February , 2018

Group questions legality of modifying agreements after the fact   Baltimore —The NAACP issued a letter to ...
Express the Importance of the Movie Red Tails Pilot Jonathan E. Neal, CFI/MEI Lanham, MD ...
By Chinta Strausberg   Sponsored by the Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Faith Base Initiatives, hundreds of ...
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) -- Every year, billions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships are ...
Illinois Teacher of the Year to be named Oct. 17 NORMAL, IL – State education officials ...
CHICAGO, IL - July is a popular month for driving vacations and other road trips. ...
Film-producing trio ready to "Make Noise" about domestic violence Indiegogo Campaign Launched to Support Film about ...
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, 16 civil rights groups representing a diverse coalition of communities joined ...
By Juanita Bratcher   Several years ago, a writer aquaintance wrote a fictional novel about the first ...
Con Artists offer quick, cheap driveway repair but charge consumers thousands   Chicago, IL — Illinois Attorney General ...

Archive for the ‘Health, Beauty and Fitness’ Category

State Rep. Stratton Opposes Proposal to Diminish Health Benefits for 40,000 Seniors

Posted by Admin On February - 21 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois State Rep. Juliana Stratton, D-Chicago, is opposing a new Rauner Administration proposal that will reduce the health benefits for 40,000 elderly residents by causing them to change to a new, untested program, remove criminal background check requirements for caregivers and increase administrative bloat.


“Many low-income seniors live in my district, and ensuring they have access to high quality health care services that do not make them go bankrupt is a major part of my promise of social and economic justice,” said Stratton. “That is why reading proposals that cut the health care programs low-income seniors benefit from is sickening.”


Gov. Rauner’s Department on Aging released a proposal recently to remove 40,000 seniors from the state’s Community Care Program and place them in a new program called the Community Reinvestment Program (CRP). Since CRP lacks the standards critical to ensure senior health outcomes and financial security, senior groups expressing concern include AARP and the Illinois Association of Community Care Program Homecare Providers.


The administration’s draft rules for CRP also remove regulations requiring caregivers to undergo criminal background checks. Under the Community Care Program, companies must screen caretakers to ensure they do not have a history of engaging in fraud, and that all employees in contact with seniors do not have criminal or sexual convictions.


“The Department on Aging’s proposed Community Reinvestment Program is a cost cutting, political tactic at the expense of over 40,000 of Illinois most vulnerable senior citizens, and their loved ones,” said Ryan Gruenenfelder, AARP Illinois Director of Advocacy. “The proposed program hinges on service availability by geographic regions, on the continuation of budget appropriations, and the sole authority of the Department to amend eligibility standards with zero legislative oversight. The proposed program is a catalyst for seniors to face premature nursing home placement. Our state can implement common sense, compassionate and cost-effective reforms to maintain our state’s current Community Care Program without jeopardizing the lives and well-being of thousands of Illinois’ greatest generation.”


Rauner’s Department on Aging is using an administrative rulemaking process to advance their plan without receiving input or approval from the Legislature. Stratton is urging residents to call the Department on Aging at 800-252-8966 and speak out against the proposed cuts to the Community Care Program.



67k Petition Signatures to Be Delivered Asking ACGME to Reject Dangerous 28-Hour Shifts for New Doctors

Posted by Admin On February - 3 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Today, Care2, Public Citizen, the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), and Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR/SEIU Healthcare) will deliver more than 67,000 Care2 petition signatures at the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) board meeting in Chicago, urging the board to reject a proposal that would endanger medical residents and their patients by allowing new doctors to work 28-hour shifts.



Kelsey Bourgeois, Care2 Campaign Writer and spouse of a first-year resident; Care2 petition supporters; AMSA members will deliver the petitions  today, Friday, February 3, 2017 at 9 a.m. CDT, to ACGME headquarters, 401 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago.


The ACGME is considering a proposal to eliminate the current 16-hour shift cap for first-year medical residents and to allow them to work 28 consecutive hours with no sleep. This proposal is opposed by the vast majority of the American public as shown in a poll commissioned by Public Citizen and conducted by Lake Research Partners last summer.


The ACGME board is expected to vote on the proposal within the next few weeks. The new requirements would take effect at the beginning of the next residency academic year (July 2017).


