Monday, September 26, 2016
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Preview the Paper Preview the Paper

Preview this week's Paper
A limited number of pages are displayed in this preview.
Preview this Week’s Issue ›
Subscribe Today ›

Lost & Found


VideoMissing white poodle mix from Sutherland a Springs. He's been missing since the beginning of August. Dillon has white curly hair. 210-219-7963.

VideoFound: Young female cat, friendly, downtown La Vernia. Call 210-273-4789 to claim. 
Lost: Small black dog, answers to Blackie, last seen near Dairy Queen on Hwy. 181 in Floresville. Call 830-542-0192.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Pecan orchard is hiring additional employees for busy harvest season, Oct. 1-mid Dec., Falls City area, will be working in processing plant sorting pecans or with harvest crew, full/part time, $10/hr. Call for more details, 830-484-3759, leave message. 
Higuchi Manufacturing America is HIRING! 2nd Shift Production Assembly, 3-11:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. Must pass physical and drug screen. Benefits offered after 90 day probationary period. Call for more information, 210-633-2877 or stop by our location at 14901 Southton Rd., Elmendorf, TX 78112.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›

South Texas Living


Helping with health care costs




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
Jim Miller
The Savvy Senior
August 28, 2013 | 1,963 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.
 

Your Opinions and Comments


Be the first to comment on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

South Texas Living Archives


Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Apple Pie readers help Julia fill in the blanks (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cheap cell phone plans for seniors (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Come And Take It starts Sept. 30 (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Disc water pitcher (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. DRT chapter plans meeting, new member class (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Get ready to grill at show barn’s barbecue cook-off (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Old Town Day seeks vendors (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Poth VFD to serve up barbecued chicken (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Run and shine at Neon Sizzle 5K (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Spots open for Community Yard Sale (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. St. Mary’s Fall Festival Sept. 25 (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Support FUMC youth at barbecue ‘fun’ raiser (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Teen MOPS plans upcoming meetings (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. The root of many evils (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Uncovering local legends: The grave in the middle of the road (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. URBAN-15 seeks dancers, drummers (September 21, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Chicago Cub yearbooks (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Enjoy Country Music Show Sept. 20 (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. How to prevent falls at home (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Krawietz family reunion (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. La Vernia EMS plans Car Show (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Labatt Club donates to library, children (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Low voices and high hopes (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Lutheran Church plans Sausage Dinner (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Medicaid covers mosquito repellent to fight Zika (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Metting family plans reunion (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Non-prescription drugs — the forgotten solution to rising health-care costs (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Relay For Life meeting is Sept. 15 (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Seguin Cowboy Gathering is Sept. 17 (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Smith Gas celebrates 88 years in business (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. The life of Doris Billimek Moczygemba (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Trail ride donations surpass $1M (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Visit Remembering Our Fallen exhibit in Seguin (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Who will take care of you? (September 14, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. A life shaped by hard work and hunting (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. After-Dinner Chocolates (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cajun music Sept. 10 (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Donate hearing aids, glasses, equipment (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Earn a certification in native landscaping (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Enjoy EquestFest 2016 (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Getting Engaged? How to spend wisely (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Mystery box (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Nominate a nonprofit for Literacy Award (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Old medicine chest dates back to 1821 (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Professional bull riding returns to Fredericksburg (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Register to run for tacos Oct. 1 (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Road Runners plan September outings (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Still time to buy tickets for Wild Game Dinner (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Take a tour of SS museum Sept. 17 (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Take the H-E-B Slim Down challenge (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Vote for top flick at Manhattan Short Film Festival (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Welcome to The Greenline, a 43-acre linear park (September 7, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. ‘Cupping’ long before Phelps did it (September 7, 2016)
WCN Photo Contest HHF
WWII Clippings HHF
Coupon Q&A HHF-right
coupon home-rght
Allstate & McBride RealtyVoncille Bielefeld homeTriple R DC ExpertsFriesenhahn Custom WeldingHeavenly Touch home

  Copyright © 2007-2016 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.