ecosystem.

Finally, a new study has me concerned…..bacon could cause dementia…..

There are 10 million new cases of dementia every year and this trend is expected to accelerate in the coming decades. The reason for the jump is ageing populations. However, it’s worth pointing out that age is a risk factor not a cause of dementia, and there are things you can do to modify your risk. Research published earlier this year suggests cutting back on processed meat.

Scientists from the University’s Nutritional Epidemiology Group used data from 500,000 people, discovering that consuming a 25g serving of processed meat a day, the equivalent to one rasher of bacon, is associated with a 44 percent increased risk of developing the disease.

But their findings also show eating some unprocessed red meat, such as beef, pork or veal, could be protective, as people who consumed 50g a day were 19 percent less likely to develop dementia. 

The researchers were exploring whether there is a link between consumption of meat and development of dementia.

Okay this sounds like a story by the Turkey Bacon people to increase sells…..besides with enough bacon I could eat a bowling ball.

This is it for all the news that means absolutely nothing….hope you enjoyed it.

Have a great weekend.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”