Myth 1: COVID-19 vaccines can give me COVID-19. FACT: None of the COVID-19 vaccines being developed can cause COVID-19. This includes Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted these vaccines Emergency Use Authorization in December. There are several other different types of vaccines also being worked on. The goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms such as fever. These symptoms are normal with many vaccines. They’re a sign that the body is building immunity. You can learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
Myth 2: I’ve already been sick with COVID-19. I won’t get any benefit from the vaccine. FACT: Experts don’t yet know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. COVID-19 poses severe health risks. Re-infection with COVID-19 is possible. This means people may be advised to get a vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before. The immunity someone gains from having an infection (natural immunity) varies from person to person. Some early evidence seems to suggest that natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long.
Myth 3: I’m young and healthy. I won’t need the vaccine when it’s available to me. FACT: Many people with COVID-19 have only a mild illness. However, others may get a severe illness or even die. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you without having to get the disease. There is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you, even if you’re not in a high-risk group. Also, if you get sick, you also may spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you. Some of these people may be in a high-risk group.
Myth 4: COVID-19 vaccines will cause positive results on COVID-19 diagnostic tests. FACT: The EUA vaccines and other vaccines still currently in clinical trials in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on diagnostic tests. These tests are used to see if you have a current infection. The goal of vaccination is for your body to develop an immune response. This means you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate that you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
Myth 5: Getting the COVID-19 vaccine means I won’t need to wear masks anymore. FACT: Experts still need to learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, per California’s COVID-19 website. This means you should continue to use all the tools available to help stop this pandemic. These include: Masks Physical distancing Washing hands often Remember: Vaccines need time to give protection. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after any vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination.
Myth 6: mRNA COVID-19 vaccines will alter my DNA. FACT: Some COVID-19 vaccines use mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid). These include the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. mRNA is not able to alter or change a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enter the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity. You can learn more about how mRNA vaccines work at the CDC’s website.
Myth 7: I can pay to get on a wait list for early access to the vaccine. FACT: There are no lists that allow you to access the vaccine ahead of schedule. There are a number of scams (PDF, 262 KB) circulating offering to add your name to a list to get early access to the vaccine in exchange for payment. Do not give your personal or financial information if someone calls, texts, or emails you promising access to the vaccine for a fee.
3 Big Health Challenges You’ll Face While Aging Younger adults take their good health for granted, but as we get older, we can’t ignore the impact that health has on our daily lives. It’s what leads many people to slow down starting in their 60s and 70s. Within a few years, the effects of age can have a serious impact on quality of life.
While you can’t escape age, you don’t have to age in ill health. Many of the health problems that seniors face are preventable through lifestyle changes.
Are you ready to tackle the challenges of aging? These are three health problems you’ll face and how you can overcome them for better health while aging.
You get sick easily Aging immune systems are more susceptible to infection and disease. It’s why older adults get sick more often and more seriously than their younger peers and why vaccinations are so important for older adults. Vaccinations don’t protect against everything, however. A weakened immune system also increases a senior’s risk of developing cancer and autoimmune disease.
Vaccinations aren’t the only thing seniors can do to support their immune systems. Not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, taking a multivitamin every day, limiting alcohol consumption, eating a healthy breakfast, and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in processed foods are habits that strengthen the immune system so your body can fight off illness and disease.
Of course, even if you live the healthiest lifestyle possible, you’re bound to feel under the weather at some point. In your older years, it’s more important than ever to make sure you visit the doctor if you fall ill, but these appointments can be costly without the right insurance. Capistrano Premier Insurance Services is here to help. We can help you find the right coverage for your needs, including individual, group, and self-insure plans as well as Medicare. Contact us today to find affordable healthcare coverage for your Golden Years.
You’re feeling lonely and depressed? Depression often goes untreated in seniors, whether because people think depressed moods are a normal part of aging or because older adults are resistant to mental health care. However, depression inhibits seniors’ ability to properly care for themselves and can have long-term consequences for health.
A healthy lifestyle, including eating a balanced diet focused on whole foods and getting regular exercise, is key to a healthy mind in old age just like in younger adults. It’s also critically important for seniors to avoid social isolation. When you don’t keep in touch with friends and family, you’re more likely to develop depression, get sick, and lose the ability to care for yourself.
