Entries by mgl

AARP Bulletin Offers Older Americans A Cheat Sheet to Help Fight Inflation

Learn the Smart Money Moves to Help Protect Your Finances in the October Issue’s Cover StoryWASHINGTON—For those who are rattled by daily news reports on the stock market, inflation, energy prices and housing costs, AARP Bulletin shares this reassuring suite of tips: Avoid the noise, rein in unneeded spending, hold off on any big financial move, and instead focus on the  long term. This month, the Bulletin offers readers a comprehensive guide with tips to spending, investing, and staying Zen during turbulent financial times.

Our editors have rounded up a handful of respected money gurus like Jim Cramer (Mad Money) and Jean Chatzky (HerMoney.com) to share helpful tips for readers who are looking to preserve their nest egg, spend their money better, and lower their financial risks.

In the October cover story, we  discuss:

What to do (and not do­­) while investing for retirement, and how to ride out this period of inflation;
The price fluctuation of everyday goods. Is now a good time to buy new furniture? A new smartphone? A new refrigerator?;
A cheat sheet on why inflation happens and what readers can do about it;
And much needed perspective on the minimal effect short periods of economic challenge like today’s have had historically on our long-term financial health.

Also in this month’s Bulletin:

Your Health

The Future of Hearing Aids Has Arrived: If you’re among the 30 million Americans struggling to keep up with conversations in noisy restaurants or battling with your spouse over the TV volume, your life is about to get better. More affordable (but still high-quality) hearing aids are finally hitting stores this month. And you can buy them without a doctor’s involvement or programming. Read our guide to learn about the whole new world or over-the-counter hearing aids and how to use them.

Your Money

The ABCs to Part D Drug Plans: Medicare Part D plans, which cover your medicine costs, can be tricky! Each plan not only covers different drugs, but can also charge differently for the same ones. This month’s Bulletin teaches you what you need to know  to get more out of your medicine coverage from Medicare.

Fraud Watch

Money Sent, Money Gone:  As peer-to-peer payment systems like Venmo, Zelle and PayPal are gaining popularity, fraud operators are beginning to use them too. Read this month’s Fraud Watch to learn about different scams using peer-to-peer payments and how to help avoid them.

Your Life

Tales of Honor, Duty and Bravery: They served in the valleys of Korea, the jungles of Vietnam and the deserts of the Middle East. Their stories are unique—from firefights with invisible enemies to dangerous helicopter missions into hostile territory. But their accounts have common elements: a sense of duty, a love of country, unbreakable bonds forged in the fire of combat, losses that can’t be forgotten. Read this month’s Veteran’s Special to hear their stories.
Q&A with Gary Sinise: “I learned how difficult it was to come home from that war,” the actor and veterans advocate reveals in discussing how his brothers-in-law opened his eyes to the challenges of military duty during Vietnam. Read this month’s Veteran’s Special to learn why Sinise is so passionate about supporting veterans. 
Candidates Tackle the Issues: An election special! This month, your copy of the Bulletin may include an insert containing a Q&A of your states’ Senate and/or Governor candidates. Hear their thoughts on topics such as Social Security, Medicare, caregiving, and much more – in their own words. Learn how your candidates tackle the issues that matter the most to older adults.

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About AARPAARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

Exclusively From AARP The Magazine: Adam Sandler Gets Philosophical About Aging, Actor Harry Hamlin Talks Trusting Your Gut, And ‘70s Icon Linda Ronstadt Reflects On Her Family and Health

Exclusively From AARP The Magazine: Adam Sandler Gets Philosophical About Aging, Actor Harry Hamlin Talks Trusting Your Gut, And ‘70s Icon Linda Ronstadt Reflects On Her Family and HealthPlus: Award Winning Artist Patti LaBelle Gives Life Advice; Our Annual List
of Medical Breakthroughs That Are Changing Everyday Lives; The Best Winter Travel Destinations; and an Exclusive Look at the Plight of Ukraine’s Elderly During War
WASHINGTON—This fall, the October/November 2022 issue of AARP The Magazine (ATM) reflects on the maturity and changes, both in life and career, that come with age. Cover Feature and comedic genius Adam Sandler compares his mentality and confidence to his younger self just starting in the comedy scene, and how he now views the up-and-coming prodigies. Heartthrob Harry Hamlin talks following your intuition, even if that means saying no to the ‘big one’ – including a massive three-movie deal with Warner Bros. Award-winning singer Linda Ronstadt reveals excerpts from her upcoming memoir “Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands” while looking back on her childhood, her own style of parenting, and her battle with progressive supranuclear palsy. And Patti LaBelle gives advice for living honestly and happily off the stage.

