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Enriching your life; informing your health. Life insurance, and other topics.


Depression and Senior Citizens: What You Need to Know Part 2
Depression and Senior Citizens: What You Need to Know Part 2

Depression is a serious illness that affects a growing number of Americans, including seniors. The good news is that depression can be managed with the proper care.

In the first half of this series, we talked about some of the contributing factors for depression. We also talked common indications that you might need to reach out to a medical professional for help.

In this second half, we will talk about how you can use Medicare Supplement plans to help you fight back against depression. 

 

Original Medicare

Since 2012, Medicare Part B has covered one depression screening per year. This screening is entirely free if your doctor accepts assignments. The screening must be carried out by a doctor in a primary care facility, however they have the ability to write a referral to a mental health specialist if needed.

Part B also covers outpatient services, like psychiatrist or clinical psychologist visits -- again, so long as the doctor accepts assignments. For these services, you will have to pay a copay or coinsurance of 20% of the Medicare-approved amount.

 

Medicare Supplement Insurance Options

There are a number of benefits to owning a Medicare Supplement insurance policy. For starters, plans available in your state often help cover your copays and coinsurance.

 

Medicare Supplement insurance plans differ by allowing you to choose a plan better suited to your specific needs. If you have a history of mental illness, then you may choose to invest in a plan that has broader coverage of mental health-related charges.

 

Depression is one of the most difficult illnesses to diagnose and treat. But knowing what to watch out for and what resources are available to you will give you a big advantage.

 

http://www.gallup.com/poll/181364/reports-depression-treatment-highest-among-baby-boomers.aspx?utm_source=CATEGORY_WELLBEING&utm_medium=topic&utm_campaign=tiles

Disclaimer: Neither Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company® nor its Medicare Supplement policies are affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government, the federal Medicare program, or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This is a solicitation of Medicare Supplement insurance and an independent agent may call on you. 

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Depression and Senior Citizens: What You Need to Know Part 1
Depression and Senior Citizens: What You Need to Know Part 1

Not all ailments are physical. In fact, 14% of baby boomers -- or one in seven -- said they were being treated for depression according to a 2015 Gallup poll. That rate is higher than any other generation of American adults.

Oftentimes, those suffering from non-physical illnesses are uncomfortable talking about their struggle, which might even prevent them from seeking therapy and getting the help they need.

This two-part guide is designed to help you better understand how depression can affect Medicare-aged individuals, and what they can do to combat the illness.

Part one will focus on risk and detection.

Risk Factors for Depression in Seniors
Many people who suffer from depression have lived otherwise healthy and pleasant lives. This is, in fact, part of why a stigma has developed around depression and other mental illnesses. Still, there are some things that have shown to increase the risk that you should bear in mind:

·       Physical disability

·       Changes in environment

·       Medication

·       Poor Diet

·       Loss of a loved one

Signs of Depression in Medicare Aged Individuals
While everyone feels under the weather from time to time, there is a serious difference between feeling sad for a day or two and depression. Whether you think you might be struggling with depression or you're a concerned caregiver, there are a few signs to be on the lookout for.

Persistent sadness: As we mentioned before, there is a difference between a bad couple of days and depression. That said, if the bad mood or sadness persists beyond two weeks, then you should strongly consider speaking to a therapist.

Withdrawing: Are you or your loved one suddenly not feeling up to large group gatherings or even intimate get togethers? A sudden change in the way you interact with the world should be a clue that something is wrong.

Lethargy: While slowing down might be a natural part of aging, if you or your loved one has suddenly started feeling too tired to get out of bed and carry on everyday routines, then there is cause for concern.

Irrational Guilt: Guilt is a useful emotion, and one directly tied to a sense of right and wrong and empathy. But if you or a loved one feels compelled to apologize for, and overreact to everything, then there might be something worth exploring with a professional.

Depression is a serious issue for many seniors. While certain things can help you prevent depression, like practicing a healthy lifestyle, it often will require medical assistance. In the next part of this series, we will talk about treatment and what Medicare Supplement insurance plans may be the best fit to help you combat depression.

Banker's Fidelity offers Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in states across the country. If you need help choosing a health plan or deciding which is the best Medicare Supplement for you, contact us today.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/181364/reports-depression-treatment-highest-among-baby-boomers.aspx?utm_source=CATEGORY_WELLBEING&utm_medium=topic&utm_campaign=tiles

Disclaimer: Neither Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company® nor its Medicare Supplement policies are affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government, the federal Medicare program, or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This is a solicitation of Medicare Supplement insurance and an independent agent may call on you. 

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Waiting for Medicare? Short-term Insurance Could Help

short term insurance

You may have heard about the increasing popularity of short-term health insurance in Iowa, Mississippi, Michigan, and the countless other locations where we offer our plans. But you may have never given much thought as to how short-term medical insurance can help you while you are waiting for Medicare.

For some Americans, there is a lag time between the age they retire and when they can enroll in Medicare or get a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy. During this time, that could mean a lag in medical insurance for some. It’s a situation that could put you at risk, but there is also a solution: short-term medical insurance.

The flexibility of these policies make them perfect for bridging the gap for retirees who may not have reached the enrollment age when they retire. Short-term policies can be issued quickly and satisfy proof of coverage, which will allow you to continue any activities or programs you are involved in.

