Medicare Blueprint Advisors - May/June 2020

MED I CAREBLUEPR INT.COM Health Matters

MAY-JUNE 2020

THANK YOU, MOM AND DAD! What I Learned From My Parents

“My only hope is that I can have as much of an impact on my children’s lives as my own parents had on mine.”

From 1998–2014, I didn’t miss a single breakfast or lunch with my dad, Dalton. Some of you may know my dad for the years he spent dedicated to his clients and their needs. As Tim says, my dad worked longer than anyone would have expected him to, but that’s not surprising when you know how compassionate and caring my dad can be. Still, this time with my dad became really important to me as we never had an opportunity like this when I was a kid. My dad worked long, hard hours, so my mom, Susie, could stay home and care for my siblings and me. She was there every day after school and promptly had a home-cooked dinner on the table every night at 6 p.m. She was firm yet loving and pushed us to be the best we could be, and I certainly didn’t make it easy! You could say I was a bit of a troublemaker growing up. In fact, she is the sole reason I graduated from high school. After I graduated, I enlisted in the military and spent four years in the service. I left the military in 1998 and went to work with my father at this very firm. Almost immediately, we created our breakfast or lunch tradition, which would last for the next 16 years.

Today, most of what I do at Medicare Blueprint Advisors I owe to my dad. Tim and I have adapted the practice away fromwhat he did to focus on Medicare, but we continue my father’s work ethic and dedication to doing all we can for our clients. As a parent myself, I can’t help but emulate the actions of my parents. I find myself mimicking the very phrases they used to say to me, such as “Just wait until you have a kid just like you!” (I did.) But more importantly, I cherish the lessons they taught me in my childhood and use them to parent my 18-year-old and 14-month-old sons. Like my mom, I strive to have dinner with my family every night at our table. It’s our time together, free of distractions. (My mom is such a thoughtful grandma, too! I love how she always finds little ways to show my sons she cares.) I work hard to show my sons the value of hard work, just like my dad did, and I try to approach others with the same amount of respect and caring my father has. There are few things in this world I enjoy more than being a father. Watching my sons learn, develop personalities and passions, and grow into their own people is fascinating. My only hope is that I can have as much of an impact on my children’s lives as my own parents had on mine.

Happy Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Mom and Dad! Thank you for all you do and continue to do for my family and me.

– Jason Mackey

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Digital Care

Medicare Temporarily Expands Telehealth Offerings

Technology has changed our lives, and health care is no different. With the outbreak of COVID-19 and increased efforts to slow the spread of the virus, Medicare began adapting its options and limitations to accommodate social distancing and safety precautions for older adults — one of the most vulnerable populations to the disease. One of the biggest changes to plans and regulations includes expanded telehealth options and offerings. You can take advantage of this in a few different ways. Learn more with this guide. What’s offered? Medicare has offered access to telehealth communication in the past, and this included health care office visits, therapy, and consultations. In light of COVID-19, it has expanded these offers to include COVID-19 treatment and testing, preventative treatment and screening, and standard health care management visits. The only limitations are 1) this communication cannot relate to a medical need that has been addressed by an in-person visit in the past seven days and 2) the reason for the visit does not require medical attention within 24 hours. How does it work? As the patient, you will communicate with your doctor, counselor, or another health professional via video or audio platforms from your home. Most programs work with a smartphone, and you also have the ability to communicate with your physicians through Medicare’s patient portals. For those who live in rural communities with limited internet or phone access, telehealth originating sites housed in clinics and other small health care agencies can connect you to your specialists at larger medical facilities through telecommunication to limit in-person interactions. Howmuch does it cost? Like other medical visits, you will make a small payment for these services, and many telehealth services will cost about the same as regular in-person visits. Traditionally, Original Medicare recipients will pay 20% of the approved amount for service. While telehealth may not have the ability to completely replace in-person visits, it can provide much-needed care in a safe environment for many patients. To learn more about Medicare’s telehealth offerings and other components of your plan, please give our team a call at 888-335-9498.

“Found the best coverage for the first time, but continue with exceptional service. Thanks to Jason Mackey for his continuing review and service so I don’t have to try to do it myself. He is the best!” What Our Clients Think!

– Jackson Libby, customer since 2017

“They not only provide a book but also other publications and explain as many times as it takes so you understand exactly what your options are. They don’t steer you toward anything; its your choice.”

– Susie Mackey, customer since 2014 (Thanks, Mom, for the slightly biased testimonial.)

“You are prompt in response to questions, most helpful in determining best RX plan, and a pleasure to work with overall!”