Plus ATM offers a 2022 health special exploring medical breakthroughs that can change everyday life for those living with or are predisposed to cancer, heart disease, brain disease, vision loss and more!

In this issue of AARP The Magazine:

Cover Story: Adam Sander

Award Winning actor and producer Adam Sandler takes the time to look back on the start of his career and the confidence and maturity he’s gained over the decades. From comparisons to other rising comedians, to his own self-reflection as he tackles older movie roles, Sandler is grateful for the insight he continues to grow.

What I Know Now – Harry Hamlin

Actor Harry Hamlin talks following your gut, despite what might be offered your way, the secret to a 25+ year marriage, and his priorities when it comes to career and family.

Linda Ronstadt: A Family Album

Excerpts from Linda Ronstadt memoir detail a childhood in Sonora full of wide-open skies, a beautiful yet unforgiving terrain, and a community of love filled with friends and family.

Sitting down with ATM, Ronstadt explains her childhood influence, and how it’s affected her own children’s upbringing, and their eventual move to San Francisco, as well as the international success of her career. Ronstadt also touches on her diagnosis, and how she uses writing as her new means to travel. 

The A List – Patti LaBelle

Award winning artists Patti LaBelle talks paying your dues, staying quiet but active off the stage, and continuing to persevere despite the cruelties life might throw at you.  

Health Special – Medical Breakthroughs that are Changing Lives Now

The Magazine breaks down the technologies and treatments that are available, now or in the near future, that will improve the lives of millions of Americans. Focusing on Heart Disease, Vision Loss, Cancer, Heart, Brain and Lung Health, the top technologies include implants, medication monitors, early detection and more.

Travel Special – Hot Fun in the Wintertime

ATM also makes a compelling case to take vacations in the winter, detailing some of America’s best cold-weather destinations and pleasures that don’t require skis. Where best to go for a dog sleigh ride, hot-spring soaking, snow shoeing, snowmobiling and more!

An AARP News Report – Being Old in Ukraine: A Dispatch from the War

AARP dispatched a war correspondent and photographer to document the lives of older Ukrainians living along the front in the war with Russia. Their tales are shocking and despairing– imagine operating a nursing home with warfare all around you – and yet their resilience gives hope. How modern war is particularly tough on older citizens today, only in AARP The Magazine.

# # #

About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.​

Exclusively From AARP The Magazine: Adam Sandler Gets Philosophical About Aging, Actor Harry Hamlin Talks Trusting Your Gut, And ‘70s Icon Linda Ronstadt Reflects On Her Family and Health

Exclusively From AARP The Magazine: Adam Sandler Gets Philosophical About Aging, Actor Harry Hamlin Talks Trusting Your Gut, And ‘70s Icon Linda Ronstadt Reflects On Her Family and HealthPlus: Award Winning Artist Patti LaBelle Gives Life Advice; Our Annual List
of Medical Breakthroughs That Are Changing Everyday Lives; The Best Winter Travel Destinations; and an Exclusive Look at the Plight of Ukraine’s Elderly During War
WASHINGTON—This fall, the October/November 2022 issue of AARP The Magazine (ATM) reflects on the maturity and changes, both in life and career, that come with age. Cover Feature and comedic genius Adam Sandler compares his mentality and confidence to his younger self just starting in the comedy scene, and how he now views the up-and-coming prodigies. Heartthrob Harry Hamlin talks following your intuition, even if that means saying no to the ‘big one’ – including a massive three-movie deal with Warner Bros. Award-winning singer Linda Ronstadt reveals excerpts from her upcoming memoir “Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands” while looking back on her childhood, her own style of parenting, and her battle with progressive supranuclear palsy. And Patti LaBelle gives advice for living honestly and happily off the stage.

Plus ATM offers a 2022 health special exploring medical breakthroughs that can change everyday life for those living with or are predisposed to cancer, heart disease, brain disease, vision loss and more!

