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TV viewership climbing with people stuck at home by virus
4/3/2020 3:44:15 PM

By David Bauder and Lynn Elber   NEW YORK (AP)—A fixture on television, actress Julie Bowen of “Modern Family” is doing the same thing as millions of other people during the widespread coronavirus shutdown. She's sitting at home, watching more television than she normally would. In a world turned upside down by disease, TV viewership is growing. It's a rare bit of good news for an industry that has steadily shrunk, and its executives hope to seize an opportunity by anticipating what a stressed audience wants to see. Bowen and her children...

Age is not the only risk for severe coronavirus disease
4/3/2020 3:36:38 PM

By Lauran Neergaard   WASHINGTON (AP)—Older people remain most at risk of dying as the new coronavirus continues its rampage around the globe, but they're far from the only ones vulnerable. One of many mysteries: Men seem to be faring worse than women. And as cases skyrocket in the U.S. and Europe, it's becoming more clear that how healthy you were before the pandemic began plays a key role in how you fare regardless of how old you are. The majority of people who get COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms. But “majority” doesn't mean...

Counties without coronavirus are mostly rural, poor
4/3/2020 3:35:24 PM

By Morgan Lee and Nicky Forster   SANTA FE, N.M. (AP)—As the coronavirus rages across the United States, mainly in large urban areas, more than a third of U.S. counties have yet to report a single positive test result for COVID-19 infections, an analysis by The Associated Press shows. Data compiled by John Hopkins University shows that 1,297 counties have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 out of 3,142 counties nationwide. Of the counties without positive tests, 85% are in rural areas—from predominantly white communities in Appalachia and the Great Plains to...

How to get help from Social Security during the coronavirus pandemic
4/3/2020 3:31:16 PM

Dear Savvy Senior, I’ve heard that the Social Security Administration has closed all their offices because of the coronavirus pandemic. How are they accommodating people while they’re closed down? Recently Retired   Dear Recently, Yes, that’s correct. The Social Security Administration has closed its 1,200 field offices throughout the country to protect benefit recipients and workers from the coronavirus pandemic. Their offices have been closed since March 17. How long they will be closed is unclear. It will depend on the course of the...

Providing help and hope to our children in this time of great crisis
4/3/2020 2:36:30 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman   As COVID-19 spreads across our nation more communities and families need help and hope every day. Today Congress passed a $2 trillion relief package that was a critical step toward easing some the burdens of this crisis for millions of children and families. Among its provisions, it will provide low- and middle-income earners one time cash payments of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child; more support for low-income renters, protections against foreclosures and evictions, grants for homelessness assistance, and temporary shelter and services for...

Greetings from the edge of reality
4/1/2020 6:37:53 PM

By Chris Frost chris@tricountysentry.com   Oxnard-- So, here are some thoughts that are rambling through my head as I continue to stay locked up in my home.    First of all, I hope that everyone is safe and healthy. Keep practicing your social distancing. It makes a difference.     With all that said, some things make me worry once we get past this pandemic. I've noticed all the commercials on television that promote delivery and web orders available. I hope people do not develop new shopping habits and give up shopping on Main...

Feds announce Medicare will cover coronavirus testing
3/26/2020 4:06:03 PM

WASHINGTON—As the coronavirus is spreading nationally and globally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced early in March that Medicare will cover coronavirus testing. All COVID-19 tests ordered by your doctor or other health care provider will be covered under Medicare Part B as a diagnostic laboratory test, and therefore has no out-of-pocket costs. Coverage can be back dated to February 4, 2020, and providers must wait until April 1, 2020 to submit their bills to Medicare.   Guidance to Medicare Advantage & Part D Plans Medicare...

House leaders introduce bills to improve COBRA for Medicare eligible
3/26/2020 4:04:08 PM

By Karen Fletcher   “Many retirees are unexpectedly exposed to out-of-pocket liability for any costs paid under COBRA benefits on or after date of Medicare eligibility and penalties for late enrollment in Medicare. Some of this risk would be eliminated if COBRA notices addressed the interaction with Medicare, and vice versa. Unfortunately, such information is not required under either Medicare or COBRA, and thus, transparency and clear information about the interaction between the two is lacking.”   WASHINGTON—The above is a quote from a recent...

Former President Obama reflects on 10-year ACA anniversary
3/26/2020 4:03:19 PM

By Barack Obama   RETIREMENT—The events of the past month remind us that as a community, we all have an obligation to look out for one another. Ten years ago today, I signed the Affordable Care Act into law for that reason—that as Americans, we all deserve quality, affordable care. As Americans, we take care of each other. When I ran for President in 2008, one of the first promises I made was that I would pass a law that moved us toward universal health care in my first term. It was a pledge informed by the stories I heard on the campaign trail and...

As pandemic intensifies, millions of seniors live in counties without ICU beds
3/26/2020 3:56:42 PM

By Kaiser Health News   WASHINGTON—More than half the counties in America have no intensive care beds, posing a particular danger for more than 7 million people who are age 60 and up—older patients who face the highest risk of serious illness or death from the rapid spread of COVID-19, a Kaiser Health News data analysis shows. Intensive care units have?sophisticated equipment, such as bedside machines to monitor a patient’s heart rate and ventilators to help them breathe. Even in communities with ICU beds, the numbers vary wildly—with?some having...

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