Top 10 Medical Issues for Baby Boomers

Top 10 Medical Issues for Baby Boomers

blog Help My Meds Prescription Assistance Program

By Ryan Waterfield

Baby Boomers are a powerful demographic group

About 76 million people were born during the baby boom years—1946-1964. As more Baby Boomers are leaving the work force and enrolling in Medicare for their insurance needs; healthcare providers are focusing on the most common health concerns this generation is facing. Here’s the lowdown:

Certainly, the risk of chronic illness increases with age, but there are behavioral factors that can mitigate many of these issues. A healthy diet, physical activity, and avoiding tobacco use are three key factors in reducing the risk of chronic diseases associated with aging.

Many of these illnesses require a plethora of medications. Simplefill’s Prescription Assistance programs can help you get the right medications for the right price. There’s no need to overspend on your medications. Simplefill will make the process easy, advocate on your behalf, and give you peace of mind.

The more aware you are of the potential health risks that you face as you age (and their potential costs), the more proactive you can be about preventative care and seeking medical attention when you show signs or symptoms. So, here’s to knowing what might ail you.

1.TYPE 2 DIABETES: In a 2011 study by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) showed that people ages 65-74 were diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 13 times more often than people 45 years or younger. Because Diabetes increases the risk of other serious health problems, it is of significant concern. Other problems include: high blood pressure, vision loss, nerve damage, foot problems, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease.

2. HEART DISEASE: is the leading cause of death for both men and women over the age of 60. Coronary artery disease (when the arteries that deliver the blood to the heart are narrowed or blocked) is the most common type of heart disease. How do you avoid heart disease? Avoid tobacco, control your blood pressure and cholesterol, exercise and eat a low-fat, low-sodium diet. Maintaining a healthy body weight is also important.

3. CANCER: Once you hit a certain age, it seems like some type of cancer is affecting someone you know or love. And no wonder, it is the second-leading cause of death for people over 65. Cancer screenings and early detection can save lives so don’t avoid tests like colonoscopies and mammograms.

4.DEPRESSION: More than 6.5 million Americans 65 or over are affected by depression. While depression is not a typical process of aging, there are many realities about getting older that can lead to depression: changes in work status, changes in family dynamics, health concerns/struggles etc. It is important to know that it is not a sign of weakness to seek help for depression and baby boomers are a generation less likely to admit to feeling depressed than many of the generations that follow. If you are feeling down, lethargic, sad, talk to your doctors, they can help you get the treatments you need.

5.ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: The sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., Alzheimer’s is most common in people over 65, but people can experience symptoms in their 40s or 50s. Recent studies have shown that there is a connection between the general health of the heart and blood vessels and the health of the brain. Avoid tobacco, eat a healthy diet, and stay physically active.

6.ARTHRITIS & JOINT PAIN:  Much of the joint pain that people over 60 experience is due to the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. When the cartilage breaks down, bones rub on bones and that causes swelling, pain, and stiffness called osteoarthritis. Maintaining a healthy weight decreases the stress on joints and physical actively like walking, yoga, swimming can keep joints flexible.

7. CAREGIVER STRESS: As partners take ill with chronic diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases, the spouse becomes the caretaker. Baby Boomers are also sometimes caring for their aging parents and can be susceptible to caregiver stress in that relationship. Being a caregiver will often redefine the roles in a marriage or long-time family relationship. Those suffering from chronic and incurable illnesses will see a significant change in quality of life that is recognized and often treated as part of the overall medical treatment plan for the illness; but the quality of life of caregivers also drastically changes and they are often isolated in their ability to talk about the changes. It is important for caretakers to care for themselves as well, seek treatment if depression develops, and seek a community of others dealing with the same caregiving issues.

8. EYE ISSUES:  In our 40s, many people recognize that they need a little help seeing the words on the page and they find their way to the readers in the pharmacy. But by the time you hit 65 or older, the eye problems can be much more severe. Cataracts (a clouding of the lens of the eye) affect nearly 20.5 million Americans age 40 and over and the likelihood of developing cataracts increases significantly over 60 years of age. By the age of 80, over half of all Americans are dealing with cataracts. The science and surgical techniques have improved the surgeries to make them more efficient (less time in surgery) with quicker recovery times. All of that equals more successful surgeries. Macular degeneration (a progressive disease of the eye) is the leading cause of blindness for people over 55. Annual eye exams help catch vision issues before they get too bad. With treatment, the progression of macular degeneration can be halted or slowed.

9. OBESITY: Americans in particular struggle with obesity. Diet, exercise, sleep, and healthy lifestyle choices (limiting alcohol, limiting the amount of screen time) can help people lose weight, but it takes commitment and educating oneself on risks and consequences of dietary and lifestyle choices. Doctors like to begin intervention in patients who are overweight, not yet obese. One is considered “overweight” with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 29.9; intervention at this stage can help prevent the development of obesity and reduce risk factors for many chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart attack, stroke, sleep apnea, etc. A person with a BMI of 30 or greater is considered obese.

10. HEPATITIS C:  Baby boomers born between 1945 through 1965 are five times more likely than other adults to be infected with this virus. People infected with Hepatitis C may not even be aware they have it. Hep C can cause liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and even death. If you test positive for the virus, there are treatments that can cure you.

