Medicare Advantage Plus offer options that original Medicare doesn’t

Humana green logoMedicare’s Annual Election Period starts on October 15, so for people who have Medicare or care for someone who does, now is a good time to explore the available options.

Most people with Medicare go with either Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage health plan. Both cover essentials like check-ups, hospitalizations and emergency care. Medicare Advantage plans are worth a close look because of the more comprehensive array of options they offer. Many Medicare Advantage plans, for instance, include coverage for prescription drugs. (However, for those who do go with Original Medicare, another option is to purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan – also called a Medigap plan – and/or a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan to help cover the costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover.)

What is making Medicare Advantage increasingly popular for people with Medicare? With these plans, you get all the benefits of Original Medicare … and more. For instance, some Medicare Advantage plans offer:

  • Choice of a primary care physician in the plan network;
  • Affordable monthly plan premium;
  • Prescription drug coverage equal to or better than the standard requirement for a Medicare Part D plan;
  • Affordable copayments for doctor visits and annual routine physicals;
  • Emergency coverage anywhere in the world;
  • Coverage for most annual screenings at no charge; and
  • Extra benefits on some plans such as dental, vision, a nurse-advice line, and health and wellness programs – a gym membership, for instance.

A 2013 survey by North Star Opinion indicated that among the 15 million people enrolled in Medicare Advantage, 90 percent or more are satisfied with their plan and with their quality of care from network doctors.

The truth is that with Medicare Advantage, you’re partnering with a private insurer whose resources are there to help you. At Humana, for example, we provide our members with guidance and support through programs like Humana At Home care coordination. We also offer the Humana SmartSummary, which details members’ individual medical and prescription drug spending, which helps them track overall health care spending.

In order to choose the right plan, you might want to review your records to see how much you’ve spent on health care during the past year. (Be sure to include hospital expenses, pharmacy costs and doctor bills.) Determine if the past year is typical and try to give your best estimate for the year ahead.

Remember that whatever plan you choose will likely be yours for all of 2015. So I encourage you to do your research and choose carefully. Find a company you can trust to be a reliable health partner. The Medicare Annual Election Period runs from October 15 to December 7.

For additional information, please visit

Article by Dan Tufto, Regional President of Senior Products Humana of Texas

About Dan Tufto
Dan Tufto, Regional President of Senior Products for Humana, is responsible for the overall operations, management and strategic planning for Humana’s Medicare Advantage and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans in Texas with offices in Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, El Paso, Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Houston.

Best of Breast: Cancer experts to converge at 12th Annual Breast Cancer Conference

methodist hcs logoSome of the best experts in the field of breast cancer research will take time out of their hectic schedules to present at the 12th Annual Alamo City Cancer Council’s Breast Cancer Update Conference presented by Methodist Healthcare. This year the community event will be held at a new location – the Oblate School of Theology’s Whitley Center at 285 Oblate Drive on Saturday, September 13th starting at 8 a.m. This ½ day free conference is open to the San Antonio community and brings experts in the field of breast cancer research and treatment together to update the public and healthcare providers on the latest advancements in breast cancer.

The day will begin with a keynote presentation entitled “Immunotherapy and Breast Cancer,” presented by Dr. Skip Burris of Tennessee Oncology. Dr. Burris is a board certified oncologist with more than 20 years of phase 1 clinical trial experience. He received his undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy and medical degree from the University of South Alabama. After graduating, he completed his residency in hematology/oncology at the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC).

Seven concurrent sessions will be held throughout the morning, with attendees choosing two to attend. The day will then conclude with a lunchtime presentation on “Surgical Approaches in Breast Reconstruction” presented by Dr. Jessica Belz of PRMA and Dr. Christy Chai of the Oncology Department at SAMMC.

Alamo City Cancer Council Director Sharon Wilks, M.D., F.A.C.P. started the conference in 2003 and states, “the breast cancer update conference serves as a forum to bring a diverse group of attendees together to learn more about the advancements in breast cancer. From the newly diagnosed patient to the seasoned medical professional, there are learning opportunities for everyone at the conference. We are also especially grateful to Methodist Healthcare for their tremendous support as the presenting sponsor of this years event.” The conference is free to the general public and continental breakfast, a box lunch and free parking are included for all attendees.

And with national Breast Cancer Awareness Month right around the corner Alamo City Cancer Council Executive Director Gretchen Garceau-Kragh, says, “the conference is a great way to kick off our participation in the national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. By collaborating with the other cancer related non-profit agencies in San Antonio to help raise awareness of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we hope to educate even more individuals as they move from cancer patient to cancer survivor.” Nurses in need of continuing education credit pay only $45 in advance and $55 at the door for their credentialing. Like last year, hundreds of attendees are expected for this educational day out and an opportunity to connect with breast cancer survivors, friends and experts.

For more information or to pre-register to attend, please visit or call 210-816-0683.

The Alamo City Cancer Council is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organized based in San Antonio. Its mission is to provide education, resources and services for any project that supports the cause of the eradication of cancer.

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UT Health Science Center San Antonio exceeds 10-year capital campaign goal

UTHSA_logoPresident William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio recently announced the official conclusion of the university’s 10-year Campaign for the Future of Health with a final tally of $607 million – far exceeding the $500 million goal.

In 2004, the UT Health Science Center San Antonio launched the historic Campaign for the Future of Health with the goal of enhancing the environment for discovery in the biosciences and building the university endowment to support the university’s vital missions of research, education, patient care and community service.

The generosity of 14,123 donors who contributed 42,327 gifts and raised $607 million allowed the Health Science Center to reach its decade-long goal.

Dr. Henrich said he is humbled by the outpouring of generosity in time and financial resources from donors and community leaders.

“I am inspired by their dedication to improving the future of health. The byproduct of their efforts is hope, and the beneficiaries are our patients and students,” Dr. Henrich said. “With our faculty and students, we tread with unwavering resolve on our quest to make lives better. On the horizon is our vision for a future of health that is filled with promise. Our journey has just begun.”

John T. Montford, chair of the Campaign for the Future of Health, said the bold vision that the Health Science Center and the President’s Development Board undertook in launching the capital campaign has been realized.

“Together, we surpassed our transformational half-billion-dollar goal and have left a mark that will make lives better for generations to come,” Montford said. “Through the generosity of every donor, the university is positioned to rank among the most preeminent universities in the nation and to advance our distinct missions of education, biomedical research, patient care and community service.”

Montford said the Health Science Center has earned its place as the chief catalyst for San Antonio’s $29.2 billion biosciences and health care industry. “The UT Health Science Center continues to impact the city’s economy in a substantial way through the competitive jobs it creates and the biomedical research discoveries that ease suffering and improve health,” he added.

The campaign picked up momentum in 2007 with a $25 million lead gift from The Greehey Family Foundation. This initial gift allowed the creation of the Greehey President’s Endowment for Excellence in Children’s Health Sciences and supports cancer research and educational and community programs benefiting children, especially those in greatest need. In 2013, a $5 million gift from the Greehey foundation pushed the campaign over its $500 million goal.

In 2008, philanthropists Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long made a transformational gift of $25 million to the Health Science Center. The Joe R. and Teresa L. Long Scholarship Research and Teaching Fund is an endowment supporting more than 50 students each year in medicine, nursing, graduate biosciences and physician assistant studies. It also supports faculty and research programs. This gift established the largest endowment in the history of the university and named the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Campus.

For current news from the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, please visit our news release website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 29,000 graduates. The $765 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit