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July 5, 2006
Identify Your Market for Effective Use of Messaging and Media

May 31, 2006
3-Ms for Success: Message, Market, Media

May 10, 2006
Marketing Your Services Means Covering All the Bases

March 29, 2006
Selling Value Over Price Is Worth Every Effort

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Caregiver's e-Mall

Our Caregiver's e-Mall is filling up with great stores and a growing number of items just in time for the holidays. Whether you browse and find a book or tape to help you with caregiving, or come across a wonderful gift for a friend or family member, the e-Mall can be your source for easy shopping and gift-giving.

So, click on the dark blue Caregiver's e-Mall buttons throughout our site and enter a comfortable, secure shopping experience with major merchants while avoiding the hassle of having to find a parking place or matching your shopping hours with someone else's. Our mall is just a click away and is open 24 hours every day.

Watch for additional stores opening in the e-Mall soon!



Posted: October 19, 2005

Professional Caregiving

If You Can Explain Medicare Part D, You're Doing Better Than Most

I’m thinking there are a lot of folks out there who have no idea what to do about the coming changes in Medicare. So, as professionals, we will be asked for advice and guidance. The focus of this column is to help understand the basics.

Starting January 1, 2006, Medicare will offer prescription drug plans to help the "Medicare eligible" pay for the prescriptions they need. If they don’t join a Medicare prescription drug plan by May 15, 2006, they will pay a higher premium unless they have drug coverage that, on average, is at least as good as standard Medicare prescription drug coverage (such as from a former employer or union). Their insurer will notify them anytime now to let them know if their coverage, on average, is at least as good as standard Medicare prescription drug coverage.

Clear As Mud?

If they join, their costs will vary depending on which plan they choose. In general, they pay a monthly premium (generally around $37 in 2006) and a yearly deductible (up to the first $250 in 2006). They will also pay a share of their prescription drug costs, and their plan pays a share. Medicare helps pay for drugs up to a limit ($2,250 in total) and once their total out-of-pocket costs for drugs reach $3,600, they pay 5% of the costs and Medicare pays 95% of the costs for the rest of the year.

The timeline is also an important factor. Here’s what it looks like for the rest of this year and 2006.

October 2005

• Comparative information about Medicare prescription drug plans will be available at, 1-800-MEDICARE, or through State Health Insurance Assistance Programs and other local organizations.

Medicare & You 2006 Handbook containing all the necessary information is mailed to all Medicare households.

• Medicare Advantage plans notify plan enrollees about enhanced drug plan coverage options via "Notification of Change."

• People with Medicare and Medicaid will get information about how they will be automatically enrolled in a plan if they do not choose one on their own.

• Medicare plans that offer drug coverage begin marketing.

November 2005

• Enrollment for Medicare prescription drug plans begin November 15. People must call the company offering the plan to enroll, or they can enroll through 1-800-MEDICARE.

December 2005

• People should enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan now to pay lower premiums and to receive prescription drug coverage when it begins January 1, 2006.

January 2006

• Medicare prescription drug coverage begins January 1 for those who enrolled in a plan by December 31, 2005. (Enrollment continues into 2006.)

• Medicare begins to provide prescription drug coverage for those who have Medicare and full Medicaid coverage.

April- May 2006

• Medicare will send a reminder to those who have not enrolled in a Medicare prescription drug plan.

• May 15, 2006, is the last day to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan and pay lower premiums.

• Facilitated enrollment of those who qualify for extra help and have not yet chosen a plan; coverage effective June 1.

Of course there are changes and nuances for individual situations, but this covers most of the information as well as important dates. Medicare’s website is the best source of accurate information.

And, finally, here’s one great marketing strategy for you: hold Medicare Part D parties at your place of business to accommodate the many seniors who need help understanding the new plan. You can be the trusted resource in your community. The result is something good for you – and the Part D-challenged elderly.


Valerie VanBooven RN, BSN, PGCM, is a registered nurse, professional geriatric care manager, author, and professional speaker. She is a leading expert on long-term care planning and crisis management. Valerie is president of Senior Care Solutions, a private geriatric care management practice in the St. Louis area. Her books include Aging Answers: Secrets to Successful Long-Term Care Planning, Caregiving, and Crisis Management and her website is She can be reached at .

© 2005 Pederson Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Commercial use, redistribution or other forms of reuse of this information is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Pederson Publishing.

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