These policies are often referred to as “gap” coverage for a reason. They are intended to cover you between a lapse in regular coverage. Some of the biggest reasons people turn to short-term policies are job turnover, missing an enrollment period and proof of insurance. Short-term insurance is not intended to be a long-term solution, which is why it is the perfect option for people waiting for Medicare to kick in.

Not only are these policies great because of the flexibility they offer, but they also provide low premiums, which makes them cost-effective as interim coverage.

Short term insurance plans can also help provide additional coverage once you are able to enroll in Medicare; however, there are more options for additional coverage like Medicare Supplement Insurance, which is designed to help with Medicare.

If you’re waiting to enroll in Medicare, don’t risk being without insurance. A short-term health insurance plan could be the solution you are looking for.

If you'd like to find out more about the types of life insurance plans and health insurance plans we offer or a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy, please contact us today.


Did You Give Back This Earth Day, April 22, 2016?
Did You Give Back This Earth Day, April 22, 2016?

At Bankers Fidelity, we believe that Earth Day is one of the most overlooked holidays in the United States. If you weren’t able to contribute this past Earth Day it is not too late! Protecting our planet is always important -- not just for our generation now, but for generations to come. We believe it's our job to go beyond offering cancer care insurance and Medicare supplemental health insurance; we want to provide you with the resources you need to live a long and healthy life. Our team at Bankers Fidelity is proud to promote habits and practices that encourage sustainable living, not only on Earth Day, but every day.

Even if you didn’t have time this past Earth Day, there still are plenty of things you can start doing today that can increase sustainability and decrease personal waste, even for families that already engage in important, yet basic activities like recycling. Regularly recycling is a great thing for the environment, but it also requires a lot of energy in its own right. One of the first things you can easily start doing this week is upcycling.

Upcycling is the process of reusing an item, material, or waste product of some kind that would otherwise be discarded for another, perhaps creative use. For example, you can take some of the plastic containers/bottles out of your recycling bin and create milk jug watering cans.

Another stereotypical, but effective thing to do is to plant a new tree or bush in your yard. Over the next five years, EarthDay.org has stated they are hoping to have 7.8 billion trees planted between now and 2020, which is when they will be celebrating their 50th anniversary. You can even document your environmental efforts in a fun family oriented way by taking a picture once a year on Earth Day with the whole family to measure the growth of everyone (and plant) involved.

There have even been reports of some companies doing things like hosting “dark days” where they turn off all the lights and operate only through natural sunlight. You could do this in your own home and encourage the family to partake in things like board games, outdoor sports, and other activities that don’t require energy or the use of electricity.

At Bankers Fidelity we’re proud to be a Medicare insurance company that offers exceptional service and high quality products, but we’re also concerned about the environment and the world we all live in. Tell us if you’ll be trying to incorporate any of these ideas into your daily routine, it’s never too early to start prepping for Earth day and giving back to our ecosystem. h


9 Financial Tips You Should Know When Preparing For Tax Day
 9 Financial Tips You Should Know When Preparing For Tax Day

The most dreaded day of the year is has come and gone: Tax Day. Did you survive?

If you've just got through the hurdle of filing taxes, you aren't alone. According to WalletHub, around 27% of Americans wait until April to file their taxes. Even though the process of filing taxes can be simple and straightforward, it's still one of the most dreaded things for Americans. The idea of screwing up your tax forms and forgetting to claim something -- or even just the potential of being audited because of a mistake -- can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.

Furthermore, the idea of paying more money to the government (depending on what you've claimed on your employment status) is enough to make the most efficient person turn into a procrastinator. Finding out that you owe money to the government is not exactly a happy discovery, and avoidance may often seem like a better option.

But as Benjamin Franklin once said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Tax day will come every year no matter how long you put it off.

For anyone out there who experienced the trials and tribulations of tax day, here are a few tips for filing your taxes for next year!

  1. Filing online instead of by paper is one way to expedite the process of filing your taxes. According to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, over 90% of all individuals file their taxes electronically.

  2. Working with a professional accountant or paying for tax calculation software are the two best ways to ensure that you don't make a mistake -- and also to ensure that you don't miss any claims for refunds.

  3. When you're doing everything at the last minute, it can be tempting to opt for the standard deductions instead of looking at each possible deduction. Even though this seems like a reasonable solution in the immediate future, you might miss out on some important deductions.

  4. Don't fall for tax preparation scams. This is the time of year that many scammers take advantage of people who are confused about the tax system by convincing people that there are ways to bend the rules. Breaking the rules will lead to a visit from the IRS -- or, if you've been a victim of a tax scam, it could mean you've had your identity stolen.

  5. Most importantly, start planning for the following year's tax season while you're already handling your taxes for the current year! You'll have a better idea about which documents you'll need and how long it will take you to file your taxes (if you choose to do them yourself). This will help you create an organized filing system for important documents throughout the coming year, and you'll have a better idea of how much time you'll need to set aside for filing your taxes next year.

At Bankers Fidelity, we aren't just your average Medicare insurance company. We believe that it's important to help our clients live happy and healthy lives, and addressing one of the most stressful events of the year is one way to cut down on anxiety. If you happen to be a pro at filing your taxes, or if you have some great tips that we haven't mentioned, we'd love for you to leave them in the comments section below!