In this issue of AARP The Magazine:

Cover Story: Adam Sander

Award Winning actor and producer Adam Sandler takes the time to look back on the start of his career and the confidence and maturity he’s gained over the decades. From comparisons to other rising comedians, to his own self-reflection as he tackles older movie roles, Sandler is grateful for the insight he continues to grow.

What I Know Now – Harry Hamlin

Actor Harry Hamlin talks following your gut, despite what might be offered your way, the secret to a 25+ year marriage, and his priorities when it comes to career and family.

Linda Ronstadt: A Family Album

Excerpts from Linda Ronstadt memoir detail a childhood in Sonora full of wide-open skies, a beautiful yet unforgiving terrain, and a community of love filled with friends and family.

Sitting down with ATM, Ronstadt explains her childhood influence, and how it’s affected her own children’s upbringing, and their eventual move to San Francisco, as well as the international success of her career. Ronstadt also touches on her diagnosis, and how she uses writing as her new means to travel. 

The A List – Patti LaBelle

Award winning artists Patti LaBelle talks paying your dues, staying quiet but active off the stage, and continuing to persevere despite the cruelties life might throw at you.  

Health Special – Medical Breakthroughs that are Changing Lives Now

The Magazine breaks down the technologies and treatments that are available, now or in the near future, that will improve the lives of millions of Americans. Focusing on Heart Disease, Vision Loss, Cancer, Heart, Brain and Lung Health, the top technologies include implants, medication monitors, early detection and more.

Travel Special – Hot Fun in the Wintertime

ATM also makes a compelling case to take vacations in the winter, detailing some of America’s best cold-weather destinations and pleasures that don’t require skis. Where best to go for a dog sleigh ride, hot-spring soaking, snow shoeing, snowmobiling and more!

An AARP News Report – Being Old in Ukraine: A Dispatch from the War

AARP dispatched a war correspondent and photographer to document the lives of older Ukrainians living along the front in the war with Russia. Their tales are shocking and despairing– imagine operating a nursing home with warfare all around you – and yet their resilience gives hope. How modern war is particularly tough on older citizens today, only in AARP The Magazine.

# # #

About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.​

Adam Sandler Gets Introspective with AARP The Magazine – Talks Aging, His Pivot Toward Serious Roles, and How Raising Kids Has (or Hasn’t) Affected His Mindset

Adam Sandler Gets Introspective with AARP The Magazine – Talks Aging, His Pivot Toward Serious Roles, and How Raising Kids Has (or Hasn’t) Affected His MindsetWhile renowned for his comic genius, the award-winning actor and producer dives into the inspiration behind the recent success of his dramatic projects, his strategies when it comes to raising his daughters, and future plans for both on and off the stage WASHINGTON—Well into his sixth decade, Adam Sandler is a man of many titles – slapstick comedian, SNL alum, serious actor, movie producer, doting parent, ardent hoopster, perpetual kid and loyal pal. AARP The Magazine (ATM) caught up with Sandler (whose new project You Are SO Not Invited to my Bat Mitzvah! just finished filming this August) to discuss his expansive career and reasons behind his recent and successful pivot into the dramatic films.

Sandler explains the importance of choosing roles that explore what it means to grow older, and grapple, with one’s place in the universe, especially as he himself enters the age group he once made the target of jokes. Looking back on his time at SNL, Sandler reflects on the maturity he’s gained since his 20s as well as how it feels having his daughters reach a similar age when he first began. Sandler also touches on his bucket list items still to be ticked off, and the legacy he hopes to leave behind.

The following are excerpts from ATM’s October/November 2022 cover story featuring Adam Sandler. The cover story can be read online now at aarp.org/magazine/.

On getting to the age that young Adam Sandler loved to poke fun at:

“I like my age, and it’s fun to play my age. It’s freeing. I don’t have to be true to anything other than what I look like and what I think and what I do in life. I’m nonstop commitment to my projects, though I don’t have the same discipline to keep my body in shape. There hasn’t been one movie where I’ve stayed the same weight throughout a three-month shoot. I used to worry about it. Now I’m okay.”