The groups that gathered the petition signatures are Public Citizen, Care2, and AMSA.

See a video of former resident Stephanie Waggel, MD, talking about her experience working dangerously long shifts.


VIEW THE CARE2 PETITION HERE: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/271/377/950/ 


Care2 (www.Care2.com) is a community of 38 million standing together for good. People are making world-changing impact with Care2, starting petitions and supporting each other’s campaigns to help individuals, animals and the environment. A pioneer of online advocacy since 1998, Care2 is a B Corporation, or social enterprise, using the power of business as a force for good.


FDA Approves Plastic Surgery Breakthrough For People Of Color

Posted by Admin On February - 1 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Finally… A Face Lift Alternative For People Of Color!

Plastic surgery among minorities is skyrocketing 10% per year.


Surveys show more African, Hispanic, and Asian Americans are seeking larger breasts, refined noses, and tighter eyelids than ever before.


But there’s one procedure most people of color won’t risk: a face lift.


“The danger is creating a keloid,” says facial plastic surgeon Dr. Anil Shah. Keloids are ugly red raised scars that can grow worse with each passing month. They’re unpredictable, very difficult to remove, and can result even after minor surgery.


Dr. Shah says, “Keloids are notorious for occurring after a minilift, also called a LiteLift. That procedure puts more tension on sutures. The skin stretches out and heavy scarring moves in.”

The outcome is so disastrous many experts advise people of color to avoid face lifts entirely.


But now a new minimally invasive procedure allows the country’s 100 million people of color to get many of the benefits of a face lift for the first time.


“The FDA has just approved the world’s most advanced treatment for loose facial and neck skin,” says Dr. Shah. “It’s a huge development for anyone with darker skin. They finally have access to an effective face lift alternative.” The board certified facial plastic surgeon practices in Chicago and is affiliated with the University of Chicago.


The new technology allows facial plastic surgeons to safely apply heat just under the skin for the first time. The result predictably melts underlying fat and tightens the skin above without burning it.


Studies show the new procedure instantly tightens the skin by 40%. “It’s quite amazing,” says Dr. Shah. “You see the facial skin tighten by the end of the procedure!”  The University of Chicago affiliated facial plastic surgeon is the first locally certified to use the treatment.


The half hour office procedure is done under local anesthesia and doesn’t require sutures. Dr. Shah inserts a 4” handheld cannula just one-fourteenth inch in diameter under the skin. The cannula’s tip emits computer-controlled thermal energy. A sensor hovering just above the skin constantly measures the tip’s temperature and energy.  The device’s specific frequencies simultaneously destroy nearby fat and tighten the skin’s collagen.


Patients experience swelling for 3-4 days that gradually subsides. Then over the next six weeks to three months, their face continues to look younger by the day.


Dr. Shah says, “Since there’s no danger of burning and no suture scars, there’s no risk of developing keloids.”


He continues, “Until now all I could offer patients of color was injectables or surface treatments. But those produce far less dramatic, far more temporary results.


Results from the new procedure, called FaceTite, last about five years. That also makes the procedure the best financial value for patients. Dr. Shah says, “I tell patients they’ll look up to a decade younger for about five years…that’s about $1000 per year.”


Costs are further reduced because the facial plastic surgeon can choose to tighten only specific areas such as the lower eyes, brow, cheek, or neck.


Dr. Shah says the best minority candidates for the procedure are men and women in their 30’s or 40’s with minimal skin laxity. However, he says many older patients have also benefitted from the new procedure. He says, “A 70-year-old may say she wants to look 65. She doesn’t want a radical transformation; simply to look better for her age.”


Dr. Shah says, “People of color, like everyone else, want to look younger. Now for the first we can finally give them the equal opportunity to accomplish just that.”

For more information contact:Anil R. Shah M.D @ 312-944-0117

Michael Breen M.D., @ 312-321-6911


Rep. Slaughter Asks Residents to Recognize American Heart Month, Review Personal Health

Posted by Admin On January - 30 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois State Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, is urging residents to recognize American Heart Month in February by reviewing the facts about heart health and how they can make healthy choices.

“I urge residents to research the facts about heart health and make sure that they are making healthy choices for themselves and their families,” Slaughter said. “Heart disease affects every family, and it’s critical that residents understand the risks and how they can avert them.”

