Celebrating 10 years as a Medicare Specialist, October 2018
Medicare Made Simple, LLC
Theresa Cangemi CSA, CLTC
Office: 315-676-4933 
Fax: 866-476-1211

In this newsletter, I share some info about the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) and how the program can help pay the Medicare Part B premium if you have limited income and savings.

In the Health Corner, we discuss Wild Salmon versus Farmed Salmon. Which is better?

Keep reading!

Theresa Cangemi CSA, CLTC
"The Medicare Lady™" 

There are three main programs, each with different benefits and eligibility requirements.*

  1. Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB): Pays for Medicare Parts A and B premiums. If you have QMB, typically you should not be billed for Medicare-covered services when seeing Medicare providers or providers in your Medicare Advantage Plan’s network.
  2. Specified Low-income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB): Pays for Medicare Part B premium.
  3. Qualifying Individual (QI) Program: Pays for Medicare Part B premium.

If you enroll in an MSP, you will also automatically get Extra Help, the federal program that helps pay your Medicare prescription drug (Part D) plan costs. 
  • Calling Social Security Administration can help to qualify a Medicare eligible person for the Extra Help program: 1-800-772-1213.

To qualify for an MSP, you must have Medicare Part A and meet income and asset guidelines ( note that these guidelines vary by state, and some states do not count assets when determining MSP eligibility).

If you do not have Part A but meet QMB eligibility guidelines, your state may have a process to allow you to enroll in Part A and QMB.
  • Many states allow this throughout the year, but others limit when you can enroll in Part A. 
  • Calling Medicaid can help qualifying a Medicare eligible person for the MSP program: 800-541-2831 (for NY State / Onondaga County area 315-435-2928).

Remember, states use different rules to count your income and assets to determine if you are eligible for an MSP.
  • Examples of income include wages and Social Security benefits you receive.
  • Examples of assets include checking accounts and stocks.
  • Certain income and assets may not count when determining your MSP eligibility.
  • And some states do not have an asset limit.

If your income or assets seem to be above the MSP guidelines, you should still apply if you need the help.

Source: article taken from Medicare Interactive newsletter

Wild Salmon vs. Farmed Salmon – Which is Better ?
When you are standing at the fish counter, ever wonder what kind of Salmon you should purchase? 

We have all heard the debate fresh or wild versus farmed fish. Here is an article about the pros and cons. Considering the nutritional content of salmon is just one component of the decision, but I think the bigger consideration should be in the contamination levels.
Bottom line, consume in moderation.
Nutritional Content:
There are some key nutritional differences between wild and farmed salmon, according to USDA data. A small fillet of wild salmon has 131 fewer calories and half the fat content of the same amount of farmed salmon. And although farmed salmon may have slightly more omega-3 fatty acids, it also has 20.5 percent more saturated fat content — and that’s fat you do not want.

The bottom line: Wild salmon gets the edge for having fewer calories and less saturated fat.
Risky Pollutants:
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs for short) sound dangerous. They are. POPs have been linked to several diseases, including type 2 diabetes and obesity. Evidence suggests obesity might be even more of a risk factor for diabetes when POPs are present in your body. And specific types of POPs increase the risk of stroke in women. Why does this matter? Because PCB (one type of POP) levels are five to 10 times higher in farmed fish than in wild fish.

The bottom line: Wild salmon wins here, hands down.
Cancer-Causing Chemicals:
In the wild vs. farmed debate, this is a tricky issue. Although both offer omega-3 fatty acids, eating large amounts of either type of fish to get their full benefits could expose you to cancer-causing chemicals. These chemicals come from the potentially polluted water fish swim in. That’s why your omega-3 sources need to be broad, with fish as only one piece of the puzzle. However, one study does conclude: “The benefit-risk ratio for carcinogens and noncarcinogens is significantly greater for wild salmon than for farmed salmon.”

The bottom line: Both wild and farmed salmon come with risk if eaten in large quantities. But eaten in moderation, wild salmon is safer.
Unsafe Contaminants:
In recent studies contaminants in farmed salmon were generally higher than in wild salmon. Contaminants were below the approved U.S. Food and Drug Administration tolerance levels, but they still exceeded the levels considered safe “for frequent consumption” by the Environmental Protection Agency. Likewise, other research has suggested that children, women of child-bearing age and pregnant women should choose wild salmon — or other sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

The bottom line: Both wild and farmed salmon contain contaminants, but wild salmon has lower levels and is considered safer overall.
Concern About Antibiotics:
This was a big source of debate in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when Chilean salmon imports to Japan had higher antibiotic amounts than allowed under regulations. The concern: Too much exposure to antibiotics could lead to resistance to their effects. Antibiotic use in farmed fish is said to have been reduced, but it is unclear just how much use is still occuring.

The bottom line: Farmed salmon comes with uncertainty about antibiotic use. Wild salmon does not.
Both farmed and wild salmon have nutrients we all need. But it is becoming clearer that the risks associated with farmed fish are higher than concerns about wild fish. If you want to get the many health benefits fish such as salmon provide, your best bet is to keep it wild.

* This article is for information purposes only. I don’t recommend, support, or diagnose any featured writer or article. I am not a doctor. 

Pay-It-Forward And Share This Information And This Newsletter!!
Forward this email to someone who you think might benefit from this information and have them click the button to join our mailing list.
PO BOX 757
Brewerton, NY, 13029