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Pandemic bonds prove good for investors, less so for nations
3/25/2020 10:58:27 AM

By Maria Cheng   LONDON (AP)—To offset the crushing costs of trying to stem a global epidemic, the World Bank and partners announced the creation of “pandemic bonds” several years ago: the idea was to leverage private capital from Wall Street firms that would help stricken poor countries. But since the bonds were launched in 2014, backed by about $190 million in promised financing from donor countries, investors have reaped more profits than countries battling epidemics. And even in the current pandemic, any payout to stricken countries would barely make a dent...

How to protect your elderly parents from coronavirus
3/25/2020 10:55:50 AM

Dear Savvy Senior, I’m concerned about my 80-year-old mother who’s at high risk for coronavirus. She lives on her own about 100 miles from me, and I’ve been keeping close tabs on her since this whole pandemic started. What tips can you offer long-distance family members? Concerned Daughter   Dear Concerned, Because the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions are the most vulnerable to the new coronavirus, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline of social distancing and staying home is critically...

Feds announce Medicare will cover coronavirus testing
3/25/2020 10:50:40 AM

WASHINGTON—As the coronavirus is spreading nationally and globally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced early in March that Medicare will cover coronavirus testing. All COVID-19 tests ordered by your doctor or other health care provider will be covered under Medicare Part B as a diagnostic laboratory test, and therefore has no out-of-pocket costs. Coverage can be back dated to February 4, 2020, and providers must wait until April 1, 2020 to submit their bills to Medicare.   Guidance to Medicare Advantage & Part D Plans Medicare coverage of...

As pandemic intensifies, millions of seniors live in counties without ICU beds
3/25/2020 10:10:50 AM

By Kaiser Health News   WASHINGTON—More than half the counties in America have no intensive care beds, posing a particular danger for more than 7 million people who are age 60 and up—older patients who face the highest risk of serious illness or death from the rapid spread of COVID-19, a Kaiser Health News data analysis shows. Intensive care units have?sophisticated equipment, such as bedside machines to monitor a patient’s heart rate and ventilators to help them breathe. Even in communities with ICU beds, the numbers vary wildly—with?some having just one...

Author Roth weighed in on 'Plot Against America' TV series
3/18/2020 3:17:48 PM

By Lynn Elber   LOS ANGELES (AP)—David Simon, the creative force behind stellar TV including “The Wire,” “Show Me a Hero” and “Treme,” found himself in unfamiliar territory with his latest series, HBO's “The Plot Against America.” He'd developed books into shows before, nonfiction works that demanded adherence to facts. But Simon didn't necessarily feel liberated in adapting Philip Roth's 2004 novel, a re-imagined history of World War II-era America made fascist in the grasp of a real-life, wildly popular...

Disneyland visitors savor final day before closure for virus
3/18/2020 3:16:35 PM

By Amy Taxin   ANAHEIM (AP)—The trip to Disneyland was a special vacation for a 4-year-old girl and her three cousins from Mexico—one that her parents couldn't wait to take. It was a short freeway drive for a pair of former high school sweethearts who headed over to the theme park whenever they could get a few hours away. Both groups were among the thousands of visitors who crammed rides, treats and fun into the final rainy hours the self-proclaimed Happiest Place on Earth remained open before shutting for more than two weeks starting on Saturday to help slow the...

Virus concerns hit California casinos, entertainment venues
3/18/2020 3:15:09 PM

By Daisy Nguyen   SACRAMENTO—Californians wanting to escape the new reality of the coronavirus at the movies, casino or amusement park are running into the six-foot rule. State health officials issued new guidance Saturday urging theaters to keep attendance under 250 people and ask strangers to sit six feet apart. The Department of Public Health said ushers should monitor theaters to ensure people are keeping appropriate social distance, while ensuring that family members can sit and stand in line together. A similar guideline issued to gambling venues, urging them to...

Covered California offers surprise grace-period enrollment extension
3/18/2020 3:12:33 PM

SACRAMENTO—Covered California is giving those without health care coverage another chance. With the new year came new subsidies for middle-income households and a new penalty from the Franchise Tax Board (FTB). Because many people were unaware of the changes, California’s exchange has established a special-enrollment period for people who did not hear about the state penalty or the new financial help during open enrollment. Consumers who fall into those categories, or who are currently insured off-exchange and want to switch to Covered California to benefit from the new...

Study: fish consumption during pregnancy pays off
3/18/2020 3:10:58 PM

LOS ANGELES (CNS)—A USC-led study released Monday found that children whose mothers ate fish one to three times a week during pregnancy were more likely to have a better metabolic profile—despite the risk of exposure to mercury—than youngsters whose mothers rarely ate fish. "Fish is an important source of nutrients, and its consumption should not be avoided," said Leda Chatzi, associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at USC and the senior investigator on the study. "But pregnant women should stick to one to three servings of...

RSVP 'maybe'? Coronavirus puts wedding industry on edge
3/18/2020 3:09:45 PM

By Leanne Italie   NEW YORK (AP)—Guests are jittery, travel is tangled, and soon-to-be brides and grooms are facing tough choices because of the coronavirus outbreak: postpone, cancel or forge ahead with their weddings? Uncertainty as virus cases grow in the U.S. and elsewhere has sent ripples through the wedding industry, from photographers and caterers to harried wedding planners and venues. “So much extra stress,” said 26-year-old bride Hayley Pass in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. “After all this planning it's like, really, we're going to...