According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 85.6 million people in the United States are living with cardiovascular diseases, which can lead to heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and chest pain. Among American adults, 32.6 percent (about 80 million) have high blood pressure. Despite an overall 28.8 percent drop in cardiovascular disease death rates from 2003 to 2013, the high blood pressure death rate has steadily increased by 8.2 percent over that same time.

For more information about heart health, and to learn about ways to reduce risk, residents can visit the American Heart Association’s website at www.heart.org.

“It is important for residents to be proactive in making sure they are taking care of their health and well-being,” Slaughter said. “Whether it’s making a healthier eating choice, going to the gym or visiting a doctor, any step toward a healthier life is a positive move.”

For more information, please contact Slaughter’s constituent service office at 773-445-9700 slaughterj@ilga.gov.


AARP Outlines Priorities to President-elect Trump

Posted by Admin On January - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Includes Protection of Social Security, Medicare Benefits, Access to Affordable Health Care, Prescription Costs

WASHINGTON, DC – In a letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump, AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins outlines AARP’s priorities for Americans age 50 and older including protecting Medicare and Social Security, ensuring access to affordable health care coverage, and lowering the cost of prescription drugs.

In the letter Jenkins writes to President-elect Trump that “Our nearly 38 million members nationwide and all older Americans are counting on you to protect their Medicare and Social Security benefits, protect their access to affordable health care, and to tackle the high cost of prescription drugs. Throughout the campaign, your statements on these important issues of health and financial security set you apart from many other candidates. Now, as you assume office, older Americans are looking to you to protect them from efforts to cut their benefits, increase their costs, or otherwise harm the crucial programs they rely on.”

The full text of the letter to President-elect Trump is below:
President-elect Donald J. Trump
Presidential Transition Headquarters
Washington, DC

Dear President-elect Trump:

Congratulations on your election. We look forward to working with you on your campaign promises to America’s seniors. Our nearly 38 million members nationwide and all older Americans are counting on you to protect their Medicare and Social Security benefits, protect their access to affordable health care, and to tackle the high cost of prescription drugs. Throughout the campaign, your statements on these important issues of health and financial security set you apart from many other candidates. Now, as you assume office, older Americans are looking to you to protect them from efforts to cut their benefits, increase their costs, or otherwise harm the crucial programs they rely on.

Medicare and Social Security
Our members count on these programs and they believe Social Security and Medicare must be protected and strengthened for today’s seniors and future generations. Unfortunately, some congressional leaders have discussed plans to use the health care debate to fundamentally change the Medicare program and undermine the contract made with generations of Americans. Proposals creating a defined contribution premium-support program; restricting access by raising the age of eligibility; or allowing hospitals and providers to arbitrarily charge consumers higher prices than Medicare; all betray the promise made to older Americans who have paid into Medicare their entire working lives. Indeed, these proposals do little to actually lower the cost of health care. Rather, they simply shift costs from Medicare onto individuals – many of whom cannot afford to pay more for their care. Again, we are ready to stand with you to oppose attempts to cut the Medicare program or otherwise harm seniors.

The average senior, with an annual income of under $25,000 and already spending one out of every six dollars on health care, counts on Social Security for the majority of their income and on Medicare for access to affordable health coverage. We will continue to oppose changes to current law that cut benefits, increase costs, or reduce the ability of these critical programs to deliver on their benefit promises. We urge you to continue to do so as well.

Prescription Drugs
Older Americans use prescription drugs more than any other segment of the U.S. population, typically on a chronic basis. In 2015, retail prices for 268 brand name prescription drugs widely used by older Americans increased by an average of 15.5 percent. In contrast, the general inflation rate was 0.1 percent over the same period. For older adults, affordable prescription drugs are critical in managing their chronic conditions, curing diseases, keeping them healthy and improving their quality of life. As you have stated, older Americans and the American people deserve a better deal on prescription drug costs.

Again, we stand ready to work with you to lower drug prices. For example, AARP supports providing the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the authority to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of millions of Medicare beneficiaries. In addition, we agree with you that we should reduce barriers to better pricing competition worldwide by allowing for the safe importation of lower priced drugs. American seniors should not have to continue paying the highest Rx prices in the world.