– Customer since 2019

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Scammers have been a common threat since the first snake oil salesmen started peddling their “cure-all” potions. Today, scammers have stepped down from their soapboxes and are instead hiding behind robocalls, hidden numbers, and online platforms. Frequently, these fraudsters target vulnerable populations, including college students, low-income families, and seniors. For years, scammers have been using Medicare as a platform for scamming older adults out of their personal information. These criminals call to notify the Medicare user that new benefits cards were being issued and updated personal information was needed. The scammers can be relentlessly demanding, calling frequently and often yelling at or attacking their victims over the phone. Others have even used personal information they previously attained to lull their victim into false security. As a result, many Medicare recipients give out their personal information, including their Medicare and Social Security numbers, address, birthdate, and more. Unfortunately, with the surge and outbreak of COVID-19, scammers have found another opportunity to steal your information through Medicare. PROTECT YOURSELF Scammers Might Use COVID-19 to Obtain Your Medicare Information

Many scammers and hackers call Medicare recipients asking for their Medicare number or other personal information, claiming they have vaccines, masks, tests, or more in exchange for your personal information. The tragic part about this scam is that older adults are a vulnerable population when it comes to COVID-19. Scammers play on that increased fear and anxiety to steal from you. The best thing you can do when you receive calls asking for your personal information is to hang up immediately. Remember, Medicare and similar administrations will never call you to update your personal information. You should only ever give your Medicare number to your pharmacist, hospital, health insurer, or other health care providers. And, while the phone and internet are popular platforms for scammers, old fashioned paper scams are still thriving. Combat this by regularly checking your Medicare claim summary forms for any errors or lapses, and ensure this paperwork matches your appointment dates and treatment. Report any suspicious activity or possible scams to Medicare at 1-800-633-4227. Local authorities and family members you trust are also great resources to report fraud incidents. Learn more about Medicare fraud at Medicare.gov/fraud.

SPRINGTIME CACIO E PEPE

WORD SEARCH

INGREDIENTS

6 oz multigrain spaghetti

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated 1/2 tsp black pepper 1 cup baby arugula

8 oz fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

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1 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp lemon zest

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. In a large pot, cook spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of water before draining and put spaghetti in a covered pot to keep warm. 3. Line a 15x10-inch baking pan with foil and toss in asparagus and olive oil. 4. Cook asparagus for 5–7 minutes and sprinkle with lemon zest. 5. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved water, Parmesan cheese, and pepper to the spaghetti. Stir until creamy. 6. Toss in asparagus and arugula before serving.

BUTTERFLY FLOWERS JEDI LADYBUG MAYFLY MEMORIAL

MEXICO MOTHERS OUTDOORS POLLEN SUNSHINE TAURUS

Inspired by Eating Well

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Inside This Issue

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JASON HONORS HIS PARENTS

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MEDICARE’S TELEHEALTH OFFER

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FROM OUR CLIENTS

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SCAMMERS FIND A NEWWAYTO ATTACK

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WHO NEEDS TOWEAR A FACE MASK?

up some misconceptions and set the record straight about face masks — medical and otherwise. Medical face masks are for medical professionals and those who are sick ONLY. The CDC changed its face mask recommendation because new research suggests that the virus can be transmitted even before infected individuals start showing symptoms. Before you run to the store to buy more masks, please remember that medical face masks, such as surgical masks or N-95 respirators, should only be used by medical professionals or those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. These items are in limited supply right now and should be saved for those who need them most. For everyone else, the CDC recommends cloth face coverings such as scarves, bandanas, or face masks made from 100% quilters cotton. A face mask will NOT protect you from COVID-19. While wearing a medical face mask or a cloth face covering can help prevent

the spread of COVID-19, they are not 100% effective. Continue practicing social distancing by remaining 6 feet apart from others while in public. You must also remember to wash your hands frequently and never touch your face mask while wearing it. You CANNOT wear the same face mask all day. Whether you’re wearing a medical face mask or a homemade cloth mask, remember that masks must be replaced as soon as they become damp. When removing your face mask, avoid touching the front of the mask. Remove the mask from behind, discard it in a closed bin, and clean your hands right away. Cloth face coverings can be washed and used again, but you should never reuse a single-use face mask. The back and forth about face masks has been confusing, but as we gain new understanding about the COVID-19 virus, we can take better steps to help everyone stay healthy and safe.

FACE MASKS AND COVID-19

How to Stay Safe When Wearing a Face Mask

Face masks have been a hot topic during the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, the surgeon general of the United States urged healthy people to stop buying medical face masks. Then, in early April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reversed its stance on face masks and began recommending that everyone wear some sort of face- covering when in public. This back and forth has been very confusing. Let’s clear

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