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Biden’s claim that Trump is ‘pushing to slash Medicare benefits’

The explanation from the Biden campaign was also surprising, So let’s explore this claim in detail. It’s an interesting and complex story.

The Facts

The Biden campaign explained that this line hinged on the fact that President Trump is backing a lawsuit that would nullify the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The Trump administration filed a legal brief on June 25 asking the Supreme Court to strike down the entire law, joining with a group of GOP state attorneys general who argue that the ACA is unconstitutional. The court will hear arguments in the case, known as California v. Texas, on Nov. 10.

The case hinges on the fact that Trump’s 2017 tax law in effect eliminated the ACA’s individual mandate penalty by reducing it to zero. Without the mandate, the whole law should fall, rather than just individual portions, the plaintiffs argue. Trump decided to embrace that argument, rather than say that if one part of the law was unconstitutional, the other parts of the law could survive.

In an effort to reduce the number of people in the United States without health insurance, the ACA set up an insurance-market exchange and provided subsidies to help people buy individual insurance. The law also greatly expanded Medicaid, the health-care program for the poor. To help pay for this, the law also made adjustments to Medicare, mostly big cuts in payments to Medicare providers and a hike in the payroll tax for wealthy taxpayers.

Separately, the law added a handful of additional benefits for people on Medicare, primarily a gradual closing of the coverage gap — “the doughnut hole” — in the Medicare Part D program when coverage ceased for prescription drugs once a limit was reached.

The law also provided some free or reduced cost-sharing for some preventive services, such as mammograms and colonoscopies, as well as a free annual wellness visit. Private insurance plans known as Medicare Advantage also could no longer charge higher cost-sharing amounts than traditional fee-for-service Medicare for certain services, including skilled-nursing facility care, chemotherapy and kidney dialysis.

A Supreme Court amicus brief by AARP, the interest group for the elderly, cited an estimate that 40.1 million people took advantage of at least one Medicare preventive service with no co-pays or deductibles in 2016, while more than 10.3 million Medicare beneficiaries took advantage of an annual wellness visit.

The Biden campaign argues that it’s fair to say that Medicare benefits would be slashed because if the whole law fell, these benefits would disappear, as would every other part of the law.

First of all, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, signed by Trump, sped up closure of the doughnut hole and, as of 2020, there is no longer a coverage gap. Four experts, both inside and outside Congress, told us that even if the ACA was repealed, the doughnut-hole closure is done and cannot be reversed.

(A discordant note was offered by Juliette Cubanski, deputy director of the Program on Medicare Policy at

Is The Keto Diet Good For PCOS? Benefits Of Low-Carb Diet For PCOS

Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can affect a lot of different areas of your life. Among other things, PCOS can impact your weight, and a lot of questions come up about the best way to manage PCOS weight gain via your diet. One frequently searched query? Whether the keto diet is a good eating method to help manage PCOS weight gain and other symptoms.

Before we get into that, it’s important to go over some PCOS basics. PCOS is a health condition caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH). This hormone imbalance causes problems in the ovaries, which make an egg that’s released each month as part of your menstrual cycle. When you have PCOS, the egg might not develop the way it should, or it might not be released during ovulation, according to the OWH.

PCOS can cause a range of symptoms, including irregular periods, infertility, excess hair growth, severe acne, and weight gain, per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). As many as four in five women with PCOS deal with weight issues in conjunction with the condition, ACOG says.

PCOS may be managed with medical interventions like hormonal birth control pills. But lifestyle management, like losing even a little weight, may also help alleviate symptoms, according to ACOG.

And that’s where the keto diet question comes up a lot. Here’s what you need to know about how the keto diet can impact PCOS symptoms.

Is following the keto diet beneficial if you have PCOS?

There’s a lot to dig into here. People with PCOS often deal with insulin resistance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means that the body can make insulin, which helps blood sugar enter the body’s cells to provide energy, but can’t use it effectively. Insulin resistance increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance can also lead to patches of thickened, velvety, darkened skin, a condition known as acanthosis nigricans, and this commonly occurs with PCOS, per ACOG.

So, how does the keto diet factor in here? The keto diet is an eating plan that focuses on minimizing your carbs and increasing your fat intake to get your body to use fat as a form of energy. People on the keto diet usually have no more than 50 grams of carbs a day, but some keto fans aim to have no more than 20 grams a day.