On Drama vs. Comedy:

“I like giving myself over to a new challenge. Sometimes I feel like I’m tapped out with new thoughts, and then all of a sudden, something new comes up and I go, ‘Okay, how can I make this happen?’ It was cool as hell pushing myself in new ways like I did on Uncut Gems. Running around the Diamond District in New York, the intensity of that amazing character, or in Hustle, being around the greatest NBA players, and not worrying about laughs as much as what each character is going through and pulling for. But I do love comedy more than anything.”

On growing up since SNL:

“I’m calmer than I used to be. I used to go nuts. I had a quick temper, quick reactions. I made a lot of dumb mistakes and said a lot of stupid things. Looking back on relationships, I could be an ass. I was selfish. I was competitive with other comedians and stuff. My father would say, “That guy’s funny,” and I would say, “Hey, I’m funny, blah, blah,” and he’d be, like, “Why can’t you both be funny?” Because I was hungry, I didn’t always see clearly then.”

“I’m also better at appreciation. I appreciate other people’s talent now rather than competing with it—in every field, in every sport, every part of showbiz. A lot of young comedians, a lot of the new cast on SNL, they just make me laugh now.”

On raising his daughters:

“My biggest challenge is trying not to steer them in certain directions to believe the things I believe and like the things I like. There are so many bands I love, starting with the Beatles but also Zeppelin, the Who, the Kinks. I’ll try to sneak something on the radio, like Van Halen, and when they’re singing along in the car go, “You like this?” Then I’ll play a deeper track and another one, when I probably should have quit at that first one. My wife—and the shrink—say I should just let stuff happen instead of getting so involved. Let them come up with those equations themselves.”

On his legacy:

“I want people to continue to enjoy what I’m doing. I hope they’ve had a good time with my movies, with what we’ve given them and, whether you’ve liked me or not, appreciate that I’ve tried my best.

“I’m just amazed people have trusted me as long as they have in this business and given me shot after shot. Because it would suck to do something else.”

# # #

About AARPAARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.
For further information: Paola Groom, AARP, 202-434-2555, [email protected];
Daniel Alarcon, AARP, 202-538-0105, [email protected]

AARP Bulletin: At Long Last, Sweeping Drug Price Relief for Older Americans

WASHINGTON—For more than 60 years, AARP has been fighting to help make prescription drugs more affordable for older Americans. With the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, a historic new law will finally bring significant relief from high drug prices. This month, the AARP Bulletin cover story guides readers through how the legislation will help older Americans.“This is a commonsense approach that people across the political spectrum support,” notes AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins in the piece. “In fact, the only opposition for all these years has been from big drug companies. What’s more, the law will provide older Americans with peace of mind, knowing that the drugs they need to stay healthy – and, often, to stay alive – won’t impoverish them.”

The cover story goes into detail about everything readers need to know regarding the new law:

When seniors can expect the new pricing law to take effect;
What exactly it means for Medicare to be able to negotiate drug prices;
A comparison of the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs to everyday goods;
How AARP has led the charge in lowering prescription prices;
And much more.

PLUS: The Teen Mental Health Crisis and How Parents and Grandparents Can Help: Professionals are sounding the alarm about teen mental health. Rates of loneliness, depression and attempted suicide among teenagers are higher than ever before in modern American history. To help parents and grandparents support their young loved ones, AARP Bulletin offers the insights of dozens of health professionals, counselors, educators and doctors that will offer much-needed tips – and hope.

Read about how social media, which can be mental health lifelines for isolated teens, can also facilitate bullying and harassment; mental health support systems like counseling are nowhere near the levels they need to be to tackle this crisis; school shootings and similar events are leaving children with fewer places where they can feel safe; and more.

Also, receive important tips from the professionals in the field about the ways you can have an honest discussion with your teenager about phone use, social media, and mutual trust. This month, discover the actions you can take to help them feel safe and supported.

Also in this month’s issue:

Your Money  

Where Products Are Free: Diverse online exchanges are emerging across America where people give away or receive quality secondhand (and in some cases, new) clothes, appliances, household gear and more. Online sites like Craigslist, Freecycle, and OfferUp are proving crucial to many who have become financially pinched by inflation. Find out how these sites operate, what you might find there, and how to make sure you are dealing with a legitimate offer and staying safe and secure.
Four Late-Life Money Options: We all know that healthcare and living costs often surge in the final few years of life. But how do you prepare for that time so you can afford good care and not be a burden on others? Money pros detail the range of financial products and approaches, and detail the benefits and drawbacks of each, from annuities to long-term care insurance to reverse mortgages to life-insurance drawdowns.