Seniors who are isolated at home should work toward a more robust social network, whether by moving in with family or roommates, volunteering, or moving to an independent living community. The beauty of independent living is that you have a built-in social outlet, on top of having access to help with housework and no more lawn or home maintenance. Note that prices for these communities vary significantly, and you may have to dig into your savings or sell your home to help pay these costs. You can estimate how much you can expect to earn from selling your home through an online home-value estimate or looking at listings for similar homes in your area. In San Juan Capistrano, for example, one-bedroom condo homes are currently being listed for an average of $350K and two-bedrooms for $430K, so if your property is larger, you can expect to pull in even more to help fund your new living arrangement.
You’re having trouble getting around Mobility problems give seniors trouble at home and make it challenging to get out of the house. Staying physically active is the most important thing anyone can do to prevent and manage age-related mobility problems. Unfortunately, some seniors develop a fear of falling that stops them from exercising and worsens frailty.
A fear of falling keeps seniors from participating fully in life. A senior who is afraid of falling may rely on others at home and fear leaving the house. Again, exercise is the answer. A senior with a fear of falling may want to work with a physical therapist or personal trainer to regain confidence on their feet.
While exercise helps manage and prevent mobility problems, it’s not always enough to overcome them. If physical changes have made it difficult to care for yourself, it’s time to consider assisted living. You don’t have to pack your things just yet, but you should start researching assisted living in your area so you know your options and what it will cost.
A changing body is an inevitable part of aging. However, that change doesn’t have to lead to poor health. For more vibrant senior years, take charge of your health by taking action against these challenges of aging. Image via Unsplash
We will shop ALL the carriers and EVERY plan. If we can't improve your current plan, then we will tell you. Perhaps you are paying for insulin. Wouldn't it be nice to know of a carrier where it's $0 cost? Or your prescriptions are very expensive and you could cut that in half because not all plans are the same. Or would need a hearing aid in 2021, wouldn't it be nice who offers the best value? Would you like to add deep cleaning dental for free? We are here to help you. We get paid by the carrier and it's the same amount with all the carriers so our interest is to put you with the best carrier for YOUR situation. Call 949-248-3112 to find out what you can do for 2021.
I hope you have a safe healthy Memorial Day. Today is an opportunity to reflect on, appreciate, and be thankful for the freedom that we enjoy every day in the USA. Please take a moment to think about those that have lost their lives serving in our armed forces. The picture above always gets my attention brings the reality home of those who gave their lives for our freedom. It's a picture of my friend and his teammates of the Navy SEALS, taken by his wife. In hearing some of stories and missions, it's amazing he's alive. He has credited the dogs the teams use for saving him and his buddies many times. He has told me that Memorial Day is a tough day for him. In his text to me this morning after I sent him a THANK YOU, he says "I know they all Rest in Peace because we honor them today." With this virus, it has given us a sense of what losing our freedom is like. We honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice by prospering, enjoying our liberty, and preserving the American way of life.
If you served in the military, THANK YOU. God Bless YOU and America, Darrell Fryer 949-248-3112 Helping protect your assets
I wanted to share a lot of great Medicare information that I am coming across in my renewal training they put agents through every year.
For those of you on a Medicare Supplement "F" plan, there is an alternative plan called the "G" plan, which saves some money with almost identical benefits. And for those that are on the F plan, there is a relatively new plan called the F Extra that has a couple of more benefits like vision & hearing discounts, personal emergency response system. Call me if you would like to know more about either plan.
Exciting news for Scan members. All Costco stores in every county in Scan's service areas are available for the purchase of Frames and Lenses, even if you don't have a membership.
If you have not done so by now, you should go to www.mymedicare.gov and register. You will need your Medicare ID number. I am told you will be able print your Medicare card if need be, view claims information, and more.
I'm hearing there might be even more health benefits coming out. I even heard pest control for people with chronic health conditions. And for the most recent newsletter on the market from my investments partner Alan, click on the link below. Or I can send it to you by an email if you request it. Call or email if you would like to have your portfolio analyzed or a portion of it managed in this up and down market. Click newsletter
One of my Medicare clients just came out with an easy-to-read book called "Right to the Soul." I bought it and have really enjoyed it. It's short inspirational stories. If you wonder who God is, or if miracles are real, then read it. It can be life changing. Also, a unique flip story and art. I read one story a day and let it soak in. A great way to start the day! You can read more about it and buy it here- https://righttothesoul.org/ Let me know how you are doing. I love hearing from you.
I hope things are going well for you in springtime, looking forward to summer. I wanted to touch base and share a couple of things that perhaps you were not aware of in my line of work.
