Here’s how you can ensure you have adequate health coverage, and ways you can save money
Dr. Alan Smith from WellCare talked with Jason Carr to help explain Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and what people can get covered. Medicare is the baseline federal health insurance program available for seniors and those with certain disabilities. Medicare Advantage includes Medicare Part A, B and D, plus additional benefits. Plans through Medicare Advantage can lessen out-of-pocket expenses, and can include benefits for hearing, dental and vision, depending on a plan. “We want to make sure every senior has adequate coverage, especially during the pandemic,” Smith said.
Newsweek names Ann Arbor hospitals among best in the world
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – On Wednesday, both University of Michigan Hospital and St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor were named on Newsweek’s World’s Best Hospitals 2021 list. University of Michigan Hospital ranked 23 out of the top 200 hospitals in the world and was the only Michigan hospital to make the global shortlist. AdSaint Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor hospital joined 2,000 hospitals from 25 countries on Newsweek's World's Best Hospitals 2021 list. Credit: Saint Joseph Mercy Ann ArborSt. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor also made it onto the United States list ranking at 334, and its sister hospital in Chelsea ranked 64. Both Ann Arbor hospital systems performed “above average,” according to the 2021 list.
Michigan Medicine pauses first-dose COVID vaccine appointments for second week due to low supply
Individuals are seen being monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at Michigan Stadium on Dec. 31, 2020. ANN ARBOR – For the second straight week, Michigan Medicine has announced it can only provide COVID-19 vaccine appointments to those receiving their second shot due to a limited vaccine supply. Only those who received their first dose through Michigan Medicine are able to receive their second dose at the health system’s vaccine clinics. Michigan Medicine asks those waiting for their first dose to check back next week to see if new appointments are available. The Washtenaw County Health Department’s COVID-19 vaccine page also has updated information and a vaccine request form for those who are eligible.
Michigan Medicine expands eligibility for systemwide COVID-19 vaccination
A nurse holds vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine above a deep freeze cooler at Michigan Stadium on Dec. 31, 2020. ANN ARBOR – Michigan Medicine announced in an email to staff on Monday that it has expanded the Phase 1A COVID-19 vaccine priority group after administering more than 11,000 vaccines since Dec. 14. Based on recommendations from the state, those now eligible for a Phase 1A vaccine at University of Michigan include:Anyone serving in a role at Michigan Medicine or University of Michigan who works in a clinical setting (i.e. hospital, ambulatory clinic, home care) and is not able to work exclusively remotely is able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine now as part of Phase 1A. Michigan Medicine is administering vaccines seven days a week.
Michigan task force addressing racial disparities amid pandemic sees signs of progress
A Michigan task force has been conducting research and implementing new protocols to help improve conditions for minority communities who have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic -- and they have seen some notable progress so far. Gretchen Whitmer established the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities to address issues leading to the disproportionate havoc the pandemic has wreaked on communities of color compared to white communities. Since the task force was created, more than 20 “Neighborhood Testing sites” have been established in previously-underserved communities throughout Michigan, the state reports. Moving forward, the group intends to close the “digital divide” by ensuring minority communities have better access to internet, telehealth services and virtual learning. “It’s clear that the work of this task force ... has made significant progress in protecting families, frontline workers, and small businesses in communities of color,” said Celeste Sanchez Lloyd, task force member and community program manager for Strong Beginnings at Spectrum Health.
American Advantage offers compassionate care at home amid pandemic
American Advantage Home Care wants to help. The company has skilled health care services for homebound patients. American Advantage Home Care stands out because of the diverse set of services they offer and the vast community that they serve. American Advantage Home Care can help senior citizens, homebound patients and patients recovering from a major injury. To learn more about all American Advantage Home Care has to offer, visit their website right here.
Ascension Michigan installs temporary visitor restrictions amid climbing COVID cases
All rights reserved)WARREN, Mich. – Ascension Michigan has issued temporary visitation restrictions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus as cases surge throughout the state. One visitor is allowed for outpatient surgery and must stay in the waiting room. The above restrictions do not apply at Ascension Michigan physician practice sites. A number of other medical centers have also recently ramped up visitation restrictions as COVID-19 cases climb throughout Michigan. The total number of coronavirus cases in Michigan has risen to 277,806, including 8,190 deaths, as of Wednesday.
