Watch Out for These Financial Scams in Retirement

By Marc Lichtenfeld, Chief Income Strategist, The Oxford Club

“Grandma,” the voice on the line said desperately. “I need help.” My mother rubbed the sleep from her eyes. It was 3 a.m.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“I’m in trouble. I was arrested and need money for bail.”

“Good, I hope you stay there!” my mother boomed and hung up.

My mom is not callous. She’d do anything to help her grandchild out of a bad situation. Fortunately, she has enough sense to know that a) my son was not arrested and b) it wasn’t his voice on the phone.

Unfortunately. not everyone is as sensible as my mother. And this scam has gotten a lot of grandparents to wire “bail money” (often to foreign accounts) with the plea “Please don’t tell Mom or Dad.”

Question of the Week    

It seems like at least once a week my phone rings with some swindle. Seniors tend to be the targets of lots of rip-offs.

Someone my mother knows got scammed out of more than $90,000 in the Nigerian Prince scam, where someone claims to be a prince from Africa who will pay you a hefty fee for help moving millions of dollars out of the country. All they need is your bank account number and other identifying information.

The sad thing is that these scams work… And they work well. Last year, American seniors were scammed out of $36.5 billion.

Here are a few scams you should be aware of so that you don’t become a victim.

Fake IRS: Someone calls you claiming to be from the IRS and says you owe money that needs to be paid right away or you face arrest.

The IRS will NEVER call you about unpaid taxes. Nor will they send an email. If you owe taxes, you will receive a letter in the mail.

If you do in fact owe taxes, you write a check made out to “U.S. Treasury.” That’s it. No wiring money to an account. While you can file and pay electronically with your tax returns, send a check if you receive a letter saying you owe taxes.

Microsoft Calls: I get this one all the time. The caller claims to be from Microsoft or Microsoft Windows and says they’ve found a virus on your computer that they’ll help fix. The caller ID may even say Microsoft or some other official-sounding name.

Scammers like these will offer to help you fix the problem for a fee. They may ask for bank account information. But beware: They could put a harmful virus on your computer even if you just go to the website they give you.

These guys are persistent. Don’t engage with them. (Note that Microsoft does not make unsolicited calls to help you fix your computer.)

My Comments: A client reported this sad tale to me (Lance) when she called to set up a new bank draft for her Medicare plan.

Shirley McGiver lives in Moose City, MT.* About six months ago she received a call concerning a problem with her computer. The earnest caller suggested that he could remedy the problem by allowing him to remote into her computer. He tricked her into giving him and his cronies access.  Bad mistake! She just gave them the keys to the kingdom!

The scammers zeroed in on her passwords for her banking information and proceeded to empty her checking account. Fortunately, with the help of her bank, Shirley was able retrieve her lost funds, however, this was done with a tremendous amount of hassle.

She had to open a new account and change all of her automatic deductions such as her Medicare supplement premium. Then, of course, she had had to deal with the Social Security Administration to have them re-direct her SS deposit to her new account. The entire affair cost her hours on the phone, tons of frustration, and who knows how much added stress in her life.

There are also the hard-to-get rid of pop-ups that attempt to trick you into a similar situation. Bottom line: If anyone calls you on an unsolicited basis offering help with your “computer problem,” treat it as an encounter with a rattling rattlesnake that’s ready to strike. *Some details were changed to protect the identity of the victim.

This leads to scam #3, phishing.

Continuing with Marc Lichtenfeld’s article:

Phishing: This is an easy one to fall for because the scam looks like an official email from someone you may do business with, often a big-name bank. Sometimes the message is marked urgent and states that you need to take action right away by clicking on a link to go to the bank’s website.

Unfortunately, it’s not the bank’s website. These sites will likely ask you to input your bank information or put a keystroke-tracking virus on your computer. This will allow the scammers to get your user IDs or passwords to your various accounts.

I never click through an email from my bank or other businesses. I’ll always type the bank’s URL in my browser and then navigate to the appropriate page. It may take an extra few seconds, but it will protect you from this type of scam.

Stolen Debit Card: This is a new one I’ve come across. It’s ingenious. It happened to my mother-in-law, but fortunately my wife shut it down before any money was lost.