Access to Health Care pre-Medicare
Millions of older Americans age 50 and older have gained access to affordable health coverage through important changes in the health insurance market, including the ban on pre-existing condition exclusions, the ban on lifetime and annual coverage limits, the restriction on charging working as well as retired older Americans many times more for insurance than younger persons (through important limits on age rating), and additional help for those who cannot afford insurance. We urge you to protect these vulnerable older Americans (many who have lost their jobs, are self-employed or own their own businesses) from losing health coverage by maintaining these important insurance market reforms in any new health legislation.

Medicaid and Long-Term Services and Supports
Medicaid serves as a critical safety net for millions of people in every state, including over 17 million children with disabilities, adults with disabilities and poor elderly who rely on vital Medicaid health and long-term care services. We urge you to continue to protect these vulnerable populations.

Efforts to reduce or cap Medicaid funding could endanger the health, safety, and care of millions of individuals who depend on the essential services provided through this program. Furthermore, caps would likely result in overwhelming cost-shifts to state governments unable to shoulder the costs of care without sufficient federal support. As your Administration considers changes to Medicaid, we urge that home and community-based services be available to individuals in the same way they can access nursing home funding. Any health law changes should ensure that more individuals are able to receive services in their homes and communities rather than costly institutional care.

We look forward to working with you to protect Medicare and Social Security, to lower prescription drug prices, and to maintain older American’s affordable access to quality health coverage. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, or have your staff contact Joyce A. Rogers, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs.

Jo Ann C. Jenkins
Chief Executive Officer

It’s Not Too Late To Get A Flu Shot

Posted by Admin On January - 26 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Influenza cases increasing in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Influenza activity is increasing nationwide and in Illinois.  Many counties throughout the state are seeing more influenza-like-illnesses (100ºF or higher fever plus cough and/or sore throat), an increase in flu-related intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, and more people testing positive for the flu.

“Flu season typically peaks between December and February and runs until May, so it is not too late to get a flu shot,” said Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “Anyone can get the flu, even healthy people.  Getting a flu shot is the first and most important step in protecting you and those around you against flu viruses.”

To help protect hospital and health care patients who are more susceptible to complications from influenza, IDPH recommends hospitals and health care facilities implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) comprehensive influenza prevention and control recommendationsIDPH also supports implementing temporary visitor restriction policies in hospitals, which may include the following:

  • Do not allow visits from people younger than 18 years of age.
  • Promote compliance with hand and respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.

  • Assess visitors for symptoms of acute respiratory illness (fever, cough, sore throat).

  • Request that visitors with acute respiratory illness symptoms not visit.
  • Limit visits to patients who are in isolation due to influenza.


Influenza is spread mainly when people with the flu cough or sneeze.  The flu can cause mild to severe illness, and can even result in hospitalizations or death.  People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease, and people 65 years and older

In addition to getting a flu shot, IDPH recommends following the 3 C’s: clean, cover, and contain.

Clean – frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water.

Cover – cover your cough and sneeze.

Contain – contain your germs by staying home if you are sick.


To find a location to get a flu shot in your community, check with your local health department or log onto the IDPH website to use the Flu Vaccine Finder

Illinois Department of Public Health Reports Six Cases Of Viral Illness Linked To Ratteries

Posted by Admin On January - 23 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

General public at low risk of infection


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting six cases of Seoul virus in individuals who had direct exposure to rats in two different Illinois ratteries.  Ratteries are facilities where rats are bred.  A rattery in Wisconsin purchased rats from the two Illinois ratteries and two Wisconsin residents have also tested positive for Seoul virus.  Results of laboratory testing of rats at these facilities are pending. 

IDPH is working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and local health departments to investigate the source of these Seoul virus infections, coordinate testing, and prevent possible future cases.  IDPH has contacted both Illinois ratteries to identify people who may have been exposed and to follow up on any additional potential illnesses.  The ratteries are located in north-west Illinois and east-central Illinois.  Neither rattery is currently selling rats. 

“Seoul virus is not known to be transmitted from person to person. Therefore, the general public is at extremely low risk,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “Out of an abundance of caution, we want to let the public know in the event they have recently purchased rats from an affected facility and become ill.”


