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Articles written by Rita Hatch

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 By Rita Hatch    Health    December 1, 2016

People to be thankful for this season

I hope you’ve all had a great Thanksgiving and will have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year. I have been under the weather, but I have met a wonderful group of friends, who are “dog...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Health    November 1, 2016

Pondering our health insurance system

I hope you are getting this before November 8, the date you must vote in order to exercise your privilege and duty as a citizen to choose a new president to govern our country for the next four or eig...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Columns    October 1, 2016

Our insane drug and medical care costs

Suns, skies, clouds and flowers of June together cannot rival for one hour, October’s bright blue Alaska weather. – H H Jackson. If you think your prescribed meds are getting more expensive each...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Health    September 1, 2016

Reviewing Social Security disability benefits

September Morn, please stay for a while longer, for when you are gone it will be time for an introduction to snowflakes and a lonesome, cold winter. But for readers lucky enough to have a working...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Columns    August 1, 2016

Be on the lookout for Medicare fraud

Do not go back to what you loved in August, for you will see the near ending of the times you loved. August is the beginning of the end of the year, the times when the lush green leaves start turning...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Health    July 1, 2016

Hard realities – and Medicare (of course)

July and Independence Day is here. That may be good for some, but for others it is a sentence for loneliness. If you think that living into your near-nineties is always a blessing, I am here to tell...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Health    June 1, 2016

You may qualify for a subsidized food box

What is more wonderful than a gloriously 70 degree temperature on an innocent day in June, especially when I am writing this on May 15 in Anchorage, Alaska? For those of you who do not believe in...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Health    May 1, 2016

Get to know your benefits

Be cheerful in the merry month of May, a harbinger of Summer’s advent, and good times will soon be here. That is, if you all vote ... the right way. JOKE! Seriously, here are five reasons to vote:...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Health    April 1, 2016

Obamacare anniversary; drug discount cards

I know the winter sports enthusiasts will not be agreeing with me, but I am glad we have had a short winter and an early spring and (knock wood!) my roof is still intact. March 23 was the sixth...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Health    March 1, 2016

Learning more about Medicare, Medicaid

We are not afraid of the ides of March anymore, since the IRS beckons us now to the ides of April. For the many questions I have been asked about the differences between Medicare and Medicaid, I will...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Health    February 1, 2016

Taxes, reports, fees and your health benefits

People with Medicare can get off to a healthy start in the new year. Medicare covers a full range of preventive services to help keep you healthy and find problems early, when treatment is most...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Columns    January 1, 2016

Defining Medicare primary, secondary payers

I have been asked what the difference is between a primary and secondary payer in Medicare. The insurance that pays first (primary payer) pays up to the limits of its coverage. The one that pays...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Columns    December 1, 2015

Is a reverse mortgage right for you?

I cannot believe that this year is almost over. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all! It is ironic to me that although I have helped so many people in all the years that I have been working...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Health    November 1, 2015

Medicare Part D plans and Part B premiums

Winter has finally arrived, with one small fall of the flaky, white stuff and if the prognosticators are to be believed, due to the imminent arrival of “El Nino,” it will be a mild one. At my age...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Health    October 1, 2015

Feel like gambling with your Social Security payouts?

Fall is here and we are expecting another mild winter; happy days for me – the less snow we get the fewer times I have to have my roof shoveled. I haven’t heard from any readers about the...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Health    September 1, 2015

Too much, too little: It's usually about the money

September, what a terrible month with the loss of the David Letterman and Jon Stewart shows. Well, now I can get to bed an hour earlier. We could be paying much less Why do Americans pay a lot more...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Columns    August 1, 2015

A reminder that it's better to not be in the hospital

We had been having a wonderful summer and I always expect a colorful autumn here in Anchorage. That is, the summer started out well, but I had an unexpected problem. I wasn’t feeling well and when a...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Columns    July 1, 2015

Medicare benefits; new Social Security information

It is the middle of this year and time to talk about the valuable Medicare Preventive services that you are entitled to if you are on Medicare Part B, the part of Medicare that helps pay for...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Health    June 1, 2015

You have a say in when you leave the hospital

There is nothing as sweet as a day in June. I’m not so sure about the rest of the country, but that really holds true for Alaska. When the leaves start bursting out of their pods, and the sun...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Columns    May 1, 2015

Looking into some Medicare benefits

Comparing services using the Medicare website This month, I am going to use the Medicare website (which you too can easily use at www.Medicare.gov/home health care). The three homes I picked out to...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Health    April 1, 2015

Updates on Medigap, retirement benefits

What retirement ‘security’? The United States ranked 19th in a recent international assessment of retirement security worldwide. This places the U.S. just behind France and just ahead of...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Health    March 1, 2015

Updates on Medicare and other benefits

Julius Caesar was told to beware of the “ides of March” and that used to be a warning to us, too, to get our taxes done by the 15th. But the great IRS decided to give us another month, and so we...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Health    February 1, 2015

Taking steps to correct Aetna drug plan errors

Happy Shortest Month of the Newest Year! To those of you who bought the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan, I am sorry to tell you that there was incorrect information about pharmacies who...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Columns    January 1, 2015

Benefits and belongings shouldn't be taken for granted

Social Security COLA increase Happy New Year and I hope it is a healthy one. If you are on Social Security, you will notice that you received a whopping 1.7 percent increase in your benefit. Please...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Health    December 1, 2014

Drugs are expensive and so are the plans

My friends, I always regret it when I have to report not so good news to you. The Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans for 2015 are the unpalatable ones that I always knew they would be since the...

 

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