Posts in the Management Category

Medicare Open Enrollment for 2015

October 21st, 2014 | Author: Aimee Bulthuis

Medicare Open Enrollment has now begun! Now through December 7th you can enroll or change your Medicare plan. Each year Medicare prescription drug plans change their benefits and formularies. This means your current plan may change,

(powell.littletonpublicschools.net)

(powell.littletonpublicschools.net)

including what medications covered or your out-of-pocket costs. Open Enrollment is the time  you can sign up for or make changes to a Medicare Health Plan or prescription drug coverage. Any changes you make during Open Enrollment will be for coverage beginning January 1, 2015. If you are satisfied with your existing plan you do not have to do anything. However, we highly recommend that you review your plan in case of any coverage changes scheduled for 2015. There are many tools available to help you determine the best plan for you and help you compare the costs, coverage, and formularies of available plans.

  • Visit www.medicare.gov to use the Medicare Plan Finder. For help navigating www.medicare.gov see the following Alpha-1 Foundation guides: Medicare Advantage Plan Finder, QuickCheck Medicare Plan Finder, Medicare QuickCheck Plan D Finder
  • Or call the Medicare Toll Free Number 1-800-MEDICARE (633-4227)

The Alpha-1 Foundation has developed a step-by-step guide to help you with the Open Enrollment process. This presentation will show you how to determine which Medicare drug plans offer the drug(s) you need on their formulary. It is not an in‐depth comparison of plans, but does show you how to do a ‘Quick Check’ to see which plans in your area have your drug(s) available on their formulary. Download the following attachments for your guides to help in this process:

Medicare Advantage Plan Finder

Medicare Open Enrollment_2014

Medicare QuickCheck Plan D Finder Slides

Pam DeNardo: A Decade of Helping Individuals with COPD

August 11th, 2014 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

This excerpt was drawn from the Spring 2014 issue of the COPD Digest.

When Pam DeNardo was diagnosed with COPD in 1999, there were scant resources available. She had to do her own research—teaching herself about medications, inhalers, and pulmonary rehabilitation, a task she said was daunting and scary without guidance or any references.

“I was terrified. Mpamdenardoy doctor said that at best I had three to five years to live,” DeNardo says. “’Incurable’— that’s all I could think of. Except, I couldn’t die. I was a single mother of two, I had a mother in her 90s who needed me, and a small insurance business that had just turned the corner and was making money. I simply could not be sick, and I could not die.”

Today, DeNardo is one of 35 associates who work on the COPD Foundation’s C.O.P.D. Information Line. When it was created in 2007, they averaged 300 inbound calls every month. Today, the associates field anywhere between 5,000-6,000 contacts each month. DeNardo was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Information Line.

“Today, patients are still scared. You can hear that when they call the Info Line. The best thing is when I get a call from a newly diagnosed patient, because I can tell them I’ve had the diagnosis for 15 years, and you can hear the relief in their voices,” she says. “The Information Line, to me, is the culmination of everything I believed in.”

phoneIn 2007, she met with Bill Clark, director of outreach programs at the COPD Foundation, and John and Diane Walsh, and together, they recruited patients, set up the toll-free line for support and information, and the Information Line was born.

“The Foundation will continue to grow, and I believe it [a cure] will happen. And I hope to be there. I’m working hard to be there,” DeNardo says.

Read on about Pam’s journey on the COPD Digest website.

Shaming and Blaming

March 7th, 2014 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

The dreaded question for individuals living with COPD is “Did you smoke?” So much is insinuated in three simple words, and so many in our community have to withstand the stigma associated with the disease.  All too often, people with COPD are afraid to reach out for help, let alone raise awareness for the disease, because they believe in the end they will be shamed and blamed for smoking.

Smoking does cause 75% of COPD – but did you know that 25% of COPD patients have never smoked? Environmental,

(taken from Pinterest.com)

(taken from Pinterest.com)

occupational, and genetic factors also cause respiratory diseases.  If you did or do smoke however, know that you are not alone. If you feel stigmatized for your condition, just reach out to our COPD community on Facebook or call the C.O.P.D. Information Line at 1 866 316 2673. What is important now is not to look at the past with regret and shame, but to the future with strength and hope. No one has the right to take that away from you.

This leads me to a piece of news that broke this week. Online news site, Mail Online, reported that late actress Shirley Temple Black was, “…a secret smoker who died from lung disease.” When she passed last month, her family did not disclose COPD as the cause of death, perhaps out of fear that she might be stigmatized for smoking.

This is just one example of an individual who had to live in silence about a disease that is the third leading cause of death in the United States. We hope those living with COPD today will come out of the shadows and help educate others about the nature of the disease. We believe the “shame and blame” culture will decline over time with greater awareness and education about the disease.

We are proud of all of our community members who speak out about COPD, and have the courage to stand up to those who may judge and marginalize us.

Have you been “shamed and blamed” for developing COPD? How did you deal with it? Please share in the comments section.

 

Medicare Open Enrollment and You

October 25th, 2013 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

This past week marked the beginning of open enrollment for Medicare, the health insurance program available to seniors starting on their 65th birthday and certain people with disabilities.  Each year, Medicare recipients have the opportunity to make changes to their Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug coverage for the following year.  During this open enrollment period, individuals with Medicare plans may reassess their needs and budget.  The open enrollment period started on October 15 and ends on December 7.

What can you do?

  • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare.

    (seniorcarecorner.com)

    (seniorcarecorner.com)

  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage.
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage.
  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
  • Switch from one Medicare drug plan to another Medicare drug plan.
  • Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.

When?

October 15–December 7

The Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment period (October 1, 2013–March 31, 2014) overlaps with the Medicare Open Enrollment period (October 15–December 7, 2013).

You don’t need to do anything with the Marketplace during Open Enrollment.

You don’t need to sign up for Medicare each year.  However, each year you’ll have a chance to review your coverage and change plans.

Tips for Medicare’s Open Enrollment:

Medicare.gov

Marketwatch

Forbes

NextAvenue.gov

Change Your Attitude

September 27th, 2013 | Author: Jim Nelson

This blog post was written by Jim Nelson, an individual living with COPD. Read more…

Pulmonary Rehab Helped Him Turn His Life Around

August 12th, 2013 | Author: Katelyn Turner

At one time, Sylvester Catherman could barely walk 300 feet without having to sit down. Read more…

New COPD drug approved by FDA

May 16th, 2013 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Read more…

COPD8USA and the Community Education Workshop!

April 1st, 2013 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

The COPD Foundation is hosting the COPD8USA Conference June 14-15, 2013 Read more…

Inspiration For Life: AACVPR Initiates Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week

March 4th, 2013 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week, initiated by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), Read more…

Don’t Let COPD Control Your Life

February 19th, 2013 | Author: Fabiana Talbot

COPD is commonly considered a “smokers disease,” but did you know Read more…