As you may (or may not) know, carbs convert into glucose (sugar) in the body, and insulin is needed to take that sugar to your cells for energy. Limiting your carb intake—like you would on the keto diet—can help relieve the insulin resistance that can occur as a result of having PCOS, but likely only for the short term, says Scott Keatley, RD, of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. However, building lean body mass (read: muscle) and losing weight will help your body

Superfoods Market | Health Benefits of Superfoods to Boost the Market Growth

The global superfoods market size is poised to grow by USD 244.68 billion during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of about 17% throughout the forecast period, according to the latest report by Technavio. The report offers an up-to-date analysis regarding the current market scenario, latest trends and drivers, and the overall market environment. The report also provides the market impact and new opportunities created due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Download a Free Sample of REPORT with COVID-19 Crisis and Recovery Analysis.

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Technavio has announced its latest market research report titled Global Superfoods Market 2020-2024 (Graphic: Business Wire)

The health benefits of superfoods are boosting their popularity among end-users. Superfruits are rich in fibers, vitamins, antioxidants, polyphenols, and minerals which help in digestion, strengthening the immune system, muscles and bones, and protecting the body from wear and tear. The growing health consciousness and the need for leading a healthier lifestyle are also contributing to the increasing demand for superfoods. To cater to this demand, vendors are offering superfoods in various forms including powders, snacks, mixes, and shots. In addition to the need for superfoods from the beauty and personal care products segments, the health benefits of superfoods will also drive market growth.

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Report Highlights:

  • The major superfoods market growth came from superfruits segment. Superfruits are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that prevent or delay cell damage. The numerous health benefits of superfruits will boost their demand during the forecast period. Market growth in this segment will be slower than the growth of the market in the superseeds and supergrains, edible seaweed, and other segments.

  • North America was the largest superfoods market in 2019, and the region will offer several growth opportunities to market vendors during the forecast period. Growing consumer awareness about various health benefits offered by superfoods and frequent product launches under the superfood category will significantly influence superfoods market growth in this region.

  • The global superfoods market is fragmented. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., Creative Nature Ltd., Del Monte Pacific Ltd., General Mills Inc., Healthy Truth, Natures Superfoods LLP, Navitas LLC, Rhythm Superfoods LLC, Sunfood, and Superlife Co. Pte. Ltd. are some of the major market participants. To help clients improve their market position, this superfoods market forecast report provides a detailed analysis of the market leaders.

  • As the business impact of COVID-19 spreads, the global superfoods market 2020-2024 is expected to have Positive and Superior growth. As the pandemic spreads in some regions and plateaus in other regions, we revaluate the impact on businesses and update our report forecasts.

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Increasing Application of Superfood Ingredients in Beauty and Personal Care Products will be a Key Market Trend

The growing awareness about the side effects

Vericiguat Benefits Even With High Adherence to HFrEF Meds

Vericiguat (Merck/Bayer), among the latest drugs to gain cred in heart failure (HF) with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), significantly benefits patients who are highly adherent to standard-of-care (SOC) HF meds, suggests a new VICTORIA trial analysis.

The novel agent seemed to improve the primary endpoint on top of the entire slate of SOC agents, individually and when they were combined as guidelines recommend.

The research, reported earlier this week at the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting 2020, also hinted at potential clinical-outcomes synergy between vericiguat and a drug class that is a cornerstone of HF medical management.

The findings argue against misgivings that recent and any future additions to the HF armamentarium could be therapeutically redundant or add to patients’ daily pill burden and potential for side effects without much incremental benefit.

There is as yet little evidence for such an effect; also, vericiguat and SGLT2 inhibitors — another rising drug class in HfrEF — don’t predominantly work by the same mechanisms underlying current SOC meds. But redundancy and drug-drug interactions remain potential concerns as the HFrEF guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT) list grows.

Although vericiguat’s treatment effect was largely consistent across all HFrEF drugs used in the trial, regardless of how adherence was defined, there was one noteworthy outlier.

Virtually everyone in VICTORIA was on beta blockers, at least among patients who could tolerate the drugs and didn’t have a contraindication. But only about half of patients were beta-blocker “dosage-adherent,” that is, they had been successfully uptitrated to at least 50% of the prescribed dosage, the current analysis shows.

