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Judi L. Woods Agency Blog

Medicare Costs in 2014

           
2014 Medicare Deductibles

Medicare is reporting the 2014 Part A deductible, Part B premiums, Part B deductible and High Deductible Plan F deductible.                         Beginning in 2014:  

  • The Part A deductible will be $1,216 (up from $1,184 in 2013)
  • The Part B premiums will be unchanged and remain at $104.90 per month
  • The Part B deductible will be unchanged and remain at $147 per year
  • The High Deductible Plan F deductible will increase to $2,140 (up from $2,110 in 2013)

Staying Healthy In The Face Of Norovirus

Have you heard of a sickness called Norovirus? Chances are you have had Norovirus, also called the "stomach flu," many times in your life. Despite its nickname, Norovirus is not related to the flu.
 
Norovirus is highly contagious and may cause vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. Symptoms usually start within 24 to 48 hours and most people begin to feel better within one or two days and have no long-term health effects.
 
People with the Norovirus illness are contagious from the moment they begin feeling sick until at least 3 days after they recover. There is no vaccine to prevent a Norovirus infection and no drug to treat people who get sick from the virus. Antibiotics will not help because they fight against bacteria, not viruses.
 
1 in every 15 Americans will get Norovirus illness each year. Norovirus is also estimated to cause over 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths each year in the United States.
 
The Center for Disease Control offers the following tips on protecting yourself from Norovirus:
 
  • Practice proper hand hygiene
 
Wash your hands carefully with soap and water—Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used in addition to hand washing. They should not be used as a substitute for washing with soap and water.
 
  • Wash fruits & vegetables and cook seafood thoroughly
 
 Carefully wash fruits and vegetables before preparing and eating them. Cook oysters and other shellfish thoroughly before eating them.
 
Be aware that Noroviruses are relatively resistant. They can survive temperatures as high as 140°F and quick steaming processes that are often used for cooking shellfish.
 
 
  • When you are sick, do not prepare food or care for others who are sick
 
You should not prepare food for others or provide healthcare while you are sick and for at least 2 to 3 days after you recover.
 
 
  • Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces
 
After throwing up or having diarrhea, immediately clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces. Use a chlorine bleach solution with a concentration of 5–25 tablespoons of household bleach per gallon of water or other disinfectant registered as effective against Norovirus by the Environmental Protection Agency.
 
 
  • Wash laundry thoroughly
 
Immediately remove and wash clothes or linens that may be contaminated with vomit or stool (feces).
 
You should handle soiled items carefully without agitating them, wear rubber or disposable gloves while handling soiled items and wash your hands after, and wash the items with detergent at the maximum available cycle length then machine dry them.
 
If you follow these tips and use caution when caring for sick loved ones, you may dramatically reduce your chances of contracting Norovirus.

A Personal Note From Judi

As most of you know, in addition to being your wonderful insurance agent, I support a non-profit I founded 13 years ago and am very passionate about it.
Footsteps to the Future is an evidence-based mentoring program serving young women in, and those aged out of, foster care. Our focus is academic achievement, job readiness and self sufficiency. Our goal is to mentor and tutor these deserving young woman so they will become positive and contributing members of our community.  
I would like to invite you to our main event...  Jazzin It Up with Footsteps will be held at Hodges University in N.Naples on Saturday night April, 12, 2014. This will be the best Jazz this side of the Universe!!
Our event this year will be Tenor Madness … a NYC saxophone summit Featuring Jerry Weldon, Jeff Rupert, Lew Del Gatto with Dan Miller on trumpet 

Please visit our website www.footstepstothefuture.org for information regarding our Signature Fundraiser and Jazz Concert tickets and more information. Hope to see you there!
 

Summary of Benefit and Coverage Forms

Well we are rounding the bend regarding a very important election year and personally I will be glad when the results are in.. What ever your preference PLEASE VOTE..  Everyone wants to know what is going to happen with Health Care Reform, Medicare Benefits, Estate Taxes and more regarding insurance after the election. So far all that has been said and predicted is just that.. a prediction. So we all will have to wait and see what happens after the elections, and after the dust settles.. know I will do my very best to keep you informed on what really happens. 
 
Summary of Benefit and Coverage Forms  
 
The purpose of the Summary Benefit and Coverage (SBC) is to give policy holders information about a health insurance plan's benefits in "plain language," so they can make appropriate purchasing, enrollment and coverage decisions. Effective September 23, 2012, it is mandatory for insurance companies, agents and employers to distribute SBC Forms to policyholders in compliance with the guidelines established by the Affordable Care Act. Summary of Benefit and Coverage FormsThese SBCs are required to be distributed at certain "trigger events" including: * Before plan renewal* With enrollment materials or during the enrollment period* To newly eligible employees* After a special enrollment* Before making mid-year changes to medical plans* Upon request To learn more about this new regulation, CLICK HERE TO VIEW MORE INFORMATION FROM AETNA.
 
*Information from SBC Brocure by Aetna
 
 
 

Get to Know Judi as More Than Just Your Insurance Agent

Many of you know Judi Woods as a helpful insurance expert that assists her clients in finding the insurance that best fits their needs, but did you know that Judi is also very involved in meeting community needs? 
 
Eleven years ago Judi became keenly aware of an important need in our community and founded a unique evidence-based mentoring, and academic achievement program for young women in and "aging out" of the foster system, called Footsteps to the Future (FTTF). She decided that, with the help of compassionate, positive women she would do her best to make sure that this population of young women is not forgotten and instead given opportunities to thrive in our community and become educated, job ready, and self-sufficient, contributing members of our community.  
 
If you are looking for positive ways to get involved in the community and make a difference... Footsteps to the Future may be it!  Check out the FTTF website to learn more.
 
Also - if you are getting started on your holiday gift shopping, check out Footsteps to the Future's "Giving and Sharing Naturally" fundraiser sponsored by SudsMaMa. Their fragrance line is fresh and memorable. Guided by their principle of quality before quantity, all of their products are freshly made, by hand, with exceptional care.