heart attacks, currently pays a $34 copay in Tier
3. Next year, drugs in this tier will be charged at
50 percent of the cost, driving the out-of-pocket
expense up to $61.05. But under another Florida
plan, someone who is now paying a $25 copay
for Plavix in Tier 2 will instead pay much less—
$16.52—because this plan will charge 11 percent
of the cost in that tier next year.
4. Is it worth paying more for gap coverage?
Nationwide, 80 percent of stand-alone Part D
plans will offer no coverage in the “doughnut
hole” in 2010—when enrollees must pay 100 percent of their costs after they’ve used $2,830 worth
of drugs since the beginning of the year.
Of the remaining 20 percent, almost all will
cover only generic drugs in the doughnut hole,
; Brain Aerobics
Puzzles to sharpen your mind
usually for a higher premium. In Florida, premiums for the 10 plans offering at least some gap
coverage range from $47.50 to $100.40. But since
generics are inexpensive, it’s possible that using
them would prevent an enrollee from ever reaching the gap.
Also, some plans charge higher copays for generics in the gap than at the initial coverage level—
sometimes three times as much. These inflated
copays are often higher than the full price of the
When that happens, the plan must charge the
lower of the two amounts, which means you’re
still paying full price in the doughnut hole, even
though you’re forking over a higher premium for
gap coverage. ;
Your Health ;
How to compare plans properly
; Use Medicare’s online Drug Plan
Finder at www.medicare.gov—it
automatically does the math to find
your best deal, based on the specific
drugs you take. You can find a step-by-
step guide to navigating the Plan Finder
; Call the Medicare help line at 1-800-
633-4227 and ask for a similar search.
; Call your state health insurance
counseling program (SHIP). Get its
phone number online at www.shiptalk
.org or by calling the Eldercare Locator
Fill in the grid so
that the numbers
1 through 9 appear
only once in every
horizontal row, every
vertical column and
every 3x3 mini-box.
Only one solution is
FROM SUDOKU TO EXERCISE YOUR MIND B Y FRANK LONGO (AARP/S TERLING, 2006)
; Who Said What
Test your logical thinking and break this code, which is a quotation by a
famous American poet. Each letter of the alphabet has been replaced by
another letter. Hints: Check for these two common words, THAT and YOU.
Also, two letters after an apostrophe might be ’LL, ’VE or ’RE.
ZOLLFT PHT OQ CUTX KWD’RT ZTE QW
ZPXK BTWBFT EUPE TRTJK XTC BTJQWX KWD ZTTE
JTZOXLQ KWD WS QWZTWXT TFQT.
For a greater mental exercise and more puzzles, go to: games.aarp.org.
Play an interactive Sudoku at bulletin.aarp.org.
; Answers See page 42.