1. I often have auto or homeowners clients call me about filing a claim which is great. Often it's a claim when the estimated damage is around what their deductible is at or slightly more. A claim is a claim regardless how small it is. If you have one claim on record in past 3 years, that's OK. However, two hurts and three really hurts. You might get dropped or will pay a higher price and the number of carriers we can shop it to is greatly reduced. Therefore, avoid filing a claim unless it's worth it. If it's NOT your fault in an accident, then you're OK. I have fixed about 20 leaks with my house over the years by calling the plumber or leak detection services who have always fixed it with minimal cost. With YouTube and Home Depot, I've even gotten good at drywall repair. Also, if your going out of town for a weekend or more, turn off the main water which is a simple valve usually in the garage.
2. Medicare does not pay for a routine yearly physical. Medicare pays for two wellness visits: a one-time Welcome to Medicare Visit and an annual Wellness Visit. An annual physical is a much more extensive examination than the Welcome to Medicare Visit or Annual Wellness Visit. In addition to collecting a medical history, it may also include a vital signs check, lung exam, head and neck exam, abdominal exam, neurological exam, dermatological exam, and extremities exam.
I had a client who got a surprise bill for a physical and the doctor's office never explained Medicare doesn't cover it. They should have done a Wellness visit, not a physical. He didn't pay it and fought it for not being told prior that it wasn't covered and the office withdrew the bill. Furthermore, he was a terminal patient of the doctor and I can't understand why a "physical " was done in the first place!! It never hurts to ask if the service or test is covered before having it done. 3. A lot of my clients and friends tell me they like my partner's market insights newsletter. It's great information on the market and what is going on. Go to my website at capistranoinsurance.com/investments to read it. Scroll to the bottom of the web page and click on the "Market Update Newsletter" update. The market is impossible to predict so why not have a professional do it for you? Even if your just starting out, no problem. And your account is held at Fidelity Investments. Let me know if you would like to setup a call with my partner Alan and myself. Call me at 949-248-3112 if you have any questions. Blessings, Darrell
The biggest mistake I see from people is they really don't understand what their coverages mean and what exactly is at stake by not being informed. So here's some info just in case. Keep in mind that if you cause an accident, and suffer a significant judgment against you, damages over and above your policy limits will be your responsibility. That means your personal assets and even your future earnings could be at risk.There are generally six different types of auto insurance coverage. Bodily injury and property damage liability pays for your legal defense costs and judgments against you in cases that involve injuries or damage to other people or property. Often I see someone having 15-25,000 property damage. There are a lot of cars on the road in CA that are over 25,000!!! Medical payments coverage pays for the medical expenses of the insured driver and passengers, regardless of fault. Uninsured/underinsured motorist covers losses caused by a driver who is uninsured or has inadequate insurance. Collision pays for accident damage to your own car, while comprehensive insures your vehicle against all other physical damage — including those that result from theft, vandalism or natural disaster.Drivers may also purchase endorsements that extend their coverage even further. Rental reimbursement will pay for a rental car while your damaged vehicle is in the shop. Optional towing and labor insurance kicks in whenever your auto breaks down — not just for accidents covered under the basic insurance. The other mistakes I see are in policy limits. They are the maximum dollar amounts that will be paid by your insurance company in the event of a claim. There are separate limits set for each type of coverage, and higher limits will require higher premiums. Consider the value of your vehicle and personal assets, your tolerance for risk, and the amount you can afford to pay out of pocket when you choose your coverage limits. Last, I want you to know I don't just handle auto/homeowners plans. I handle ALL financial and insurance services. I do a lot of retirement planning such as investments with mutual funds, ETF's, etc. Most Americans are not prepared at all for college funds/retirement and please don't rely on social security to be there. It is not nearly enough to survive on. Put something away every month so you can get dollar cost averaging working in your favor in up and down markets. If you make a retirement account just like you do for all your other bills, you will be shocked at how it grows over time. Call me and we can discuss setting something up and getting you started
