Monday, January 3, 2011

Medical coverage

The new year will change the way many of us get our health care under the reform law President Obama signed back in March. The administration knows there are plenty of skeptics and is still trying to sell health care reform as a good deal for tax payers. One new provision should help anyone with a job and insurance: employer plans have to spend 80-85% of your premium dollars on services related to medical care. And for those on Medicare, the so called donut hole is getting smaller. The donut hole is a gap in coverage that exists for seniors who've spent a certain amount for drugs and is in whats called the 'part D' drug plan. Starting this year seniors who fall into that gap will get 50% discount on brand name drugs and a much smaller discount on generic drugs. Seniors will get free preventive benefits. Many of the biggest changes in health care reform, including a mandate that everyone buy health insurance, wont kick in until 2014.


The latest statistics from the CDC showed that the number of deaths caused by strokes has dropped from the 3rd place of causes of death. Stroke is now the 4th leading cause of death, down from the 3rd rank it has held for decades. A new study finds that nearly 2/3rds of senior citizens discharged from hospitals after Ischemic stroke die or are readmitted within one year. Stroke is the 2nd leading cause of hospital admissions among elders. Ischemic stroke, which occurs as a result of obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain, accounts for 87% of all strokes. In-hospital death rates for Ischemic stroke patients are nearly 15% within 30 days of admission and more than 30% within one year admission. The post discharge death or admission rates are 61.9% within one year discharge.
Having a stroke is a medical emergency, know these signs of a stroke, every second counts:
*Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg especially on one side of the body.
*Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
*Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
*Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
*Sudden severe headache with no known cause.