Making the Most of your Medicare

Medicare data show contrast in generic, brand prescribing.

By | Making the Most of your Medicare | No Comments

NEXIUM  v.  OMEPRAZOLE Cost, the only substantive difference?  The most-used medicines in Medicare’s prescription drug program are generics, but the program spends the most on brand-name drugs, led by the heartburn treatment Nexium, according to an unprecedented release of government data on Thursday. That contrast sheds light on prescribing practices and how they might be used to save money, specialists say. More than a million health care providers prescribed $103 billion worth of medications under the popular Part D drug benefit for seniors in 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said. Of more than 3,000 drugs prescribed that year, AstraZeneca’s Nexium alone accounted for $2.5 billion of the spending, prescribed to nearly 1.5 million Medicare beneficiaries. GlaxoSmithKline’s asthma drug Advair Diskus accounted for $2.3 billion of the Part D program, followed by AstraZeneca’s cholesterol blockbuster Crestor at $2.2 billion. Contrast that with the 10 most-prescribed drugs for Part D beneficiaries that year, generics…

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Big retirement mistake: Boomers with no estate plan

By | Making the Most of your Medicare, Uncategorized, Understanding Health Care Reform | No Comments

Many Baby Boomers are neglecting a key part of their retirement plans — creating an estate plan. And while death is not a pleasant thing to think about, death without an estate plan can create havoc for your surviving family members, financial planners warn. “I think that on a list of things to do, it’s at the bottom, if it even makes the list,” says Nicole Hart, director of trusts and estates at Sontag Advisory, a New York-based wealth adviser. It’s important not to look at financial planning in a vacuum,” says Manhattan estate planning and elder care attorney Ann-Margaret Carrozza. “Estate planning is intertwined with the financial plan.” “If you are looking at Baby Boomers, they are looking at what their cash flow will be in retirement,” says Carol Kroch, managing director, wealth and philanthropic planning at Wilmington Trust in Wilmington, Del. “Can they do the things they want…

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