Those patients, compared with those who had not achieved such dose-corrected beta-blocker adherence, showed a pronounced effect of vericiguat on the primary endpoint of cardiovascular death or first HF hospitalization over about 11 months. 

“It looks like there is potential synergy” between vericiguat and good beta-blocker therapy in the VICTORIA data, Justin A. Ezekowitz, MBBCh, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.

But the question remains, “Is it real and physiologic, or from confounding or a play of chance?”

The trial entered 5050 especially high-risk patients with a recent HFrEF exacerbation. Those assigned to vericiguat on top of SOC meds showed a 10% decline (= .019) in risk for the primary endpoint.

Although the relative benefit appears modest, the absolute effect was striking, according to the trial’s researchers and expert observers. They were impressed that only 24 patients needed treatment with the drug to prevent one event, as previously reported by theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.

Moreover, suggests the current report, adjusted risk for the primary endpoint fell 28% among patients who met criteria for beta-blocker dosage adherence and were on vericiguat compared with placebo. There was no risk reduction for actively treated patients who had not achieved that level of beta blockade.

But it’s only a signal. “We’re very cautious and concerned about our interpretation,” said Ezekowitz, who had earlier presented the new VICTORIA analysis at the HFSA sessions.

Trudeau says ‘we’re at a tipping point’ amid latest modelling data, new government benefits

Canada’s top health officials provided an update on the nation’s latest modelling data, which projects how COVID-19 will continue to spread throughout the country. 

Canada could see up to 5,000 cases a day by late October to early November if we maintain our current levels of contacts, according to just-released modelling data.

“We’re at a tipping point in this pandemic,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, noting the country reported its most-ever daily cases on Thursday with 2,437 new infections.

Canada could see up to 5,000 new cases a day by late October if we don’t limit contacts

The latest modelling data by Public Health Agency of Canada shows that by Oct. 17, there could be 188,150-197,830 cases in the country, while the death toll is expected to increase to 9,690-9,800.

On Thursday — after Canada recorded its most-ever cases in a day with 2,437 — there were 175,559 total diagnoses and 9,557 deaths. Federal data projects that the country will see at least 133 additional fatalities and 12,591 more cases by Oct. 17.

“The acceleration of epidemic growth is concerning,” Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam said. “The actions of individual Canadians are needed now to reverse this trend.”

Modelling data also shows that Canada may see up to 5,000 cases a day by late October to early November if we maintain our current levels of contacts. If Canadians decrease them by 25-35 per cent, we could see fewer than 3,000 cases a day by November, according to the data.

Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada
Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada

Tam said that the individual actions of people in some areas of the country have not been enough to decrease transmission. Therefore, such as in areas like Quebec and Ontario, additional measures have been in place, including strategic business closures in “order to put the brakes on the epidemic.”

Tam said that by acting fast and imposing restrictions, we have the best chance of limiting the spread and avoiding the public health system being overburdened.

“We are at an important juncture in the pandemic where we would very much like to see the voluntary actions of Canadians across the country be sufficient to bend the curve downward,” Tam added.

Tam, along with Trudeau and several other ministers, stressed the importance of limiting contacts this Thanksgiving weekend.

Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada
Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada

Along with the recent projections, the data showed how that across Canada trends vary, with the highest increase in cases occurring in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta. In contrast, there hasn’t been a significant resurgence in cases in the Atlantic bubble, which consists of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador. There also hasn’t been any community transmission in the territories.

Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada
Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada

Canada’s time-varying effective reproduction number (Rt), represents how many people are being infected by each new case. When it’s less than 1, it means that the “epidemic will die out.” However, Canada’s RT has been greater than

Bicycle Market | Environmental & Economic Benefits of Bicycles to Boost the Market Growth

The global bicycle market size is poised to grow by USD 10.5 billion during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of almost 4% throughout the forecast period, according to the latest report by Technavio. The report offers an up-to-date analysis regarding the current market scenario, latest trends and drivers, and the overall market environment. The report also provides the market impact and new opportunities created due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Download a Free Sample of REPORT with COVID-19 Crisis and Recovery Analysis.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201009005263/en/

Technavio has announced its latest market research report titled Global Bicycle Market 2020-2024 (Graphic: Business Wire)

The health, environmental, and economic benefits of cycling will be a significant factor driving the growth of the bicycle market. Regular physical activity such as riding a bicycle can help in reducing the risk of various health issues, including cardiovascular diseases, obesity, mental illness, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis. Cycling also helps in reducing and controlling weight by building muscle and burning body fat. Bicycles are highly economical and do not involve fuel, insurance, and maintenance costs. Moreover, bicycles are environmentally sustainable and do not contribute to air pollution, noise pollution, and GCG emissions. These benefits of bicycles will boost its adoption among end-users and consequently fuel the growth of the market during the forecast period.

