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May 27, 2011 [13]


Consumers can take more control of health care expenses



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health insurance coverage. But the advantages don’t stop there; even if you’re adequately insured, but want to reduce the cost for health care, HSAs may apply to you as well. Talk with an insurance professional for more information on HSAs. Ali Alyazdi is a Redmond State Farm agent. He can be reached at (425) 885-9238 or

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While women have traditionally played the role of caregiver, men account for nearly 40 percent of the caregiver population. The fact is that disease does not often show a gender preference when it comes to robbing individuals of their ability to take care of themselves. It then becomes the responsibility of the husband, son, or male significant other to face the challenge of providing support. For men in particular, there is often no template for them to follow as caregivers; however, that certainly does not mean that they cannot effectively take on the role. Like any caregiver, though, they themselves could use some help. If you know a caregiver (male or female), ask how you can be of assistance. P.S. Male caregivers are strongly encouraged to seek out local support groups that can help them with the daunting task of caring for a loved one. At PETERS CREEK RETIREMENT/ASSISTED LIVING, we welcome senior men and women. Male and female staff members are available to assist our residents. We strive to assure that our seniors are made to feel as comfortable as possible. Contact us today at (425) 869-2273 to learn more about our offerings. We invite you to visit our unique senior community, conveniently located at 14431 Redmond Way. Learn how we have earned our superior reputation!


ing,” says Dr. Raja Flores, Chief of Thoracic Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Flores notes that 60 other medical sites across the world follow Mount Sinai’s lung cancer screening CT scans are not recommended for those who aren’t at high risk for lung cancer. But the prospect of early detection makes lung cancer screening a good option for those who are at high risk, says Flores. So who should contact their doctors about CT scan screening? The Mount Sinai Medical Center recommends that current and former smokers older than 40 with a smoking history of at least a pack a day for 10 years or more ask their doctor whether screening would be a good option for them. To take a CT scan, the patient lies still on a table connected to the CT scanner. The CT machine is shaped like a doughnut and the table simply slides through the doughnut in 20 seconds. No injections or medications are needed. While those at the most risk for lung cancer should get screened, those who aren’t at high risk should take the following precautions to avoid developing lung cancer: • Don’t smoke and if you do, quit. • Avoid places where people are smoking • Test your home for radon gases and asbestos. • Do not work in a place with exposed asbestos. For information on lung cancer, prevention and treatment options, visit screening.

ing you the opportunity to move funds from one HSA to another. If you obtained an HSA through your employer and change jobs, you can roll over your HSA into a new HSA and take the funds with you. HSAs are important, particularly for those who are under or uninsured, small business owners or anyone facing the challenge of affording quality

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ung cancer kills more people each year than any other form of cancer. However, a recent medical study found that one screening procedure for those who are at the most risk for lung cancer could be helpful in catching lung cancer in its early stages. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently released the initial results of its National Lung Cancer Screening Trial that showed that the mortality rate for those at the most risk for lung cancer could be reduced by 20 percent with the help of regular screening using low-dose CT scans - a diagnostic procedure that produces detailed three-dimensional images of the body. The ongoing study examined the effectiveness of both chest X-rays and CT scans used for screening in current and former heavy smokers ages 55 to 74. Screening using chest X-rays was not proven to reduce mortality rates in the individuals being studied, yet it was shown that CT scans had the ability to detect tumors at earlier stages. The results are consistent with previous findings by The Mount Sinai Medical Center physician Dr. Claudia Henschke. Her findings have shown that annual screening with CT scans could help detect lung cancer in its early and more treatable stages, data that were corroborated by the NCI study. “The NCI findings confirm what our researchers have believed for quite some time - those at the most risk for lung cancer should talk to their physicians about a low-dose CT lung screen-

for qualified medical expenses, including long-term care premiums. This allows you the opportunity to pay for your medical expenses with pre-tax dollars. In addition, any unused HSA funds may be withdrawn after you turn age 65 with no penalty. The funds will be taxed as ordinary income. HSAs are portable, with rollover provisions, allow-


Scans for lung cancer can help save lives

Your contributions and the contributions of others are tax deductible and, if your employer chooses to contribute, those contributions will be deductible by your employer and not included in your income. All earnings in an HSA are tax deferred and distributions are tax free if used Ali Alyazdi


re you looking for a way to trim your health care costs, reduce your federal income tax liability and potentially save more for your future? You can contribute to a Health Savings Account

(HSA) which, when used in conjunction with a high deductible health plan (HDHP), helps individuals save for qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis. Anyone may contribute to an HSA on behalf of an eligible individual – you, your employer or anyone.


A Health Savings Account can help you trim costs