Your Health 

Jaw-Dropping Breakthroughs: Here’s a shocking fact: According to the CDC, one quarter of adults 65 or older have eight or fewer teeth. And most of us will have lost at least a few as we approach Medicare age. But thanks to modern advances in dentistry, many tooth replacement options are now available that are huge step forward from the partials and dentures of the past. Read this month’s issue of “Your Health” to learn about the newest forms of tooth implants and what to do if you cannot afford a dentist. 

Your Life

Q&A with Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Neil DeGrasse Tyson lets readers in on his journey as an astrophysicist as he approaches his 65th year around the sun. Tyson, author of the new book Starry Messenger, shares why a sense of wonder about the universe is so important, particularly in challenging times like now. What does he think about wealthy private individuals getting into space technology? Why doesn’t he think humans will step on the face of Mars in the next 20 years? And what does Carl Sagan’s legacy mean to him? Learn all this and more in this month’s Q&A 

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About AARPAARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

AARP The Magazine Special Summer Issue Gives America the Positive Jolt it Desperately Needs!

AARP The Magazine Special Summer Issue Gives America the Positive Jolt it Desperately Needs! Included In The Issue: Exclusive Interviews With 16 Country Music Stars, 26 Of America’s Best Regional Foods, Sex Advice For 50-Plus Couples, Author James Patterson Reveals His Secrets, Actor Bryan Cranston Tells Stories, Delicious Ideas For Your 4th Of July Cookout, AND Extraordinary Tales Of People Who Witnessed History Being Made
WASHINGTON—AARP The Magazine (ATM) is heating up this summer with exciting celebrity exclusives, tasty cookout recommendations and much more! Best-selling author James Patterson turns the story on himself with a sneak peek into his new memoir ‘James Patterson by James Patterson: The Stories of My Life’ set to release June 6th. Join renowned actor Bryan Cranston as he opens up on his reasoning behind past career choices as well as future roles including his upcoming film Jerry and Marge Go Large. Answer your personal questions in the Sex Ed Guide for adults with advice on emotional and physical aspects to maintaining a healthy sex life.  

Plus, some of the best hometown cuisines across the country are ranked based on location, actress Angie Harmon reveals her secrets to staying serene while stressed, and the unity of country music celebrate and cherished amongst its biggest stars.    

In this issue of AARP The Magazine:  

James Patterson, Revealed

The best-selling author is telling a new tale… about himself. Patterson has turned his prodigious storytelling skills to looking back on his own journey through his new memoir, James Patterson by James Patterson: The Stories of My Life written as a sequence of short, often amusing tales covering his working-class childhood. (Exclusive excerpts included.) 

What I Know Now – Bryan Cranston

Actor Bryan Cranston takes a look into his past roles, how he’s grown through the industry, and what the future may hold for his career.   

Sex Ed: A Guide for Grownups 

A guide for grownups on how to keep the heat in a relationship including: tips and tricks for yourself and your partner, advice for overcoming common bedroom obstacles, and the health benefits of maintaining an active sex life.  

What to Eat When In… 

World renown chef Andrew Zimmern and food guru Kelsey Ogletree travel across the country, ranking the best hometown cuisines— from blowfish tails to chili cinnamon rolls. 

The A List – Angie Harmon

Actress Angie Harmon offers advice into how she stays calm during life’s most hectic moments and what helps bring peace to her daily routines.  

Cover Story: For the Love of Country

Country music’s biggest stars including Dolly Parton, Zac Brown Band, Shania Twain, Loretta Lynn, and more are taking a moment to celebrate all that unites us this Independence Day. Plus, Nashville’s music scene is diversifying, and a light is shown on the artists on the forefront of the change.  

About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

Get ready! Medicare’s Open Enrollment starts October 15.

