UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement’s Mike Anderson offers answers to common questions:

Q. Can I split my pills in half?

A. Talk to your doctor first. Consult your pharmacist on whether the pill form presents risks. Some pills are dangerous when split, because splitting affects how quickly the drug is released into your body. Others become ineffective, because the pill contains a coating to protect it from stomach acid, and splitting the pill breaks that coating.

Q. I take a lot of pills daily, some three times a day. Can I just take them all in the morning?

A. It’s important to take medicine as your doctor prescribed. Some medications need to be taken at specific times to be effective. Taking medications at one time can be dangerous as you may run the risk of adverse interactions, side effects and overdosing.

For more information, visit MedicareMadeClear.com.


5 detox tips from an Olympian

Olympian Shawn Johnson East offers the following tips for a little spring cleaning for your health. She shared five spring detox tips on her blog:

Ginger tea: Ginger can ease stomach problems, heal skin and boost immunity. She suggests adding honey to improve the taste.

Lemon water: Drinking lemon water each morning helps clean the body of impurities and offers vitamin C and an energy boost.

Apple cider vinegar: Johnson calls this the "ultimate gut healer" and suggests mixing some in your morning tea.

Kombucha juice: The fermented tea contains natural probiotics.

Greens: Add at least a half cup of leafy greens every day for vitamins and nutrients and to lower your body’s acidity.


Headline: Is your asthma controlled?

According to the CDC, an estimated 25 million people suffer from asthma in the U.S. Up to 10 percent of people with asthma have a more severe type of asthma. This more severe type of asthma could be uncontrolled — even with multiple medications. People with asthma that is not controlled can experience symptoms, such as shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing.

For many people with asthma who continue to experience symptoms, even when on multiple medicines, their asthma may be more severe. Simple tasks can become difficult to achieve and asthma attacks can be life-threatening.

Rethinking Your Normal means that asthma symptoms limiting your activities may not have to be the norm. Taking the Asthma Control Test, by visiting AsthmaControlTest.com, can assess if your asthma is controlled, so you can share with your doctor and discuss your asthma management.


3 tips toward smarter spending

Carving out time to research money-saving methods can be worth your while when trying to minimize out-of-pocket health-care expenses. Such spending rose by more than 50 percent between 2010 and 2017.

Consider how the following may help you control your health-care budget.

— Read bills with a critical eye. Any bill can include administrative errors, and some studies have indicated errors on as many as 80 percent of medical invoices issued.

— Minimize the cost of your meds. A free program known as Inside Rx offers a prescription savings card that provides discounts on prescription medications for eligible patients. The card is easy to download and requires no personal information, registration or membership.

— Compare costs. Some services can be difficult to compare, but it’s worth doing your homework for standard services. Check vendor websites, make phone calls and search online to find suggested prices for various services.