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Report Highlights:

  • The major bicycle market growth came from the on-road and track bicycles segment. On-road bicycles offer high comfort, which makes it ideal for traveling long distances while touring cities. Track bicycles are optimized for racing on outdoor tracks or velodromes. Hence, with the growth in cycling tourism and velodrome events, the demand for on-road and track bicycles will also grow during the forecast period. However, market growth in this segment will be slower than the growth of the market in the x-road and hybrid bicycles segment.

  • APAC was the largest market for bicycles in 2019, and the region will offer the maximum growth opportunities to market vendors during the forecast period. The increasing health consciousness, growing environmental concerns regarding CO2 emissions, rising urbanization and traffic congestion, and growing use for personal transportation will fuel the bicycle market growth in this region.

  • The global bicycle market is fragmented. Accell Group NV, Atlas Cycles (Haryana) Ltd., Derby Cycle Holding GmbH, Dorel Industries Inc., Giant Manufacturing Co. Ltd., GUANGDONG TANDEM INDUSTRIES Co. Ltd., Insera Sena. PT., Merida Industry Co. Ltd., Tandem Group Plc, and Trek Bicycle Corp. are some of the major market participants. To help clients improve their market position, this bicycle market forecast report provides a detailed analysis of the market leaders.

  • As the business impact of COVID-19 spreads, the global bicycle market 2020-2024 is expected to have Negative and Inferior growth. As the pandemic spreads in some regions and plateaus in other regions, we revaluate the impact on businesses and update our report forecasts.

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The Benefits Of Adaptogens For Improving Sleep And Reducing Stress

Deadlines are constantly bearing down on you, your friends are having meltdowns, the neighbors seem to be having a party every night, and, oh, you’re out of toilet paper. Meanwhile, your heart’s racing and you can’t focus even if your life depended on it. It seems like stress and sleeplessness are now constant companions. Before you reach for a comfort cronut or guzzle that fourth cup of coffee, there’s another way to deal with the pressure — adaptogens.

Adaptogens can help your body adapt to life’s most stressful times. These supplements contain herbs that aid the body in reacting to or recovering from both short- and long-term physical or mental stress. Some also boost immunity and overall well-being. Research shows adaptogens can combat fatigue, enhance mental performance, reduce depression and anxiety, and help you thrive rather than just struggle along.

How do adaptogens suppress stress?

stress suppression Dealing with large amounts of stress on a daily basis can adversely affect your health. Photo: Pixabay

Adaptogens are like mini stress vaccines. They increase the body’s resistance to stress, they decrease your proclivity to gain weight and they can hold off exhaustion. Here’s how they work:

When we face a stressor, whether physical or mental, our bodies go through what’s called general adaptation syndrome (GAS). GAS is a three-stage response: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. Adaptogens help us stay in the resistance phase longer, via a stimulating effect that holds off the exhaustion. Instead of crashing in the midst of a stressful moment, task, or event, you can soldier on for much longer rather than folding into the exhaustion phase.

Adaptogenic stress supplements that use astralagus have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a myriad of illnesses, one of which is chronic fatigue syndrome. Eliminating stress can also lead to a healthier complexion. Say goodbye to feeling like you’re always running on empty and start facing each day on a full battery!

Adaptogen for stress Fight stress by taking astrogens fortified with astragalus. Photo: peakandvalley.co

Adaptogens for sleep

Cortisol is the stress hormone. Adaptogens can help regulate the release of cortisol. They can help prevent this normal and necessary hormone from doing long-term damage. However, circadian rhythms the amount of cortisol coursing through your veins are closely interwoven. To clarify, your circadian rhythm is basically your internal body clock. If your clock is running smoothly, your body knows when it’s time to sleep. If not, then you probably know what that feels like. 