With scams like these, you get a call from a representative of your bank at a local (but not too local) branch claiming that someone with your last name withdrew several thousand dollars from your account with a debit card. The caller then says they thought it was suspicious, so they called the police, who are holding them at the branch right now. You just need to verify the debit card is in your possession by reading the caller your card number and pin.

If you hesitate, the caller tells you that the police will have no choice but to release the person if you don’t give the branch the information, and that you’ll be on the hook for whatever money they withdrew.

Keep in mind, credit card companies will occasionally contact you with questions about suspicious activity on your card. But they will never ask you for your card number.

Here are a few tips to avoid falling victim to a scam:

  • Never give your credit or debit card number, or bank or personal information to anyone unless you initiate the call.
  • Never click on a link in an email from a bank, especially if the email claims that you need to do so urgently.
  • Don’t answer calls unless you recognize the number, even if it says the name of your bank. If it’s urgent, they’ll leave a message.

No one is giving you lots of money to help them move money out of a country. You did not win the lottery or a sweepstakes, and even if you did, there are never any fees associated with claiming your winnings.

You worked hard for your money. A comfortable retirement is dependent on watching your expenditures. Don’t get tricked into giving it away. End

Pain and Inflammation: Natural Painkillers without the Adverse Side Effects

By Dr. Al Sears

Even before I went to medical school, I worked with college athletes. And by far, the biggest complaint was joint pain.

While everyone else was using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Motrin, Advil and Aleve, I was giving my athletes real hope with an ancient secret. And now, modern scientists are catching on.

A new study in Italy gathered 52 otherwise healthy young rugby players. They all had acute knee pain and inflammation. The players were given either a placebo or an extract of Indian frankincense (Boswellia serrata). Ed: For more information, please click here, here, and here.

After just four weeks, the players taking the Boswellia had a significant reduction in pain and inflammation compared to standard treatments. They could walk farther without pain. They had less damage to their joints, tendons and muscles. And they needed fewer drugs or doctor’s visits.1

But this natural painkiller isn’t only for athletes. Joint pain can be just as debilitating for you and me. And, these days, orthopedic surgeons are quick to cut for joint injuries. More than a million Americans have joint replacement surgery every year.

And Big Pharma’s opioid drugs are dangerous. They have a very high risk of addiction and abuse. Even Ibuprofen has a black box warning about increased risks of heart attack and stroke.

As you know, I use nature’s remedies, like frankincense to relieve the pain and inflammation of any joint aches or injuries. It’s an ancient remedy that goes back 5,000 years.

In Biblical times, it was more highly prized than gold. You probably know it as one of the gifts the three Magi brought to the infant Jesus on the first Christmas.

This resin comes from a tree native to India. It’s one of the most effective treatments I’ve found for arthritis and joint pain. And it doesn’t have the adverse side effects of drugs.

In another large study, researchers followed 440 arthritis patients for six months. They found that frankincense relieved pain as effectively as painkiller drugs. It also significantly improved knee function.2

Boswellia works in many different ways. It contains enzymes that block prostaglandin e2 (PGe2). This hormone-like chemical is produced by the body in response to an injury. It makes blood vessels dilate and expand. This causes the injured area to become swollen and arthritic.

But by directly attacking PGe2, frankincense stops inflammation before it starts.

Frankincense also contains boswellic acid. This compound is a potent inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX), an enzyme responsible for inflammation. Knocking out 5-LOX enzymes helps prevent inflammation and pain.

Look for a Boswellia serrata supplement standardized to at least 65% boswellic acids. I recommend taking 400 mg three times a day.

Frankincense is also available as an essential oil. You can place a drop or two under your tongue. Or dilute a drop in a glass of water or a teaspoon of honey. I also like to mix frankincense oil with coconut oil and rub it right onto a sore joint.

Boswellia is not the only painkiller in nature’s medicine cabinet. There are additional natural ways to relieve joint pain and inflammation.