I just got out of a 10 day lovely hospital stay and I wanted you to know about this because it's a "you never know" situation. Out of nowhere, I got struck with a rare condition called Trigeminal Neuralgia. If you google it, you will see it's nasty. It's the nerves effecting the face, such as eyes, mouth, and ears. In my case it was my right eye. It's a stabbing pain or electrical shock of the most excruciating pain. The scary part is there is no known cure other than drugs and surgery which are not always successful. I'll take any prayers that the drugs work. The reason I am telling you this is because I will never be able to apply for life or long-term care coverage because it's an automatic decline. Fortunately, being in the business, I have those coverages in place and all set. So, stop and think, if you have a life policy, let me review it. In order for me to replace it, I have to prove to the new carrier how the new one is better. Perhaps we can add more years if you have a term policy. If you have a universal/whole life policy, many I review will blow up in much higher premiums down the road. Maybe you have no coverage, would your dependents be ok if you passed away? You can even get a burial guaranteed issue policy of $5-20,000, very inexpensive, so your loved ones don't have to deal with it when that day comes. If you have a long-term care policy, I salute you! Smart move. Leave that alone. Maybe you got that policy a long time ago and could use a little more coverage for care. We could add another small one. You need at least $5-6,000 per month for care. If you don't have any coverage, if you need care today, what is your plan? Clients and customers who call me for this are ones who have seen it with their family and the toll it takes. So, take a minute and give it some serious thought. I don't mean to be "salesy" but it's real life and you never know. I wouldn't be doing my job if something happened to you and you said to me, " I didn't know about that or I didn't think about it". Thank you, Darrell Fryer
Brushing and flossing are key to your dental health. So is choosing the right dental coverage. While dental insurance doesn’t command the attention that medical insurance does, it also can have significant implications for your pocketbook. You know exactly what I mean if you have the most common type of health insurance (more on that later) and have ever needed a procedure such as a crown or root canal. Read: $$$$ More than 19 million Californians had commercial dental insurance in 2014, and most of them obtained it through their employers, according to the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP). But “in a way, it shouldn’t even be called insurance,” says Jeff Album, a vice president at Delta Dental, California’s largest dental insurer. Album prefers calling it “a prepaid plan” for preventive and basic services, such as cleanings and fillings. If you need a more complicated procedure, “you’re going to end up paying a big part of the bill out of pocket,” he says. Today I’m offering five tips on how to best use your dental benefits to save you money and frustration. CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLAN There are two primary types of dental plans: HMOs and PPOs. The vast majority of Californians with commercial dental coverage — more than 14 million — have PPOs, the NADP says. Here’s how a dental PPO works:
In addition to your monthly premiums, you may owe a deductible before your insurance kicks in. Deductibles typically are under $50 and generally aren’t applied to preventive services, Album says.
You face annual limits on your coverage, typically between $1,000 and $2,000, which is the maximum your insurance will pay out in one year.
Twice-yearly cleanings and other preventive services are usually fully covered. You’ll pay a percentage of the cost for other services, such as 20 percent for a filling or 50 percent for a crown. Which adds up fast. A dental HMO operates differently.
Your premiums will be lower.
You probably won’t have deductibles or benefit maximums.
You’ll pay fixed copayments for treatments. However, with an HMO, “your choices of dentists is much, much smaller,” Album says. How much smaller? About 90 percent of California’s practicing dentists participate in PPOs, whereas about one quarter participate in HMOs, the NADP says. You may also have fewer treatment options with an HMO, says Long Beach dentist Gary Glasband. For example, an HMO may agree to cover a metal crown. But if you prefer a ceramic crown that blends in with your other teeth, you may have to pay an additional cost, he says. “You’re going to look at this choice differently if you’re a 20-year-old who has very little dental needs compared to someone who needs complex work,” he says. If you have children, consider whether the plan covers orthodontic benefits, Glasband adds. Once you’ve chosen your plan, understand your coverage. For instance, if your plan covers two cleanings a year, can they occur at any time or do they have to be more than six months apart? “One cleaning every six months is not the same as two cleanings a year,” Glasband says. STAY IN NETWORK You will spend the least amount out of pocket by staying in your dental plan’s network, whether you have an HMO or a PPO. With an HMO, you usually won’t receive any coverage out of network. In the case of a PPO, you will receive the highest level of coverage from an in-network dentist plus reduced rates on the amount you have to spend out of pocket, Album says. If you opt for an out-of-network dentist, you will still receive coverage, but at a reduced level. Once your dentist has determined your treatment, always request a pre-treatment estimate from your plan. That will help you determine how much you’ll owe, Album says. TIMING IS EVERYTHING Schedule your procedures to make the most of your dental coverage. Let’s say your dentist recommends four fillings and two crowns. If you do them all at once, you’ll likely exceed your maximum benefits and spend hundreds of dollars (or more) out of pocket. If it’s not an emergency, find out when your annual benefits renew, Glasband says. For most people it’s Jan. 1. In that case, Glasband suggests getting two fillings and a crown in November and the remaining procedures early the following year, which essentially doubles the amount of coverage at your disposal. “Count on your dentist to help you time your benefits,” Album says. DISCOUNT PLANS If you don’t have dental insurance, consider purchasing a discount dental plan. These plans, which are not insurance, give you access to certain dentists who have agreed to perform procedures at discounted, cash prices. The discounts are usually 20 to 30 percent, sometimes more, says Evelyn Ireland, executive director of the NADP.