WIthania somnifera, or ashwagandha, is an herb whose main effect is, well, actually in its name. Somnifera means “sleep-inducing” in Latin. This adaptogenic herb may be effective at doing lots of things, but sleep is right up near the top. Ashwagandha may help with sleep in many different, multilayered ways. For instance, a proposed study would look at those suffering from non-restorative sleep, or NRS. Adaptogenic supplements that contain ashwagandha have been known to suppress cortisol production during sleep, allowing for longer, more restorative sleep cycles which mean more productivity and less

Covid-19 stokes interest in health and fitness, and sportswear chains such as Lululemon, Decathlon, and Sweaty Betty reap the benefits



a woman holding a football ball: A fitness event sponsored by Decathlon in Hong Kong. The French sportswear chain avoided opening in Hong Kong for years because rents were too high, and only now is expanding as rents fall further amid an exodus of luxury stores from the city.


A fitness event sponsored by Decathlon in Hong Kong. The French sportswear chain avoided opening in Hong Kong for years because rents were too high, and only now is expanding as rents fall further amid an exodus of luxury stores from the city.

When British activewear brand Sweaty Betty opened its first store in Hong Kong in October 2019 – a small boutique in the upscale IFC Mall – the city’s retail industry was in the early stages of what would become one of its worst slumps in history.

Following months of anti-government protests that caused frequent temporary store closures, especially on weekends, and a plunge in arrivals of high-spending visitors from China, Hong Kong’s retail scene had by then been severely impacted.

The start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020 and the ensuing global economic downturn that shows no signs of abating have dealt yet another blow to the city’s formerly thriving retail sector.

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Since then, luxury labels such as Prada, Valentino and Chloe, and high-street brands such as Victoria’s Secret and Gap have shut stores in the city or left Hong Kong altogether.



a store inside of a building: The exterior of the new Decathlon store in Hong Kong's Central district, which opened this month.


© Provided by South China Morning Post
The exterior of the new Decathlon store in Hong Kong’s Central district, which opened this month.

You would have been forgiven for thinking that the launch of a new brand in Hong Kong at such a difficult time would be doomed to fail.

Barely a year after its first foray into the Hong Kong market, however, Sweaty Betty has expanded its retail footprint with two more shops: one in Fashion Walk, in the prime shopping district of Causeway Bay, and the other in the K11 Musea mall on the Kowloon waterfront.

Sweaty Betty’s founder on inspiring women to change their lifestyles

Sweaty Betty is not the only international brand that has increased its presence in Hong Kong in recent months. Decathlon, the French sporting goods retailer that already operates a store in Causeway Bay, has just unveiled two new stores in Hong Kong: one in Central district, in a space that formerly housed the flagship of leather-goods brand MCM, and the other in Kowloon Bay.

Lululemon, the Canadian performance wear brand known for selling upmarket workout gear, opened a store in Hong Kong’s largest mall, Harbour City, at the height of the pandemic, celebrating with a collection of very decadent Swarovski-embellished leggings that cost HK$6,588 (US$850) a pair.

It’s hard not to notice that all three companies are in the fitness industry, and their growth reflects a global trend: amid one of the worst health and economic crises in recent history, fitness and wellness are booming.



a man sitting in a room: Clothing from Lululemon's On the Move collection.


© Provided by South China Morning Post
Clothing from Lululemon’s On the Move collection.

Sportswear giants like Nike have been weathering the pandemic better than most international apparel and footwear brands. “We’re getting stronger in the places that matter most,” said Nike CEO

Jessica Alba Shares Fitness Benefits From Vegan Hiking Retreat

  • Jessica Alba, 39, shared multiple photos and videos from a vegan hiking retreat.
  • In the caption, the actress said the experience helped her lower her cholesterol and increase lean muscle mass.
  • Besides hiking, the L.A.’s Finest gets her fitness on through TikTok dance challenges.

    Actress Jessica Alba, 39, spent the weekend on a health and fitness retreat with her BFF Kelly Sawyer that turned her into a “vegan hiker” (temporarily), and she’s sharing all about her experience in her latest Instagram post.

    The Honest Company founder posted a carousel of photos from her weekend that included a sweaty selfie video from a hike, a abs-tastic photo of Jessica and Kelly, a picture of some blister balm, her feet soaked in an ice bath, and some yummy vegan food.

