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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 8, 2005 / 6 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766

Deciphering the complexities of Medicare Part D

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: I caught part of your recent radio program with Medicare representatives about Medicare Part D. I found it to be most informative, but missed several of the important parts. Is there a way I can get a copy of the program, and can you summarize it?

A: Because we have received quite a few questions about Medicare Part D (which seems to be confusing a lot of folks), and because enrollment in the program begins Nov. 15, 2005, we moved your question to the top of the list.

Medicare Part D is a prescription drug benefit available to all 42 million Americans who receive Medicare Parts A and B. All Medicare Part D plans have been developed by private companies and submitted to Medicare for approval. Each state will have a number of official plans that should have the "Medicare Approved" seal on their materials. If the materials don't have this seal, don't buy it.

Instead, report to Medicare that people are trying to sell you a bogus plan. While Medicare personnel cannot sell or endorse any plan, they are available to answer questions (1-800-772-1213). You can also get information at local senior agencies in your area, but be forewarned that the burden is on you to review the plans and make the choices that best fit your needs.

For your protection, approved Medicare Part D drug plans are not allowed to be sold via telemarketing, i.e., the salespeople can't call you and enroll you over the phone. The only way you can enroll in an approved Medicare Part D drug plan by phone is by you placing the call to them. Of course, if you already have a Medicare Health Plan or Medicare Advantage Plan, you can add prescription drug coverage by telephone or over the Internet, where available. Do not, however, purchase a plan that asks you for payment over the telephone or the Internet because you will be dealing with a scam. When you enroll, the plan must bill you.

For those who have one of Medicare's approved drug discount cards, be aware that your card will be phased out by May 15, 2006, the date on which the first enrollment period for Medicare Part D ends. If you want an approved drug discount card in the interim, you must get it by Dec. 31, 2005.

The confusion with Medicare Part D appears to be centered around which plan to purchase; each plan in your state will have different prescription drug coverages, premiums and benefits. That is why it's important that you begin the selection process carefully and logically.

First, list all of the prescription medications you are taking and the cost of each prescription.

Second, obtain information on all plans available in your state, and make sure the prescriptions you take are covered.

Third, if you currently receive prescription drugs through the Veterans Administration, TriCare or an employee plan that is going to continue your coverage, make sure to compare the current cost of your medications per prescription against Part D since you may well be better off keeping your current coverage — again, assuming your current plan is going to continue your coverage.

The key dates are Nov. 15, 2005, when enrollment begins, and May 15, 2006, when the initial enrollment period ends. If you purchase a plan after May 15, 2006, you will pay a higher premium. As we understand it, once you enroll in an approved plan, you will not be able to change that plan until the next enrollment period in 2006, so try to choose the plan best for you.

If you have family income of less than $14,355 as an individual or $19,245 as a couple, assistance in paying premiums, co-insurance and deductibles is available to you.

If you or a loved one resides in a nursing facility, you will automatically be enrolled in a plan, but, unlike non-nursing home residents, you will be able to change your plan if there is another that better fits your needs. If you are in a nursing facility and are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, you will pay no premiums, deductibles, or co-insurance for your Part D coverage.

In the future: More about Part D. We thank Rhonda Medows, MD, FAAFP, the first chief medical officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Region IV Office in Atlanta; Denise Stanley, Pharm D, at the same office; and Alice Farmer, CMS health insurance specialist, for simplifying the process for us, and it is hoped, for you, too.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.

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