Protect Your Joints with These 3 Natural Painkillers

  1. First, try holy basil (Ocimum sanctum linn). This herb has a long and ancient history of treating arthritis pain. It contains dozens of nutrients that reduce inflammation.3 One of the most powerful is called ursolic acid. It inhibits the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme. Clinical studies prove holy basil relieves pain and reduces inflammation.
  2. You can buy holy basil tea at most health food stores or on the Internet. Holy basil capsules are also for sale online. Make sure the product you’re buying has at least 2.5% ursolic acid to get the anti-inflammatory effect. I suggest 150 mg three or four times a day.
  3. If that doesn’t work, take white willow bark. This plant contains salicin, the same compound found in aspirin. Hippocrates had his patients chew on white willow bark to reduce inflammation. Studies show it relieves arthritis pain as well as lower back pain.4
  4. White willow bark won’t upset your stomach like aspirin might. You can find it in health food stores or online. I recommend 240 mg per day.
  5. And for arthritis, try ashwagandha. This “smart plant” is also called Indian ginseng and winter cherry. In a recent study, researchers gave 60 arthritis patients ashwagandha or a placebo. After 12 weeks, those taking the herb had significantly less pain according to three different pain-score tests.5
  6. I recommend 300 mg to 500 mg twice a day. Or you can buy dried ashwagandha root powder. Look for a product that’s 100% organic with no artificial flavors or colors. I like to add one teaspoon to a cup of boiling organic milk. I let it simmer for five minutes. Then I add a little honey to taste.

Aim to get at least 600 mg of DHA and 400 mg of its cousin EPA every day. And make sure you take them with meals so these omega-3 fats can be digested properly.

Al Sears, MD

  1. Franceschi F, et al. “A novel lecithin based delivery form of Boswellic acids (Casperome®) for the management of osteo-muscular pain: A registry study in young rugby players.” Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2016; 20(19): 4156-4161.
  2. Chopra A, et al. “Ayurvedic medicine offers a good alternative to glucosamine and celecoxib in the treatment of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis: A randomized, double-blind, controlled equivalence drug trial.” Rheumatology (Oxford). 2013;52(8):1408-1417.
  3. Cohen MM. “Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons.” J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2014; 5(4): 251–259.
  4. Chrubasik S, et al. “Treatment of low back pain exacerbations with willow bark extract: A randomized double-blind study.” Am J Med. 2000;109:(1): 9-14.
  5. Chopra A, et al. “Ayurveda–modern medicine interface: A critical appraisal of studies of Ayurvedic medicines to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.” J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2010;1(3):190–198.

The Hacking of the American Mind—Report #4

Killing Jiminy: Stress, Fear, and Cortisol

For those of you that have been following our bi-monthly E-letter, Northwest Senior News, you may remember our series of reviews and digests from Dr. Stephen Sinatra’s book, The Great Cholesterol Myth. Sinatra listed the four leading causes of heart disease. Here they are.

  • Sugar
  • Inflammation
  • Oxidation
  • Stress

In Chapter 4, Dr. Lustig also references a connection between stress and sugar. Cortisol also gets thrown into the mix. What we can learn from various experts in their respective fields is that their messages, while slightly different and approaching issues from somewhat different vantage points, end up saying some very similar things. Sinatra focused on the myth of the cholesterol problem. Lustig has focused the problem of sugar addiction.

We recently did a serialized transcription of Gary Taubes’ YouTube video, The Case Against Sugar. Taubes’ focus is that sugar consumption leads to insulin resistance. His central theme is that hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, strokes, obesity, etc. are all a subset of insulin resistance. Again, we see these similar themes of hypertension, stroke, and obesity.

Lustig examines the interrelationship between pleasure and happiness and what happens when there is too much pleasure (addiction) and not enough happiness (depression). He very astutely zeros in on what are the drivers of sugar addiction. That is exactly what he does in Chapter 4, Killing Jiminy: Stress, Fear and Cortisol.

The big pictures of these authors (and certainly many others) is how to stay as healthy as possible. And that, of, course, is one of the reasons why we produce Northwest Senior News.

Background: For those that remember Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket was Pinocchio’s conscience, reminding him of good and bad. Lustig says that the chemical changes that occur when a person is under chronic stress can contribute to a reduction of a person’s constraining forces not to do bad things (Ed: or even evil things).

Our review and digest of Chapter 4 begins.

Lusting tells us that stress is a normal part of life. If there is an immediate threat to our personal safety such as a lion in our path, our blood sugar and blood pressure will rise to prepare us for action. This stress (or fear) causes the release of a necessary hormone called cortisol from the adrenals, which are located on top of our kidneys.