If you haven’t experienced it yourself, you’ve no doubt heard about the outrageous — and rapidly growing — prices of certain prescription medications.
The average price of about one year of cancer-drug therapy has skyrocketed from $10,000 (or less) before 2000 to more than $100,000 by 2012, according to a recent Mayo Clinic study.
The new hepatitis C drug Sovaldi comes at a retail price tag of $84,000 for a 12-week course.
Prices are even spiking for some generics that have been around for years. Take the cost of the commonly used antibiotic, doxycycline, which jumped from $20 for 500 pills in Oct. 2013 to $1,849 in April 2014, according to AARP.
The unaffordability of drugs is a real and growing threat, even for people with health insurance.
Today I’m going to offer some tips on how to save money on your prescription drugs, whether you’re insured or not.
Q: I was recently diagnosed with cancer and had my first round of chemo. The nurse gave me a prescription for a generic anti-nausea medication. When my wife took it to the drug store, she was quoted a price of $900 for a 30-day supply. How is that possible?
A: I wish I could answer the question from Jim Buchanan of Hemet, but I don’t know why a generic anti-nausea drug would cost $900 out of pocket, even with his insurance applied to the prescription.
I can say that his wife, Susan Buchanan, did the right thing when she didn’t take $900 for an answer. Though “totally in shock” from the quoted price, she asked what the cost of the prescription would be without applying insurance.
Counterintuitive? Yes. Confusing? Definitely.
“In some cases, people may be better off not using their insurance,” says Betsy Imholz, special projects director at Consumers Union.
Lesson 1: Shop smart.
When you get your prescription, call multiple pharmacies and negotiate, even for generics. Neighborhood pharmacies may have more autonomy to lower prices than chain stores, Imholz says.
If you don’t have insurance, however, Costco has the lowest price of chain stores on average, she says. You don’t have to be a member to use its pharmacy.
Finally, ask your doctor to write a prescription for a 90-day supply of drugs instead of 30 days. “You’ll be avoiding copays and trips to the pharmacy,” she says.
Lesson 2: Appeal for coverage.
Let’s say your doctor wants you to take a medication that’s not on your plan’s formulary and you’re faced with paying full cost.
Before you empty your pockets, file an appeal with your insurer, which in most cases must cover medically necessary drugs that aren’t on their formularies— if your condition warrants their use.
If your health plan rejects your appeal, contact your regulator and request an independent medical review, which is free. The health plan’s denial letter will specify your regulator, or try the state Department of Managed Health Care (888-466-2219 or www.HealthHelp.ca.gov) or the state Department of Insurance (800-927-4357 or www.Insurance.ca.gov).
You’ll need to work with your doctor through this process to help you prove medical necessity.
Lesson 3: Look for financial assistance.
There are a slew of programs offered by drug companies and foundations, and many websites that help you search for them. One is NeedyMeds (www.NeedyMeds.org), a national nonprofit that helps connect people with assistance.
“Pharmaceutical companies give away billions of dollars in drugs every year to people in need,” says NeedyMeds President Richard Sagall.
Financial help from pharmaceutical companies is generally for brand-name drugs that don’t have generic equivalents. These programs have eligibility requirements based on four categories, Sagall says:
Citizenship and immigration status.
Some will only help people who are uninsured or have no drug coverage.
Income. Many have relatively generous thresholds that include middle-class families.
Some are disease- or diagnosis-specific.
All require some input from the doctor who prescribed the medication, Sagall says.
If you have drug coverage but can’t afford your copay, there are programs that may help with that, too.
Lesson 4: Use prescription discount cards and programs.
There are two types of drug discount cards. The first comes from pharmaceutical companies and generally offers discounts for a specific drug, Sagall says.
The other discounts multiple drugs and is offered by AARP, Costco, NeedyMeds and others. However, “you cannot use these in conjunction with insurance or state-federal programs such as Medicare,” he says.
But don’t forget the Buchanans of Hemet, who got a better deal without their insurance.
Lesson 5: Choose insurance with drug coverage you need.
One of the best ways to limit your out-of-pocket costs is to choose the best plan for your situation. You’ll have a chance to do that in your next open-enrollment period, which is fast approaching for most people.
If you have a chronic condition or take a lot of medications, try to avoid high-deductible plans, which include the “bronze” level plans sold by Covered California.
“If you have to pay a little higher premium but have lower out-of-pocket costs, that’s a better choice,” says Liz Helms, president/CEO of the California Chronic Care Coalition.