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Long-Term Care and the Key to Happiness and Health

What’s Honor Radar this week? The amazingly simple key to happiness and health  according to one 75-year-old study, options for paying for long-term care, trying to understand the recent spike in prescription medication prices—and who’s responsible.

All You Need Is…

The One Thing You Need for a Happier, Healthier Life  – Next Avenue

“When it comes to happiness, many have tried to find the key to it. Is it money, a successful career, fame? Is there one thing that happy people have that unhappy people don’t? According to The Harvard Study of Adult Development, there is.”

And the best part of this study’s findings? The key to happiness is something that each of us—from age five to 95 and beyond—has the power to make happen.

Read the details of this 75-year-old ongoing study, watch the video of the wildly  popular TedTalk delivered by Harvard Medical School professor and researcher Robert J. Waldinger, and be sure to click through to the blog to read more about the top indicator of health and happiness.

“About 60 of the original Harvard happiness study participants are still alive and participating in it. Waldinger says the researchers are even starting to study the 2,000 children of these men.”

The results of this study, however, don’t apply to just men and their families, they affect people of all gender, race, age, and socioeconomic group.

Long-Term Strategies

Why No One Can Afford Long-Term Care Insurance (and What to Use Instead)  – US News and World Report

Premiums for long-term care insurance are skyrocketing. What’s going on?

“There are a number of factors contributing to the explosive growth in long-term care insurance premiums. ‘When [long-term care insurance] came out in the 80s and 90s, it was priced wrong,’ says Larry Rosenthal, a certified financial planner and president of Rosenthal Wealth Management Group in Manassas, Virginia. Carriers assumed people would drop policies as they got older. However, that didn’t happen in many cases. What’s more, people are living longer and aren’t necessarily living healthier.”

“Long-term care insurance is expensive,” writes Maryalene LaPonsie. “But it’s not the only way to pay for elder care services.”

To get an overview of how long-term care insurance works—and doesn’t work—plus seven alternative ways to pay for long-term care, head here

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The Blame Game

Drugmakers, Insurers Blame Each Other for High Drug Prices  – Morning Consult

“Who is responsible for the high cost of prescription drugs?” asks Caitlin Owens. “Insurers say drug prices are too high, and drugmakers say insurers pass on too much of the tab for drugs to consumers.”

According to many industry analysts, both are correct. But what’s really causing the typical American to pay much more for certain prescription medications?

“Drug spending has been slowing rising over the last several years, but has spiked recently. It was about $457 billion in 2015. In 2014, the cost was up 12.6 percent from the year before. Growth in 2015 was largely attributable to higher drug prices and an increase in the number of prescriptions per person, according to a report released last week by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.”

“Prices have gone up, but drug companies say insurers aren’t paying for them like they are reimbursing other providers. In 2014, 15 percent of prescription drug costs were paid out of pocket by patients, compared with only 3.2 percent of hospital costs and 9 percent of physician and clinic costs, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s health system tracker.”

What’s also spiking? Frustration, on both sides of this battle—and among consumers whose monthly drug costs keep going up.

“No matter how many insurer-based solutions are discussed, the conversation inevitably circles back to the drug companies.”

To read more about this blame fest and the complicated tiering system for prescription drugs, head here.

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