Seoul virus, a type of hantavirus, is carried only by brown or Norway rats.  Other pets and animals cannot be infected.  Only a few cases of Seoul virus have been reported in the U.S.  Symptoms may include fever, severe headache, back and abdominal pain, chills, blurred vision, redness of the eyes, or rash.  In severe cases, infection can also lead to acute renal disease.  However, not all people infected with the virus experience symptoms.  Five of the six Illinois cases showed no signs of illness. 


As the investigation continues, more ratteries or people who have purchased rats at affected ratteries may be identified.  Therefore, it is important that people take precautions to avoid becoming infected.  If you are concerned about a recent rat purchase, make sure to follow good pet hygiene practices.   Contact your local health department or health care provider if you recently purchased or handled rats from an Illinois rattery and are experiencing symptoms of Seoul virus.

As with other diseases carried by rodents, Seoul virus is transmitted to people from direct contact with rat urine or feces, contaminated materials like bedding, and possibly by aerosolized feces, urine, or saliva.  It can also be transmitted through a bite from an infected rat.


To avoid becoming ill with diseases carried by rodents:


  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling your pets or areas where your pets have been.
  • Keep your small pets and their cages out of kitchens or other areas where food is served.
  • Pet cages, bedding, toys, feed or water containers should be cleaned away from areas where food is served or people may bathe.
  • Use gloves and a face mask for cleaning.

  • Avoid creating dust from fecal materials by wetting down bedding and disinfecting it.

  • Do not sweep or vacuum up rodent urine, droppings, or nests as this creates airborne particles.

  • Cover cuts and scratches before handling your pet.

  • Don’t keep small pets in a child’s bedroom, especially children younger than five years.
  • Don’t snuggle or kiss small pets, touch your mouth after handling small pets, or eat or drink around them.


    For additional information about safe handling and cleaning practices, go to https://www.cdc.gov/rodents/cleaning/index.html.

A Pathway to Licensure: Changes to Law for Health Care Workers with Criminal Convictions

Posted by Admin On January - 5 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Advances Gov. Rauner, Legislative efforts to remove unnecessary barriers to licensure

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Effective January 2017, previously barred health care workers and applicants with criminal convictions may once again become eligible for licensure in Illinois. Under a new law, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (“IDFPR”) will implement a review process for impacted health care workers.  Health care workers include doctors, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, and more.  This new law partially rescinds a 2011 law that automatically and permanently revoked or denied licensure for health care workers with certain felony convictions in their past. The new measure is part of ongoing efforts by Governor Rauner and legislators to remove unnecessary barriers to professional licensure while ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

Health care workers who qualify for review under the new law will have the opportunity to present information proving they have been rehabilitated from their conviction.  Health care workers with certain felony convictions that have met the timing requirements under the new law may file a Petition for Review to determine whether their conviction is still a barrier to licensure. The new law sets forth the factors IDFPR may consider in determining whether a health care worker has been rehabilitated. Factors include, but are not limited to, the seriousness of the offense, prior disciplinary history, and voluntary remedial actions.


Healthcare workers who have been permanently revoked or denied licensure may immediately file a Petition for Review to prove rehabilitation. First-time applicants must submit an initial application for licensure prior to filing a Petition for Review. If a Petition for Review is granted, the conviction is no longer a barrier to licensure. The previously barred health care worker or first-time applicant must still meet all licensure requirements. This may include submitting licensing forms, fingerprinting, and proving competency to practice.


For more information on IDFPR and the Petition for Review process, please visit our website at www.idfpr.com.  There you will find answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and application information pertaining to each profession. To stay current on the latest from IDFPR, also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Illinois Department of Insurance Reminds Consumers of Their Rights When Joining an HMO

Posted by Admin On January - 3 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

With an increase in HMO health plan offerings in the Illinois marketplace for 2017, consumers should be aware of their rights during transition of care.

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Insurance reminds Illinois consumers about their rights and legal protections related to HMO networks. Continuing health care services from a provider during an ongoing course of treatment is crucial. Illinois laws protect HMO members when their provider leaves a network and when members join an HMO, but the member must make a request within a certain timeframe.

Under the Managed Care Reform and Patient Rights Act of Illinois (215 ILCS 134/et seq) this is referred to as “Transition of Care.” Below are a few questions and answers to better help consumers understand their rights.