You can enroll in Medicare health and drug plans from October 15 – December 7. Get ready for Medicare’s Open Enrollment with these 5 tips:Check your mail. You may get important notices from Medicare or Social Security. If you’re in a Medicare plan, you’ll get an Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) telling you of any changes in coverage, costs, or service area. Note any 2022 changes to your health coverage or any Extra Help you may get to pay for prescription drugs.You may also get brochures and other marketing materials from insurance companies that offer Medicare health and prescription drug plans. Remember — plans aren’t allowed to call or come to your home without an invitation from you. Find out how to protect yourself from Medicare fraud.
Think about your Medicare coverage needs for 2022. Carefully review your current Medicare coverage, and note any upcoming changes to your costs or benefits. Decide if your current Medicare coverage will meet your needs for the year ahead. If you like your current coverage, and it’s still available for 2022, you don’t need to take any action to keep it.
Review your 2022 “Medicare & You” handbook. It has information about Medicare coverage and Medicare plans in your area. If you want to get your handbook electronically, you can go paperless by logging into (or creating) your secure Medicare account.
Preview 2022 health and prescription drug plans. We make it easy to compare coverage options and shop for health plans. For a personalized search, log in or create an account (if you have a Medicare Number) to create or access a list of your drugs, compare your current Medicare plan to others, and see prices based on any help you get with drug costs.
Get personalized help in your community. You may be able to find free information and events online, or get help from health insurance counselors in your area by phone, like your State Health Insurance Assistance Program.
Visit Medicare.gov to sign up to get important news & updates by email from Medicare.

Guard your card: How to protect your Medicare card

Protect yourself by protecting your Medicare card!  

The next Medicare Open Enrollment Period (October 15 – December 7) is coming fast, which means con artists may try to steal your identity and commit Medicare fraud. Medicare has taken actions to make Medicare cards safer by replacing Social Security Numbers with more secure ID numbers. But even with those efforts, fraudsters may still try to take advantage of you during Open Enrollment. 

Medicare fraud results in higher health care costs for taxpayers just like you. That’s why it’s so important to know how to protect your Medicare card and Number.

What can you do to protect yourself and prevent Medicare fraud?

The most important thing you can do is guard your Medicare card like it’s a credit card. Don’t give your Medicare card or Number to anyone except your doctor or people you know should have it.

You can also:

Keep your Medicare Number to yourself. If you get a call from people promising you things if you give them your Medicare Number — don’t do it. This is a common Medicare scam.
Refuse any offer of money or gifts for free medical care. A common ploy of identity thieves is to say they can send you your free gift right away — they just need your Medicare Number.
Use a calendar to record all of your doctors’ appointments and any tests you get. When you check your Medicare statements, look out for any items and services listed and other details that don’t look correct. If you see a charge or service that you think is incorrect and you know the provider, call their office and ask about it.
Learn how a Medicare plan works before you join.
Stay alert for fraud during the coronavirus disease 2019 (or COVID-19) national emergency. Con artists like to take advantage of people when they’re distracted.
Committing Medicare fraud is illegal & you should report it

If you suspect fraud, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048. If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare drug plan, call the Medicare Drug Integrity Contractor (MEDIC) at 1-877-7SAFERX (1-877-772-3379).

Learn how to protect yourself from health care fraud. Visit Medicare.gov/fraud for more information on how to help fight Medicare fraud.

Prevention is key—protect yourself with vaccines

More than 79% of people 65 and over are fully vaccinated for COVID-19—but are you defending yourself from other life-threatening illnesses, like pneumonia and the flu? Getting vaccinated is a simple, safe, and effective way to protect yourself. According to the CDC, “vaccines greatly reduce the risk of infection by working with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.” They strengthen your immune system and train it to create antibodies, like it does when it’s exposed to a disease.

Medicare covers a variety of vaccinations, including:

COVID-19 vaccine—helps protect against Coronavirus disease 2019
Flu shot—helps prevent the influenza virus
Hepatitis B shots—helps protects against the Hepatitis B Virus
Pneumococcal shots —helps protect against pneumococcal disease and its potentially serious complications, including infections like pneumonia and meningitis
Shingles shot—helps protect against reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes varicella (chickenpox)
Tdap shots—helps protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (“whooping cough”)
Also, you no longer need to wait 14 days between different vaccines. According to the CDC, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including flu and shingles, at the same visit.

Adults need to keep their vaccinations up to date because immunity from childhood vaccines can wear off over time. Talk to your doctor to help you decide which vaccines are right for you.