The good, the bad and the ugly of picking Medicare Advantage plans

Nearly half of all new Medicare enrollees are signing up for Medicare Advantage plans, which now account for about 35 percent of the entire Medicare market.

The other 65 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are in what’s called original Medicare, which consists of Part A (hospital, nursing home) and Part B (doctors, equipment, outpatient expenses). Those patients usually have a private Part D drug plan, and a quarter have a private Medigap supplement policy.

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans must cover everything that original Medicare covers, and they can’t discriminate against people who are ill or have preexisting conditions. Anyone, regardless of their health, can get an MA plan or switch to one during open enrollment, which continues through Dec. 7.

Full story at PBS.org

Researchers Hope to Improve Dental Health by Changing Caregiver’s Behavior

Studies have long associated low-income areas with poor oral health. But dental researchers at Case Western Reserve University and University of Washington sensed that other factors related to income may be at work — in particular, education level.

So they recently investigated how a parent or other caregiver’s education level and dental habits affect children’s dental health.

With data from 423 low-income African-American kindergarteners and their caregivers from a CWRU dental school study in 2007, researchers tested the hypothesis that a caregiver’s education level influences how often they and their children brush their teeth and visit the dentist for routine checkups, and how those habits result in decayed or filled teeth.

Full story of dental healthcare changes at Science Daily