Update for April 3, 2021

Update for April 3, 2021

Fully Vaccinated? Anxious to start traveling again?  Here’s important news for you.

Congress is out of session until April 12, but we have important news regarding updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for those who want to travel.

Federal authorities have announced that fully vaccinated people can resume recreational travel in the U.S. at “low risk.”

They also signaled a relaxation of operational guidelines for cruise ships for those who are anxious to start cruising again.  You can read more about those guidelines here:  https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s0402-conditional-sail-orders.html

Releasing its long-awaited travel guidance last Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said vaccinated individuals do not need a Covid test and do not need to quarantine when traveling domestically. They should still wear a mask, wash hands frequently, and avoid crowds.

However, the CDC still discourages “non-essential domestic travel” by those who are not fully vaccinated. Those people should get tested one to three days before travel, and again three to five days afterward. They should stay home and quarantine for seven days after traveling, or 10 days if they do not get a test, the CDC says.

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Health Care Coverage Reminder for Travelers with Medicare

Travelers should always check to make sure they will be covered for any health care they may need when taking a trip.  That is especially true when going overseas, but it is also important within the U.S.

If you do decide to start traveling, here’s advice from the CNBC website about making sure Medicare will cover your health needs.  Of course, if you happen to have private coverage you also need to make sure you are covered by that.

“While coverage when you are away from home depends partly on where you’re headed, it also hinges on the specifics of your coverage. Whether the care you receive is routine or emergency also can play a part.

“Basic, or original, Medicare consists of Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (outpatient care). Individuals who choose to stick with that coverage — instead of going with an Advantage Plan — typically pair it with a stand-alone prescription-drug plan (Part D).

“If this is your situation, coverage while traveling in the U.S. and its territories is fairly straightforward: You can go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare (most do), whether for routine care or an emergency. It is when you venture beyond U.S. borders that things get trickier.

“’If you travel outside the U.S., Medicare doesn’t cover you except in very limited or rare circumstances,’ said Danielle Roberts, co-founder of insurance firm Boomer Benefits.”

You can read the rest of the article here:


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Covid–19 Deaths Were Third Leading Cause of Deaths in U.S. Last Year

Last week the CDC announced that the COVID-19 pandemic pushed total U.S. deaths in 2020 beyond 3.3 million, the nation’s highest annual death toll.

The coronavirus caused approximately 375,000 deaths and was the third leading cause of death in 2020, after heart disease and cancer.  Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. now top 550,000 since the start of the pandemic.

Covid-19 displaced suicide as one of the top 10 causes of death.

Deaths related to COVID-19 were higher among American Indian and Alaskan Native persons, Hispanics, Blacks and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander persons than whites. Among nearly all these ethnic and racial minority groups, the COVID-19 related deaths were more than double the death rate of non-Hispanic white persons.

In a separate report, the CDC responded to concerns about deaths being misattributed to Coved-19.  The agency took a close look at death certificates, finding that most that listed Covid-19 also named other contributing problems.  They included conditions such as diabetes, known to increase the danger of severe disease, or conditions such as pneumonia that occurred in the chain of events leading to the deaths.

Only about 5% of the death certificates listed only Covid-19, and that was more frequently the case when the person died at home.

The agency said its review confirmed the accuracy of the death count for the coronavirus.

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Allergy Season Is Here:  So, is it Covid, Allergies, Flu, or a Cold?

One of the concerns last fall and winter was knowing whether someone might have the seasonal flu, a cold, or the coronavirus.  As it turned out, seasonal flu was almost non-existent, and colds were also way down.

While the reasons for that are still being explored, it is likely the wearing of masks, frequent hand washing and staying away from crowds contributed to those results.

Now, allergy season has arrived and in the United States as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of kids have seasonal allergies.

Once again, the question among some is whether it is allergies or Covid or something else.

The Mayo Clinic has put out the following information as a way of helping you decide what it is that you may be suffering from.  You are advised that if your symptoms are the same as in the past you are likely suffering from allergies again.  But if there is any variation you should get tested for Covid.  And if you have any doubt, getting tested for Covid is probably the right thing to do, especially if you have not been fully vaccinated.

You can go here to see the Mayo Clinic symptoms chart:


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Despite the coronavirus emergency, TSCL is continuing its fight for you to protect your Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits.  We have had to make some adjustments in the way we carry on our work, but we have not, and will not stop our work on your behalf.

For progress updates or for more information about these and other bills that would strengthen Social Security and Medicare programs, visit the our website at www.SeniorsLeague.org, follow TSCL on Twitter or Facebook.