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Lost: Female German Shepherd, Aug. 13, Oak Hollow and Hwy. 87, La Vernia, mostly black with tan on legs, white on chest. Reward for safe return, call 210-296-1183.

VideoFound small, white, friendly dog with yellow collar in La Vernia. 210-557-0518
Found: Light brown large male puppy, 6-8 months old, very lovable and sweet, no collar, near F.M. 537 and 427 off Hwy. 181. Call 830-393-9999 or 419-250-9099.
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Warning: While most advertisers are reputable, some are not. Unfortunately the Wilson County News cannot guarantee the products or services of those who buy advertising space in our pages. We urge our readers to use great care, and when in doubt, contact the San Antonio Better Business Bureau, 210-828-9441, BEFORE spending money. If you feel you have been the victim of fraud, contact the Consumer Protection Office of the Attorney General in Austin, 512-463-2070.
Class A or Class B CDL driver for concrete batch plant in Wilson County. Employee must possess a valid and current Class A or Class B CDL. Employee will be required to pass a drug test and background check as terms of employment. Operations will usually begin at 7 a.m., but may start as early as 3 a.m. Overtime may be required. Company provides paid time off, medical insurance benefits, and paid holidays. Contact Nicolas in Mesquite Concrete, Inc. at 210-551-6655. 
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South Texas Living


Help with Medicare decisions




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Jim Miller
March 26, 2014 | 3,293 views | Post a comment

Dear Savvy Senior,

Where can I get help with my Medicare decisions? I’m approaching 65, and could use some help sorting through the different Medicare plan options that are available to me.

Almost Eligible

Dear Almost,

The options and choices available to Medicare beneficiaries today can be overwhelming. In addition to original Medicare (Part A and B) that has been around for 49 years, you also have the option of enrolling in a Part D prescription drug plan, and a supplemental (Medigap) policy -- both of which are sold by private insurance companies. Or, a Medicare Advantage plan which covers health care, prescription drugs and extra services all in one. These plans, which are also sold by private insurers, are generally available through HMOs and PPOs.

To help you figure out the Medicare plans for you, there are a variety of services and tools available today depending on how much help you need. Here are several to get you started.

Free Resources

A good starting point to get familiar with Medicare is the “Medicare & You” 2014 handbook that overviews the program and your options. You can read it online at medicare.gov/pubs/pdf/10050.pdf, or you should receive a free copy in the mail one month before your 65th birthday.

The Medicare website also offers a free “Plan Finder” tool at medicare.gov/find-a-plan that can help you find and compare health plans, supplemental policies and prescription drug plans in your area. Or, if you don’t have Internet access, or don’t feel confident in working through the information on your own, you can also call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 and a customer service representative will do the work for you over the phone.

Other free resources that can help include planprescriber.com or ehealthmedicare.com, two websites developed by eHealth Insurance that will compare Part D, Advantage and supplemental plans in your area and connect you to a licensed insurance agent.

In addition, the Medicare Rights Center (medicarerights.org) staffs a hotline at 1-800-333-4114 to help answer your Medicare questions.

And your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) provides free Medicare counseling in person or over the phone. To find a local SHIP counselor see shiptalk.org, or call the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116.

And, for tips on choosing a top Medicare Advantage plan, see the HealthMetrix Research Cost Share Report at medicarenewswatch.com. This resource lists the best Advantage plans by area based on your health status.

Fee-Based Services

If the free services don’t cut the mustard and you need some additional help in making your Medicare decisions, there are a handful of fee-based companies that are very helpful.

One of the best is Allsup Inc. (ama.allsup.com, 1-866-521-7655) which offers a Medicare Advisor service that takes your personal information online or over the phone, such as the prescription drugs you take and the doctors you use, and provides you customized advice on the best Medicare plans that match your needs and budget. They’ll even help you enroll in the plan(s) you select. Fees for their services range between $200 and $495 depending on how much help you need.

Another option is Healthcare Navigation (healthcarenavigation.com, 877-811-8211), which charges $750 for a 90-minute comprehensive Medicare consultation.

Commission-Based

Another way to get help with your Medicare enrollment is to consult an independent insurance agent. Agents typically get paid a commission to sell you a policy, although they offer plans from a number of providers.

The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America have a directory on their website (see independentagent.com/contactus) that lets you search for agents in your area. But keep in mind that agents typically specialize in the Medicare plans they represent, rather than all the plans in your market.

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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