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VideoLost: Shih Tzu, male, golden brown, from C.R. 320 in Floresville. If you have any information call 210-452-1829 or 832-292-3305.
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Help Wanted

Plastic Product Formers, Inc. is accepting applications for a full-time blow-mold operator. Must be willing to perform physical work in an outside environment and work 10-12 hour shifts including overtime. Must be willing to work some weekend and night shifts. Will be required to clean, set-up, operate, and monitor blow-mold equipment while also performing trimming and inspection of production parts. Includes packaging and material handling. Must pass background check and drug test. Excellent benefits offered. Fax 210-635-7999 or apply in person at 7124 Richter Road, Elmendorf, TX.
ON-CALL CRISIS POOL WORKERS NEEDED. Part-time positions are available for after hours ďon-callĒ crisis workers to respond to mental health crisis for Wilson and Karnes Counties. Duties include crisis interventions, assessments, referrals to stabilization services, and referrals for involuntary treatment services according to the Texas Mental Health Laws. You must have at least a Bachelorís Degree in psychology, sociology, social work, nursing, etc. On-call hours are from 5 p.m.-8 a.m. weekdays, weekends and holidays vary. If selected, you must attend required training and must be able to report to designated safe sites within 1 hour of request for assessment. Compensation is at a rate of $200 per week plus $100 per completed and submitted crisis assessment, and mileage. If interested call Camino Real Community Services, 210-357-0359.
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Savvy Senior


Helping with health care costs




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Disclaimer:
Jim Miller is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
Jim Miller
The Savvy Senior
August 28, 2013 | 1,801 views | Post a comment

Dear Savvy Senior,

Are there any programs that you know of that help seniors with their Medicare expenses? I’m 67 and live primarily on my Social Security, and am having a hard time paying my Medicare premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and prescription drug costs.

Need Some Help

Dear Need,

There are several financial assistance programs that can help Medicare beneficiaries who are having a tough time paying their out-of-pocket health care costs. Here’s what’s offered, along with the eligibility requirements and how to apply.

Medicare Savings

Let’s start with a program that helps lower-income Medicare beneficiaries pay premiums and out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Parts A and B. It’s called the Medicare Savings Program (MSP), and it has several different benefit levels for people with different financial resources. At its most generous the program will pay your Part B premium and pretty much all your Medicare deductibles and coinsurance. At its least generous the program will pay just your Part B premium.

To qualify for a MSP, the minimum standard set by Medicare, is an income under 135 percent of the federal poverty level, which at the moment works out to around $1,313 a month for individuals. Everything counts towards income, including payouts from 401(k) plans, pensions, Social Security, and help from family members. Medicare also allows states to impose an asset test, which can be as little as $7,080 per individual, not counting your house or car but counting retirement savings and bank accounts.

But some states have made their MSP programs a lot more generous, with much higher income limits and in some cases no asset tests at all. And the program may be called something else in your state. To find out if you qualify or to apply, contact your local Medicaid office -- call 1-800-633-4227 for contact information.

Medication Assistance

For help with your Medicare prescription drug plan costs, there is another completely separate program called Extra Help. To get it, you’ll need to apply through your local Social Security office.

Depending on exactly how low your income is, the program will pay all or part of your Part D prescription drug plan premium and deductible, a hefty chunk of your copay, and totally eliminate the doughnut hole coverage gap. In 2013, individuals with an income below $1,436 a month, and assets under $13,300 can qualify for Extra Help.

If you’re eligible to be in a Medicare Savings Program, you will automatically qualify for Extra Help. But because the requirements are slightly different, even if you don’t qualify for a Medicare Savings Program for Part B you might be able to get Extra Help for Part D. For more information or to apply, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or visit socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp.

Get Help

To help you find out if you’re eligible for these programs, use the National Council on Aging web-based tool at benefitscheckup.org. You’ll need to fill out an online questionnaire that asks things like your date of birth, zip code, expenses, income, assets, and a few other things. Once completed you’ll get a report detailing which programs you may qualify for, along with downloadable application forms and, in the case of Extra Help, allow you to complete your entire application online. The program even knows the specific MSP eligibility rules in your state.

Or, if you don’t have Internet access, contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), who provides free one-on-one Medicare counseling in person or over the phone. To locate your local SHIP, call the eldercare locator at 1-800-677-1116.

Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC “Today” show and author of The Savvy Senior. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org.
 
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