Acute, short term cortisol release is both necessary for survival and is actually good for you. It increases vigilance, improves memory and immune function, and redirects blood flow to fuel the muscles, heart and brain. Your body is designed for cortisol to be released in any given stressful situation, but in small doses in short bursts.

Lustig suggests that modern conveniences such as electricity, air conditioning, and plenty of food have decreased stress in our lives. However, chronic stresses have “gone through the roof.” He says that these chronic stresses are taking a toll on people’s lives.

Chronic stress leads to constant cortisol releases which will slowly kill a person.

Evidence of the association of job stress, psychological distress, and disease is extremely compelling. Psychological stress in adolescence is directly linked to the risk of heart attack and diabetes in adulthood. Chronic stress also directly impacts the reward pathway as described in Chapter 3, and it has been shown that chronic stress can speed the onset of dementia.

My comments: We have a family acquaintance that worked on the staff of a leading orthopedic clinic in North Central Idaho for nine months. She had to quit her job because working for the doctors was too stressful. How many people have to endure stressful jobs because they can’t afford to quit?

Continuing: Lustig reminds us that people in lower socioeconomic or minority groups often have more stress, and because of that they suffer from higher rates of morbidity (sickness).

Stress breeds more cortisol.

. . . the more stress, the more breakdown of the endocannabinoid CBI receptor agonist and anti-anxiety compound anandamide, and the more anxiety.

Lustig references the connection with marijuana and states that its use can help a person “mellow out.” He also cautions that long term marijuana use can lead to a cognitive decline to the tune of eight IQ points. At that point, Lustig quips that those people may be less stressed about reality anyway.

My Comments: Cognitive decline all by itself is a potential aging issue. Why would anyone want to engage in a behavior that could hasten his/her mental decline? If there is a medical reason for using marijuana, that’s one thing. As far as keeping your mental faculties sharp, using pot recreationally doesn’t seem like a very smart idea.

A Bucket of Nerves

Continuing: Lustig explains that your body’s reaction to stress is the result of a cascade of responses.  The amygdala is the part of your brain that regulates this. When you encounter a threat such as a vicious dog or being contacted by nasty creditors, the amygdala activates the sympathetic nervous system. This raises your blood sugar and blood pressure to prepare you for the acute stress. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls hormones. That tells the pituitary gland to tell the adrenal glands to release cortisol.

Occasional releases of cortisol are one thing, but continued exposure over the long term can exact a toll on your arteries and your heart, leading to hypertension and stroke. When everything is working well, you remember what caused a particular stress. For example, if you got freaked out by a snarling pit bull on a street you’re walking on, you’ll remember that and not walk down that street again if you can possibly help it.

Lusting explains that the hippocampus might be the most vulnerable part of the brain to cell death.

Almost any brain insult you can imagine (low blood glucose, energy deprivation or starvation, radiation) can knock off the neurons of the hippocampus. And one of the serial killers that attacks the neurons of the hippocampus is cortisol. The longer your cortisol stays elevated, the smaller and more vulnerable your hippocampus gets, which puts you at the risk for depression.

Lustig tells us that this is the likely reason why chronic stress leads to memory loss. Put more bluntly, he posits that chronic stress literally fries your brain, and it gets worse.

He continues by explaining that chronic stress impairs your ability to reason. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is your high order or executive function part of your brain. Lustig uses the Jiminy Cricket analogy. Put another way, this is what tells us the difference between right and wrong and keeps us from going off the deep end, or what keeps us from indulging in bad behavior and keeps our baser desires in check.

A bad guy rapes Bill Smith’s daughter, and Bill finds out who the perp is. Bill is so angry at what happened that he feels like going over and taking the guy out. However, his rational side of his brain kicks in and tells himself that 1) he has no right to commit murder and 2) if he gets caught, tried and convicted of pre-meditated murder, he goes to the pen for a long time. His Jiminy Cricket says, “Okay, that’s your thought, but stop right there and get it out of your mind. You don’t want to be as bad as the other guy.”

