FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM NOVEMBER 22, 2018 • SENIOR LIVING • THE QUEENS COURIER 37
Now is the time to address your hearing health
If you fi nd yourself constantly turning
up the volume on the TV or asking people
to repeat themselves, you’re not alone.
In fact, 1 in 5 Americans - nearly 50 million
people - ages 12 and older have hearing
loss, according to the Hearing Health
In addition, it takes 10 years, on average,
for someone with hearing loss to seek
help, according to a study published in
the “International Journal of Audiology.”
Th at’s 10 years of missed conversations
with a spouse, compliments from a friend,
secrets from a child and laughs with your
family, all because many people aren’t
sure where to go for care or have misconceptions
about hearing aids.
As more people, especially younger
people, are diagnosed with hearing loss,
treatment has become easier to access.
Hearing care professionals and hearing
aid manufacturers, such as Beltone,
have adopted advanced technologies and
novel forms of care to treat an evolving
patient population, ensuring that no
one has to experience hearing loss alone.
If you’re looking to make your hearing
health more of a priority, now is the
time as these advancements in technology
can help improve your hearing and
quality of life:
Clearer, fuller, richer sound. Newer
hearing aids incorporate technology that
enable advanced hearing capabilities,
helping you understand more speech and
hear the fi ner details in social and professional
Rechargeable. Changing hearing aid
batteries is a thing of the past. Now you
can have hearing aids with a rechargeable
battery (with some lasting up to 30
hours) and a portable charger.
Entertainment on demand. Wireless
connectivity and Bluetooth technology
have made their way to hearing aids.
You can now make phone calls and
stream TV, videos and more directly to
your hearing aids. Some hearing aids,
such as the Beltone Amaze, are also
fully compatible with both Apple and
Support is just a click away. Remote
fi ne-tuning allows you to request and
receive adjustments to your hearing aids
from the comfort of your own home on
a computer or from a smartphone.
Personal control. If you love restaurants,
but hate the noise, an option like
the Beltone HearMax app allows users
to select personalized, preset environments,
such as outdoor or restaurant.
Th e app’s geolocation option also automatically
remembers when you’re in a
favorite spot and can adjust your hearing
Personalized style. Like having your
own stylist, hearing care professionals
are typically experts in fi tting hearing
aids to meet your individual needs and
tastes. Today’s hearing aids vary in size,
color and special features so you can
blend in or stand out.
Comprehensive customer care.
Working with a hearing care professional
is essential in treating hearing loss.
For example, Beltone’s exclusive care
program is available at most of the company’s
1,500 hearing centers nationwide.
Follow-up service is just a push
of the button away as an easy-to-use
mobile app can connect you directly to
your hearing care professional.
Locate lost hearing aids. Th is is a feature
you’ll never want to use, but will be
thankful to have should the need arise.
Th rough the use of apps, you can track
your hearing aids if you misplace them.
To learn more about the latest in hearing
aid technology and fi nd a hearing
aid that meets your needs, visit beltone.
Courtesy Family Features
From deductibles to donuts, key terms to know about Medicare Part D
Navigating the ins and outs of Medicare
can be an intimidating experience if
you’re not familiar with certain terms.
Medicare Part D, which helps cover
prescription drugs, has its own terminology.
Medicare Annual Enrollment
runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, so now is
the time for a refresher on key words
to inform your coverage decisions for
A deductible is the amount you pay
out of pocket in a given year for eligible
prescription drugs before your plan’s
coverage kicks in. Th e deductible can
vary from plan to plan.
Some plans charge a copay, a fl at fee,
each time you fi ll a prescription. For
example, a plan may require you to pay
$2 when you fi ll a prescription for generic
drugs and a higher amount for brandname
With coinsurance, you pay a set percentage
of the cost of the drug instead of
the fl at fee associated with a copay.
Part D plans are off ered by private
insurance companies, and each plan has
what’s known as a formulary, a list of
the prescription drugs covered under
“When considering a Part D plan,
review the formulary to make sure your
medications are covered,” said Kent
Monical, senior vice president for Part
D at UnitedHealthcare Medicare &
And keep in mind that plan formularies
can change from year to year, so
don’t assume that the prescription drugs
covered under your current plan will
carry over in 2019.
A Medicare Part D plan’s formulary is
made up of tiers, depending on the cost
of the medications. Th e lower tiers generally
include preferred generic drugs,
and many plans cover these medicines
with low or no copay or coinsurance.
Higher tiers generally include brandname
drugs and specialty medications
and tend to have higher copays or coinsurance.
So, talk to your doctor to see if
the brand-name prescription you take
can be replaced with a generic version.
Preferred pharmacy network
A Part D plan may designate a preferred
network of pharmacies, and if
you use these pharmacies, you can save
money on prescriptions.
“Make sure the plan off ers access to
pharmacies that are convenient for you,”
Monical said. “Some plans also have
mail-order pharmacy benefi ts, and you
may be able to get prescriptions delivered
to your home for a lower cost than
purchasing from a retail location.”
The donut hole
Th e majority of Part D plans have a
coverage gap known as a “donut hole.”
For example, in 2019, you enter this
donut hole once your out-of-pocket costs
(including deductibles, copays and coinsurance)
for prescription drugs reach
$3,820. While you’re in the donut hole,
you will pay a percentage of the cost of
In 2019, once your out-of-pocket costs
reach $5,100, you exit the donut hole and
pay a smaller coinsurance. But, the days
of the donut hole are numbered. Under
a provision of the 2010 Aff ordable Care
Act, the coverage gap has been steadily
shrinking. Beginning in 2019, the maximum
you will pay in the coverage gap for
a branded drug is 25 percent of a drug’s
cost. For generic drugs, it is 37 percent,
but in 2020, that will be reduced to 25 percent
To learn more about Medicare or
Medicare Annual Enrollment, visit