Michigan Medicine announces restrictions to visitors as statewide COVID-19 cases surge
ANN ARBOR – Michigan Medicine announced Monday it has added visitor restrictions at its hospitals and clinics to curb the spread of COVID-19 and to protect patients and staff. Visitors, including family, are required to wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth at all Michigan Medicine properties, including inside a patient’s room. No visitors will be allowed in clinics for adult patients unless the patient has a physical or cognitive impairment that requires assistance. We hope that by adding these restrictions, we will better protect everyone from COVID-19,” Washer continued. “Limiting visitors and requiring a mask at all times will help reduce the spread of infection.”Related reading:
‘Obamacare’ sign-ups begin as millions more are uninsured
WASHINGTON – Millions of Americans who have lost health insurance in an economy shaken by the coronavirus can sign up for taxpayer-subsidized coverage starting Sunday. Hard numbers on how virus-related job losses have affected health coverage are not available because the most reliable government surveys will not be out until next year. That's on top of 26 million uninsured last year, before the pandemic, or about 8% of the U.S. population. Some private businesses, such as HealthSherpa.com, have created a niche market helping people enroll in HealthCare.gov plans. But, Dorn said, “a lot of people who need health insurance may not know there this is there chance to sign up."
The Latest: India's downward trend in new cases continues
(AP Photo/Channi Anand)NEW DELHI — India has reported 48,648 new coronavirus cases, continuing a downward trend in infections even as the country’s caseload has crossed 8 million and is only behind the U.S. The country confirmed 808 new cases on Thursday, bringing the cumulative COVID-19 cases to 100,334, including 712 cases found on a cruise ship earlier this year, according to the ministry figures. About one-third of the cases come from Tokyo, where 221 cases were confirmed Thursday, bringing a prefectural total to 30,677, with 453 deaths. Italy added a record number of new confirmed cases Thursday at more than 26,000. ___LONDON — The World Health Organization says Europe had a record 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the last week and has reached 10 million of the 44 million global cases.
FBI warns ransomware assault threatens US healthcare system
The cyberattacks involve ransomware, which scrambles data into gibberish that can only be unlocked with software keys provided once targets pay up. Sky Lakes acknowledged the ransomware attack in an online statement, saying it had no evidence that patient information was compromised. It said emergency and urgent care “remain available” The St. Lawrence system did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment. Increasingly, ransomware criminals are stealing data from their targets before encrypting networks, using it for extortion. A total of 59 U.S. healthcare providers/systems have been impacted by ransomware in 2020, disrupting patient care at up to 510 facilities, Callow said.
Joe Biden: Vacancy about health law, not court expansion
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden gives a speech on the Supreme Court at The Queen Theater, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wants voters to see Republicans’ push for a speedy Supreme Court confirmation as an end-run of Congress and the 2010 health care law. “She's gonna be a great justice” who will “rule (based on) the law,” Trump said of Barrett. Justices are scheduled on Nov. 10, a week after Election Day, to hear another challenge of the 2010 health care law. “Prior to going on the bench, she publicly criticized Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion upholding the law,” Biden noted.
How to apply for food, cash assistance, other benefit programs in Michigan
DETROIT – Michigan offers several programs to help residents in times of hardship. With more than one million out of work in the state due to coronavirus, these resources are as important as ever. MIBridges, the state’s benefit program site, can help you navigate through available programs and through the application process. Available programs include:Food Assistance Program (FAP) (Provides benefits to buy or grow food) Related: Michigan expands food assistance benefits, suspends SNAP work requirements amid coronavirusHealthcare Coverage (Helps pay for medical costs)Child Development & Care (CDC) (Helps pay for childcare costs)Cash Assistance (Provides cash to help meet basic needs)State Emergency Relief (Provides help or assistance for emergency housing, utility, and burial situations)Go to MIBridge to learn more and apply for programs. Related: Q&A: Michigan unemployment agency answers questions about issues applying for benefits
Healthcare coverage options available for Michigan residents during coronavirus outbreak
DETROIT – If you’ve lost healthcare coverage due to the coronavirus pandemic in Michigan, there are options to find new coverage. Michiganders impacted may have low or no-cost healthcare options available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). “Michiganders who lose employer-based health insurance may have options to continue or replace their coverage,” said DIFS Director Anita G. Fox. Depending on income and their situation, consumers may qualify for cost sharing reductions, premium tax credits, coverage for their children (CHIP), or Medicaid. Consumers should contact DIFS toll free at 877-999-6442 if they need assistance.Act now and applyEnrollment help is available