Health Reform 2.0: Improving Health Literacy of Older Americans

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) increases access to health insurance coverage, establishes a minimum benefit package, makes coverage more affordable, and eliminates most cost sharing for recommended preventive services. Now it’s time to empower consumers to take advantage of these improvements. One way to achieve this goal is to increase basic health literacy. What is health literacy? Health literacy is the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services in order to make appropriate health decisions. Why …

Food Labeling Requirements Could Make Older Americans Rethink Dining Out

It’s no secret that older Americans’ waistlines are expanding. From 2004 to 2013, the proportion of adults ages 50 and older who were obese increased 21 percent, from 25 to 31 percent of the population*. Associated with chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, rising levels of obesity are taking a toll on individual health and quality of life, as well as health care costs. Among all age groups, obesity accounts for approximately 21 percent of all health spending. One contributor to …

Keep Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries From Falling Through the Cracks

The Affordable Care Act allows states to offer Medicaid to low-income adults who would not have qualified under previous law. Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia offer this expanded coverage. Those who qualify will face higher cost-sharing requirements when they transition from Medicaid expansion coverage to Medicare, but some may be eligible for traditional Medicaid benefits or Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) that will help reduce their costs. >> Get your questions about the health law answered here. Medicare beneficiaries …

Most People 65 and Older Need Help, Study Finds

According to a new disability study, two-thirds of people 65 and older need help to perform what are known as the activities of daily living (showering or bathing, eating, dressing, getting out of bed or a chair, walking and using the toilet). Help can take the form of using scooters, grab bars, canes or other people to stay well-functioning. While not surprising, this large figure is significant. It should give public health experts better insight into the needs of this older group-which may …

What's Next in Health Care Reform?

From Barbranda Walls Health care reform may not dominate the news to the extent it did in the hot days of August, when tempers boiled over at Town Hall meetings; the balloon boy, the war in Afghanistan, and the mystery of the Northwest pilots have pushed it ever-so-slightly to the background. But it’s a complex topic that remains a major concern among AARP members, as evidenced by interest in the Vegas@50+ session “Don’t Roll the Dice: Find Out What’s Next …

News To Know: Swine Flu Hullaballoo

With the swine flu outbreak all over the news, how concerned should you be?