People who are at risk of getting or having hepatitis C and who should be tested include:

  • Those who currently share or have shared needles in the past.
  • Anyone who received a blood transfusion, blood product, or donor organ prior to the availability of screening in the United States in 1992.
  • People who are on kidney dialysis.
  • Anyone who received tattoos or body piercings with non-sterile instruments.
  • People infected with HIV.
  • Anyone who was ever in jail or prison.
  • Babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis C.
  • Anyone who received a blood product for clotting problems made before 1987.
  • Healthcare workers who have been accidentally stuck with a contaminated needle

 

Most of these illnesses require a number of expensive prescription medications and treatment. Simplefill is a full-service prescription assistance company dedicated to helping our members get their medicines at affordable prices. Call Simplefill today to speak with one of their friendly representatives who can discuss your situation in detail and guide you through all of your options.

 

Call Simplefill at 1.877.386.0206 or go to www.simplefill.com to start the application process online.

 

The Medicare Donut Hole Explained

The Medicare Donut Hole Explained

Medication Assistance

What is the Donut Hole?

The coverage gap, commonly called the “Donut Hole” is a temporary limit on what your Medicare Prescription drug plan will pay for your prescription drug costs.

While you are in the “Donut Hole”, you will pay higher costs of for your brand-name drugs. Often times these increased costs make your medications unaffordable.

If this sounds like you or someone you know, call Simplefill Prescription Assistance programs to enroll in their program during this period. 1-877-386-0206

The experts at Simplefill make understanding your Medicare Part D plan…well Simple!

There are 4 stages to your part D plan. Let’s break it down for you.

Stage 1: Deductible Phase
In this stage, you must pay a certain amount out of pocket before your prescription drug plan will kick in. This amount varies by plan.

Stage 2: Initial Coverage Phase
After you hit your deductible, you will start paying the plan’s cost share for covered medications. Once you and your prescription plan have spent $3,310.00 in 2016 for covered drugs; you’ve reached the “Donut Hole”.

Stage 3: The Donut Hole, Coverage Gap Phase
This is the stage where you start getting that sticker shock. Unless you want to wait until January 1st when your plan resets, you will now be paying 50% of the retail price of your medications. This can be very expensive and not an option for most patients, especially ones who are on fixed incomes.
This is why we urge you to contact us at 1-877-386-0206 or apply for assistance online.

Stage 4: Catastrophic Phase
You get a bit of a break in this stage since you have spent so much out of pocket for the year. During the catastrophic stage, you pay whichever amount is greater –either 5% of the covered drug cost or $2.65 for generics and $6.60 for brand name drugs.

What if I am not in the coverage gap but I still cannot afford my medications or my medication is not covered at all?
It never hurts to pick up the phone and ask. Often times we can help patients when their medication is not covered or if they have a copay is unaffordable. We always advise our patients to call us and we can find them the best way to save money on their medications. Think of the team at Simplefill as your Medication Savings Advisors!

My Brother, Fabrice.

My Brother, Fabrice.

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A letter from Simplefill’s co-founder, Brigitte Steibel.

On July 30, 1998, my brother Fabrice died from the AIDS virus. He was a fashion designer and artist.
At the age of 25 Fabrice had already started his own design company. Worldwide recognition came in the 1980’s when he was named Essence magazine’s Black Designer of the year, honored with the Coty Award as well as the CFDA. In 1985 the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre awarded his achievement for creating provocative, seductive and dazzling evening gowns. Fabrice’s creations were featured in fashion magazines, books, record and CD covers, TV shows and movies. The media declared his designs as wearable art!

When Fabrice died The New York Time wrote half a page Obituary honoring his accomplishments.

I was my brother’s caretaker. I would watch my brother take up to 35 pills a day. It was called a cocktail and it did a poor job controlling the progression of the HIV virus. Today the HIV virus can be treated by taking 1 pill a day.

Due to medical research and a much better understanding of the syndrome, many patients who are inflicted with the HIV virus can live a very long and happy life. The FDA recently approved Prezcobix and Genvoya. Both of these are combination drugs that have seen positive results in the treatment of HIV infection. There is still no cure for AIDS, but strict adherence to anti-retroviral regimens (ARVs) can significantly slow the disease’s progress and prevent secondary infections and complications.

This is all fantastic news but there is still a high price to the available medications. Many patients find it unaffordable.

I am dedicated to making sure I do whatever I can to help patients find ways to afford their treatment. Whether that be patient assistance programs or funding through available foundations. It is too late for my brother, Fabrice, to benefit from the new approved drugs, but it’s not too late for you.

Give Simplefill a call if you are having difficulty affording your co-pays. We truly understand what you have been through.

1-877-386-0206

Chronic Disease Series: Fibromyalgia

Chronic Disease Series: Fibromyalgia

blog Medication Assistance

Unyielding pain, sleep loss, feelings of depression—these are just some of the symptoms that fibromyalgia patients live with every day. In this blog, we outline some of the basic details of this enigmatic and painful disorder as part of our Chronic Disease Series. Continue reading

Chronic Disease Series: ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

Chronic Disease Series: ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

blog Medication Assistance

ALS was thrown into the spotlight last year with the massive popularity of the Ice Bucket Challenge. This viral trend was meant to raise awareness, but you might be left wondering just how the disease affects those who suffer from it. Whether you’re currently living with ALS or just looking to learn more about the disease, in this blog, Simplefill outlines some of its basic facts and ways to go about managing symptoms.

Continue reading