In an uncontrollable, stressful situation, the amygdala-HPA trio (hypothalamus-pituitary gland-adrenal glands) axis commands the release of neurotransmitters including dopamine (yep, that again). These flood the prefrontal cortex (PFC), silencing Jiminy, which disinhibit you from doing some wild and crazy things. When your PFC is under fire by cortisol, your rational decision-making ability is toast.

My Comments: In the past few years we have heard of some things that people have done that are absolutely crazy. The woman in San Diego loses some YouTube revenue, so she drives up to the Bay Area and shoots some YouTube employees. Joe Blokes gets fired from his Post Office job, so he returns with a gun and shoots his boss. As I read this section of the text, I thought of these and other similar situations. You wonder, did these people just lose it without being aware of the consequences of what they were doing?

Continuing: Lusting explains that the more cortisol the amygdala is exposed to, the less it is dampened down by . . . the law of mass action.

More cortisol means fewer cortisol receptors in the amygdala, and the more likely your amygdala will do the talking from here on. Chronic stress day by day weakens your inner Jiminy.

Increased stress can turn a small desire into a big dopamine drive, which can be quenched by either drugs or food, or both. This is how the pizza and beer scenario typifies the American food experience.

My comments: There is a move afoot to absolve people of responsibility for their actions. Some suggest that we should have sympathy for the murderer or rapist because he had a bad childhood. This is along the lines of “he Devil made him do it.” The flip side here is that everyone has issues in his/her life, and everyone has to deal with various stresses. Maybe we have some events that are adding more stress compared to 20, 30, or 40 years ago. The key questions are, “What are the stresses I face and how can I minimize their effect on me?

Continuing: Lustig continues by saying that stress-induced dopamine has the capacity to remodel the prefrontal cortex so that it doesn’t work as well as before. Poor Jiminy Cricket has been squashed like a bug.

These neurons (the ones that house the dopamine receptors) are fewer and farther between. . . You need even more to get less. By driving the stimulation of the amygdala and decreasing your cognitive control centers, stress and cortisol make it much more likely that you will succumb to temptations.

Lustig poses a rhetorical question. Do you take three deep breaths or eat three doughnuts? Now it gets even scarier.

When cognitive control is lost, the ability to inhibit the drive to seek pleasure is lost. Stress promotes faster addiction to drugs of abuse and is likely the reason why drug addicts find it difficult to quit. Chronic stress kills off neurons in the PFC . . .

He reminds us that the preferred drug of choice when dealing with stress is, yes, yes, it’s SUGAR. Gary Taubes in his YouTube video The Case Against Sugar says essentially the same thing. It’s cheap, socially acceptable, and doesn’t appear to have immediate consequences. This sets up a vicious circle.

With chronic stress, eating is the preferred coping behavior of the individual. The person seeks energy dense food, usually loaded with sugar, which may become addictive. Since cortisol is an appetite stimulant, the infusion of cortisol into a person rapidly increases his/her food intake.

It gets even worse. Cortisol actually kills neurons that help inhibit food intake. Now a person eats even more food, usually sugar. The cycle continues.

If Only I Could Sleep at the Switch

Lustig tells us that another outcome of stress is reduced sleep. Reduced sleep also contributes to obesity. Short sleepers generally have an increased body moss index (BMI). Those deprived of sleep may consume up to 300 additional calories per day. The vicious circle gets worse and worse.

Dopamine makes you more likely to eat. The more you eat, the more likely you are to become obese. Obesity leads to sleep deprivation.

Lustig finishes the chapter by explaining that the impact of stress on children is even worse compared to adults. He says that this stress can lead to unhealthy snacking during adolescence. The result of that is overweight teens.

Lustig closes the chapter with:

The more chocolate cake you eat in response to stress, the less pleasure you will get and the sicker you will start to feel, which will drive even more stress. Those dopamine receptors need more but deliver less. You’ll become more tolerant or worse yet, addicted.


Have Your Medicare Supplement’s Rates Gone Up?

by Lance and Isaac Reedy

Note: We have updated this article from a year ago. Unfortunately, Medicare supplement rates continue to increase. The good news is that if your health is stable, you may be able to qualify for a lower cost plan.

One of the most annoying things that happens in life, especially if you are on a fixed income, is some expense that has a rate increase. Unfortunately, health costs continue to rise including Medicare supplement (Medsupp) premiums. For a more detailed explanation about the causes of these increases, please read our companion article, Causes of Medicare Supplement Premium Increases.