    “So I’m a vegan hiker now… 😝JK. Spent a week as a guest @theranchmalibu with my BFF @kellysawyer ❤️,” the L.A.’s Finest star wrote in the caption. “We went on all the hikes, ate bomb vegan food, got our fitness on and are now ready to plunge back to reality with new healthy habits and tips on how to incorporate wellness into our day to day.”

    This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

    Jessica noted that because of the hikes and vegan diet, she had some pretty noticeable health changes, pretty quickly.

    “Thanks to @theranchmalibu I slept 8 hours a night, lowered my cholesterol, increased my lean muscle mass and feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the rest of this year with a healthier and happier mindset,” she wrote.

    Jess’s lowered cholesterol is indeed a benefit from eating a plant-based diet, according to the Mayo Clinic. This is also because vegan food naturally doesn’t contain any cholesterol. (FYI: Your liver makes all the cholesterol you need, per the American Heart Association. The rest of the cholesterol in your body comes from foods derived from animals and is called “dietary cholesterol.”) And as for the other health benefits Jess experienced post-retreat, the results will likely vary person to person.

    This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

    It certainly helps that Jessica is always trying out new workouts and foods to keep her body healthy and in great shape. Whether she’s dancing it out on TikTok with her daughters or getting in a tough resistance band workout, she’s always trying something new. Jessica told People that she does try to exercise in the a.m. and steer clear of processed foods—but she also gives herself a break if she feels like it. “I don’t deprive myself,” she told the publication. “I have [junk] if I want it. When I do feel that I am depriving myself, I find that I binge. That’s not a balanced way

    Award-Winning Alignment Healthcare Expands Plans & Benefits, Available to 5.9 Million Seniors This Medicare Enrollment Season

    Medicare Advantage company offers seniors new 24/7 virtual care plan, new social benefits such as pet-sitting, acupuncture and personal emergency response systems

    Alignment Healthcare, a mission-based Medicare Advantage insurance company founded in 2013, announced today new plans and benefits to give seniors more care options during Medicare’s annual enrollment period for 2021, which runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2020. Through Alignment Health Plan, the company is offering 36 Medicare Advantage options in three states, including a virtual-first health plan that includes a $50 monthly premium rebate, as well as a host of new benefits such as pet-sitting, pest control and acupuncture to ensure their social and lifestyle needs are met.

    Seniors are increasingly turning to Alignment each year due to its “senior first” model, which earned Alignment numerous accolades including the 2020 Senior Choice Gold Award and 2020 U.S. News & World Report “Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage” recognition.

    “As more Americans enter their senior years, it is critical for us to continue providing not only the best of clinical outcomes but also the best customer experience that seniors need and deserve,” said John Kao, founder and CEO, Alignment Healthcare. “Our new plans and benefits reflect the innovation and compassion that sets Alignment apart as we continue to grow and serve seniors nationwide.”

    Among Alignment Health Plan’s 14 new plan offerings available starting Jan. 1, 2021, is the AVA™ HMO plan, a virtual-first plan that gives members a dedicated primary care provider and specialists – accessible by phone or video on the company’s proprietary AVA™ data and technology platform – as well as providers available in person to see the patient at home or in the doctor’s office as needed. The virtual plan also comes with a monthly $50 premium rebate and $100 per month over-the-counter credit, redeemable at Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and other retailers.

    In addition to this virtual option, Alignment is offering new HMO dual-eligible special needs and HMO point-of-service plans. In select plans, Alignment is introducing new benefits as part of its ACCESS On-Demand Concierge program for eligible members to address social needs such as food instability, loneliness and lack of transportation, that directly impact clinical outcomes. In 2021, new social benefits include pet sitting, pest control, personal emergency response systems, and acupuncture services to further extend the program’s existing benefits such as grocery allowance, non-emergency clinical transportation and “grandkids on demand” companion care.

    “Putting the seniors first is what we do each day at Alignment,” said Dawn Maroney, president of consumer and markets, Alignment Healthcare. “That’s why around COVID-19, we delivered thousands of masks and meals, hosted virtual town hall meetings to answer questions, and proactively checked in on our highest-risk members. We bring this same spirit to open enrollment. No matter which plan they choose, Alignment members have a dedicated 24/7 care and support team available to create the best outcomes and experience for each and every one of them.”

    Alignment announced in August its expansion into new counties and new