The Town Talk from Alexandria, Louisiana on June 5, 1995 · Page 29
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The Town Talk from Alexandria, Louisiana · Page 29

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Alexandria, Louisiana
Issue Date:
Monday, June 5, 1995
Page:
Page 29
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RAPIDES 0 Vol.10, No. 5 June, iyyt) Not all qeneric brands are equal By Bettye DeKeyzer Some generic brands are less effective than the brand names they compete against. If in doubt, consumers should ask the druggist to show them the Food and Drug Administration's Orange Book that rates all generic drugs. Those that are equivalent to brand names are graded A and all others get a B. Consumers should buy only the drugs rated A. Experts advise consumers should never buy any drug that is not listed in the book. Medicare beneficiaries need to read policies If you are a Medicare beneficiary stay alert. Last October, Congress passed legislation allowing insurers to sell policies that duplicate coverage Tumibueu through Medicare. All the insurance companies are required to do is tack on a written disclosure of the overlap. The ban on the sale of overlapping policies still applies to Medicare supplemental insurance. Previously, selling duplicate coverage has been banned under the same legislation that established 10 standard medigap policies. The provisions was designed to foil unscrupulous agents who had been selling insurance for expenses already covered under Medicare. "If you are on Medicare parts A ' and B, buy one good medigap insurance policy and avoid dread disease and hospital indemnity insurance," says Jim Firmin, president of the National Council On Aging in Washington, D. C. La. sick tax: Will your insurance pay it? rrsatfid with the sianature i Ru Rettvp DeKevzer On every hospital bill since July, 1991, the words "Louisiana Mandate Tax" have appeared with a $2 per day charge to the patient for in-patient charges and $1 for out-patient surgical procedures. Hospital billing clerks refer to the tax as a "sick tax" or a charge to Louisiana residents for being sick and in the hospital. The tax was passed by the Louisiana legislature as House Bills 1309, 1314 and 1315, and made effective when signed by the governor. The stroke of the pen also created the Louisiana Health Incnranr.e Association (LHIA). The High Risk Health Insurance Plan was created with the signature of the acting commissioner ui uimji-ance. The LHIA was created to issue health insurance policies through the High Risk Health Insurance Pool to persons who are unin- Please see TAX, Page 6 Rnii lEiJ I Rapides Senior News, Dowdy receive awards Verdis Dowdy, award-winning columnist, and Editor Bettye DeKeyzer display Second Place certificates awarded by the Louisiana Press Women organization to the Rapides Senior News. The Rapides Senior News finished second in the recent state-wide contest. By Bettye DeKeyzer The highest tribute that can be paid to a journalist is one given by one's peers. Writers are notoriously critical and demanding of their fellow writers. An award from the Louisiana Press Women's Association is especially prestigious because entries are subjected to rigorous and analytical judging by professional writers and editors across the nation. "We nlace the entries with out-of-state judges who are qualified to be critics," said Tommy Simmons, state president of the Louisiana Press Women association. "The contest is open to radio, television, magazines and public relations publications. In fact, the contest is open to all phases of communication, but newspaper entries comprise about 70 Please see AWARD, Page 7 Retirement at 65 not for everyone By Bettye DeKeyzer Are you in your 50s and planning to retire with full Social Security benefits the minute you reach age 65? You are in for a surprise! Starting in the year 2000 the full benefit age will begin to get higher. Here's the schedule: if you were born in 1937 or earlier you can still retire at 65 jf y0U were born in 1938 you have to work past your 65th birthday for two months. Each year another 2 months is required until the 1942 birthdays. Those retirees will have to work 10 months past 65. For those born in 1943 to 1954 retirement age is 66. - A 1.1 I I7J If -v " -" - - Tudees visited Rapides Parish Council on Aging for JUageit visncu iwF js i a ctatA awards Dro- YliS from the 10 final-Ss Pktured are (from left) Lottie Green judge; Mary Tonore, GOEA; Vera Franks, Taxi Coupon Sam participant; Dr. Margaret Campbell, judge; Bettye DeKeyzer, COA director; and Joe Howell, judge.

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