During the past year most companies have had rate increases of some extent or another and some more so than others. What can be done about these rate increases? The solution, of course, is to have us shop on your behalf for lower rates. Remember, you can change your Medsupp plan any month of the year, providing that you medically quality. More about medical qualification shortly.

If you have Plan F with Company X, a good solution is to switch to Plan G or even Plan N. Again, this is assuming that your health is stable and that you can qualify for another plan.

For those people with declinable health issues the solution to this situation may be to switch to a Medicare advantage plan during the fall Annual Election Period (AEP also known as Medicare open enrollment) that runs from October 15th through December 7th. We will have more information forthcoming about the AEP in the next issue of Northwest Senior News and also via a paper newsletter for those do not have email access.

Why is it much easier to switch to a Medicare advantage (MA) plan?

The only health question on an MA application is kidney failure. You could have had a recent stroke, been treated for cancer in the past two years, or have multiple sclerosis, and you can still qualify for an MA plan. Those conditions would generally cause a decline on a Medsupp company’s application.

However, switching to an MA plan may not be feasible for many people, especially if you live in a county that has no available MA plan. The following are some examples.

  1. Idaho: Clearwater, Idaho, Lewis, Benewah, and Shoshone counties in northern Idaho are prime examples of counties with no MA plans.
  2. Montana: Counties such as Park, Glacier, Toole, Hill, Blaine and others have no MA plans.
  3. Wyoming: Most counties have no MA plans.
  4. Washington: Some of the smaller or more rural counties have no MA plans available.
  5. Oregon: Please contact us.

While there are some distinct advantages of MA plans, there are also some negatives. Here are some of them.

  • You have copays for most of your medical services.
  • Your medical providers generally need to be in the plan’s network.
  • The specialty clinics such as Mayo, Virginia Mason, and Fred Hutchinson generally do not take MA plans.
  • You will have higher out-of-network copays (often as high as 50%) if you are out of the plan’s service area or network.
  • More recently there is the hassle of getting prior authorization for major Medical services.

How do I qualify for a new Medicare Supplement plan?

To qualify for a new Medsupp plan, you will need “No” answers to the following health questions. The language for each company’s application will be a little different, but in general, here are the most common ones.

1) In the last two years have you had or been treated for circulatory or heart disease including a heart attack, heart bypass surgery, stent placement or pacemaker implantation?

2) Have you been treated for internal cancer or melanoma in the last two years? (Does not include most skin cancers.)

3) Have you had a stroke or mini-stroke in the past two years?

4) Have you been diagnosed or treated for COPD, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis in the past two years?

5) Have you been hospitalized more than two times in the last two years?

6) Have you been diagnosed with any type of dementia, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s disease? Note: One of our companies will take people with these conditions providing that there are no other major issues.

7) Do you have any planned surgeries such as joint replacement surgery of cataracts recommended to be completed in the next twelve months?

8) Do you have any auto-immune disease such as AIDs, HIV, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis etc? (Other diseases may be included depending on the company.)

These are the major categories. A company may request additional information.

Routine prescriptions such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes meds are usually okay. Most companies have a drug decline list. Examples of what could be on such a list are opioids and many cancer related drugs. Most companies require that you list all prescription meds on your application. Certain combinations of drugs such as ones used to treat diabetes (particularly insulin) and hypertension may be a problem.

Why do we pre-qualify before applying?

If you have a medical condition that is iffy, we can shop for the company that is most likely to accept your application. For example, if we know that Company X will decline your application due to a medical condition or drug on their decline list, then applying to that company would be a waste of your time. We’ll look for a different company. Through the years, we have learned that a health issue that may not fly with one company can go through with another. For example, there is one company that does not decline Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or multiple sclerosis.

Contacting You

We are rapidly getting into our crazy time of the year as we have to go through our annual recertification process for MA and Part D prescription plans. However, we will endeavor to contact as many of you as possible by phone. Please feel free to move to the front of the line by contacting us at (208) 746-6283 or (888) 746-6285, or by email at If you have a health situation that you believe may be an issue, contact us anyway, and we’ll see what we can do. End