Who is eligible for Transition of Care?

Consumers who are receiving an ongoing course of treatment or have entered their third trimester of pregnancy are eligible for Transition of Care. Here are some examples of ongoing treatment: cancer treatments, physical therapy, chronic illness, hospitalizations, chemical dependency, infertility treatment, and invasive procedures such as surgery.


What happens if my doctor leaves my HMO network?

If you are notified that your doctor is leaving the network, but remains in the service area, you can request a 90-day transitional period. You must make the request within 30 days after notification that your physician is leaving the network.


What if I join an HMO, but my previous doctor is not in the HMO network?

If your previous doctor is not a member of your network, but is within the service area you can request a 90-day transitional period. You must make the request within 15 days of joining the HMO.


How long does the transitional period last?

The transitional period is approximately 90 days. If you are pregnant, your transitional period may be extended through the post-partum care related to your delivery.


What role does my physician have in this transition?

You are only eligible for transition of care if your physician agrees to continue providing care under your health plan’s guidelines during this transitional period. 

How can I request transition of care services?

Your HMO should provide details on this service in the policy, certificate, member handbook and/or website. You can also contact your HMO by phone through the number provided on the back of your member card. If your provider is leaving the network, or you are enrolling in an HMO that does not include your physician, and you want transition of care services, you should immediately contact your HMO and provide the following information:

  • A request for transition of care services;

  • Name of the physician with whom you want to continue care;

  • Your medical condition that requires ongoing care; and
  • Reasons you want transition of care.

    If you have questions about your rights under the Managed Care Reform and Patient Rights Act, call (877) 527-9431 or visit insurance.illinois.gov

Medicare Open Enrollment Continues Through December 7

Posted by Admin On November - 15 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

AARP encourages all Medicare beneficiaries to compare coverage plans to save money in 2017


WASHINGTON, DC – This fall, AARP is encouraging Medicare beneficiaries to read their annual Notice of Change and to review their health and prescription drug plan options for 2017 during Medicare Open Enrollment (October 15th – December 7th). Given the trend in high prescription medication prices, consumers are advised to pay close attention to their Medicare Part D drug plan options to help save money.


Medicare plans often change their cost-sharing and coverage benefits every year. However, insurers must notify all their enrollees of any plan changes for the coming year before the end of September. AARP strongly recommends that people read these Notices of Change carefully, compare their current plan with other available plans, and change to a different plan during open enrollment if it better meets their current needs. People satisfied with their current coverage do not need to do anything because reenrollment will occur automatically.

“The out-of-pocket co-pay amounts that people are paying for their prescription drugs are going up for many seniors because of  rising drug prices,” said AARP Chief Public Policy Officer Debra Whitman, PhD. Medicare health and prescription drug cost-sharing can vary widely between plans for the same drug or service. “During Medicare Open Enrollment, some people may be able to save hundreds of dollars on out-of-pocket costs just by changing to a different plan.”

Things to Know About Medicare Open Enrollment


Changes You Can Make

Here are changes you can make during open enrollment:

Switch from traditional Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, or vice versa

Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another

Switch from one stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to another

Drop Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage

Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan if you didn’t sign up when you were first eligible

Consider the “Four C’s”

AARP recommends that people consider the “Four C’s” when reviewing Medicare plan options:

Cost – Compare monthly premiums, annual deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance.

Coverage – Review the doctors and pharmacies included in the plan, as well as prescription drugs and other services you need.

Convenience – Look at the local doctors, pharmacies, and services included in the plans.

Customer Service – Consider the quality of service a plan provides. Quality ratings for most Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans are available at  www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan.


Where to Get Help

Medicare can be very confusing to people. There are a number of resources for people to get free assistance in choosing the best Medicare plans:

Call the Medicare help line at 1-800-633-4227.

Use Medicare’s plan finder program at https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx.

Contact your state health insurance assistance program (SHIP) for free personal help at www.shiptacenter.org.


AARP Medicare Starter Kit

Medicare Open Enrollment and You

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

State Health Insurance Assistance Program


About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into ‘Real Possibilities’ by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @aarp and our CEO @JoAnn_Jenkins on Twitter.


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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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