Tuesday, September 27, 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

*Includes FREE photo online! mywcn.com/lostandfound

VideoFound: Young female cat, friendly, downtown La Vernia. Call 210-273-4789 to claim. 
Lost at LV Light It Up Ceremony: heart charm bracelet, necklace with arrow & heart, crown ring, and heart knot ring. All pieces are silver. Please contact Sheri, 210-833-8377.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Immediately hiring Maintenance Electricians $22/$24 hr plus benefits in Kenedy, TX. Please call 432-661-6434 for more information
Be skeptical of ads that say you can make lots of money working from the comfort of your home. If this were true, wouldn’t we all be working at home?
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›

South Texas Living


Reassessment time for Medicare Part D beneficiaries




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
Jim Miller
November 6, 2013 | 2,190 views | Post a comment

Dear Savvy Senior,

I have been enrolled in the same Medicare prescription drug plan for three years now, but my pharmacist told me I should look for a new plan during the open enrollment period that would fit my needs a little better. What’s the easiest way to do this?

Need Help

Dear Need,

Because all Medicare prescription drug plans can change their coverage and costs each calendar year, the only way to ensure you’re getting the best coverage at the lowest cost is to compare your Part D plan against the competition during Medicare’s open enrollment period (which is Oct. 15 -- Dec. 7). Here are some tips and resources that can help you compare drug plans, and select one that better fits your needs.

Important: Don’t confuse Medicare open enrollment with the new health insurance marketplaces that have just opened under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). They serve two totally different populations. Health insurance marketplaces are for people under age 65 who don’t have health insurance, while Medicare open enrollment is for Medicare beneficiaries who wish to review their current Medicare policies and make changes.

Open Enrollment Website

If you’re comfortable using a computer, you can easily compare Medicare’s drug plans yourself online. Just go to Medicare’s Plan Finder Tool at medicare.gov/find-a-plan, and type in your zip code or your personal information, enter in how you currently receive your Medicare coverage, select the drugs you take and their dosages, and choose the pharmacies you use. You’ll get a cost comparison breakdown for every plan available in your area so you can compare it to your current plan.

This tool also provides a five-star rating system that evaluates each plan based on past customer service records, and suggests generics or older brand name drugs that can reduce your costs.

It’s also important to keep in mind that when you’re comparing drug plans don’t judge a plan strictly by its monthly premium cost. Low-premium plans are often associated with higher prescription co-payments and may end up being more expensive. Look at the “estimated annual drug costs” that shows how much you can expect to pay over a year in total out-of-pocket costs -- including premiums, deductibles, and co-pays.

Also, be sure the plan you’re considering covers all of the drugs you take with no restrictions. Some plans may require you to get permission or try a number of cheaper drugs before they will cover certain prescriptions.

Need Help?

If you need some help with this or if you don’t have Internet access to compare the plans yourself, you can call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 and a customer service representative will do it for you over the phone for free.

Another resource that you can call on for help is your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), which provides free one-on-one Medicare counseling in person or over the phone. They also conduct seminars during the open enrollment period at various locations throughout each state. To find the contact information for your local SHIP visit shiptalk.org, or call the eldercare locator at 1-800-677-1116.

Shrinking Donut Hole

You also need to know that Medicare’s “donut-hole” -- the coverage gap in which you must pay out-of-pocket for your drugs -- continues to shrink. In 2013 and 2014, you will get a 52.5 percent discount on brand-name drugs, and the federal subsidy for generic medications will rise from 21 to 28 percent in 2014.

The 2013 coverage gap begins when your total drug cost exceeds $2,850 (that includes your share and the insurer’s share of the costs) and ends when combined spending is $6,455. After that, your Part D plan usually covers around 95 percent of your remaining drug costs for the year.

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
Voncille Bielefeld homeAllstate & McBride RealtyFriesenhahn Custom WeldingTriple R DC ExpertsHeavenly Touch home

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