Good Day Alabama: Oct. 13, 2015

Good Day Alabama: Oct. 13, 2015

JEH JEH LIVE - Atrox Factory opens its doors this weekend! Atrox is open every Wednesday through Sunday between now and October 31st. It is open from 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 6:30 p.m.-midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. on Sundays. There is a $5 per person charge at the gate during celebrity appearances. The entry fee is $20. Atrox accepts cash only - no credit cards or checks. There is an ATM available inside. And you can purchase your tickets online. Atrox does not charge for parking. Lines are long on the weekends so arrive early. The entrance gate closes once the lines reach capacity. Atrox Factory is located at 8484 Parkway Drive in Leeds. For more information, visit atroxfactory.com.

AUTISM CONFERENCE - The Autism Society of Alabama and Birmingham City Schools will be hosting the 3rd Annual Autism: Unlocking the Mystery. This conference is open to parents, educators and all others. The goal of this event is to provide up to date information about autism as well as offer suggestions that can be implemented at home and school.  This year's conference will feature presentations from teachers, researchers, first responders, psychologists, advocates, attorneys and musicians. The organizers hope to assist attendees with creating and/or adding to their Alabama Resource Catalog. The state of Alabama has a lot of resources available of which many individuals are not aware. The event will be held Friday, October 16, 2015 at The Worship Center Christian Church located at 100 Derby Parkway, Birmingham, Al. 35210. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m., the conference begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 3:15 p.m. Certificates of attendance will be awarded to those in attendance. Lunch is included with the cost of registration. There will be exhibitors available for attendees to explore as well as gain additional knowledge for potential resources. To register, visit autism-alabama.org/ or specialconferences.com/.

ABIGAIL BRESLIN - Award winning actress Abigail Breslin, best known to millions for her Academy Award-nominated breakthrough role in "Little Miss Sunshine," has solidified herself over the years as one of the rising stars of young Hollywood. Now, with her debut role on television in FOX's "Scream Queens," multiple films on the horizon, and solo album titled "The World Now," Abigail adds author to her already impressive resume with her publishing debut, "THIS MAY SOUND CRAZY." Growing up in film and the online era, Abigail knows better than anyone—it's rough out there in love-land. And this generation is ill-prepared to handle it gracefully. Let's be honest: if Cinderella had been on Twitter, she'd have ended up a crazy old cat lady like the rest of us. #realtalk Written with Abigail's wit and honesty, her new book is full of cautionary tales and clever advice ranging from why you should stop stalking your ex to how to survive your very own Halloween horror story.

MONEY TUESDAY -Kimberly Reynolds with the Welch Group joined us to explain what you must do right now with Medicare! Medicare open enrollment begins on October 15th and ends on December 7th.  Medicare beneficiaries should take the time to do a thorough review of all plans available in 2016.  Many plans have large premium increases for 2016 and some as much as 8%!  If you do nothing then you could easily be paying more than you should.  Below are some points you should consider when deciding which plan is best for you in 2016. For your Medicare coverage, you have two main choices:

  1. Original Medicare.   With Original Medicare you will want to add a Medicare Supplemental -Medigap- plan and a Part D Prescription Drug Plan.  This option is best if you want to pay a set monthly premium and have little or no out-of-pocket cost throughout the year for medical. You will have copays/deductibles with all Part D prescription plans.  It is advantageous for people to choose this type of coverage when they travel outside of Alabama and for people who want to choose their doctors without needing referrals or being restricted to doctors within a plan network.
  2. Medicare Advantage Plan.  With Medicare Advantage Plans, you combine Part A, Part B and usually Part D coverage and these plans act as an HMO or PPO. Depending on what plans are offered in your area you can have the choice of a plan with no or very low premiums. With Medicare Advantage plans, you share the costs of your medical and prescription care. For example, you will have doctor copays and deductibles each time you see your physician or go to the hospital. Each plan has a different maximum out-of-pocket cost so you should carefully compare the Advantage Plans available in your area for the amount you would pay for copays, deductibles and annual maximums.  You also need to check with your physician to ensure he/she accepts your plan. These plans are best if you are healthy and rarely visit the doctor and you are comfortable knowing you'll share the costs of all doctor and hospital visits.

Prescription Drug Part D Planning:
If you are choosing a stand-alone drug plan with original Medicare then be sure to carefully review your prescriptions and choose the best plan that matches your needs.  Be aware of each plan's preferred pharmacies where drug pricing can be much lower than non-preferred pharmacy pricing. The most expensive plan does not mean it will be the best plan for you.  Be careful when identifying whether you take the brand or generic prescription drug because this can make a significant difference in your drug costs. You can ask your pharmacist or physician for this information.  Some individuals have saved $25 to $50 per month just on their Part D premium by switching to a plan that best fits their needs. But that's only part of the story. Having the wrong plan could cost you thousands in out of pocket drug costs.
If you are unsatisfied with the plan you choose for 2016, Medicare has one option to switch plans outside of the open enrollment period, limited to one change per year.  It is called the 5-Star Special Enrollment Period. Medicare uses information from member satisfaction surveys, plans and healthcare providers to give overall performance star ratings to plans. Plans are rated from 1 star to 5 stars. A 5-star rating is considered excellent. The 5-Star Special Enrollment Period allows you to change to a 5-star plan from December 8th of the current year to November 30th of the next year.  You must have a 5-star plan available in your area to be eligible for a change during the 5-Star Special Enrollment Period. You can see the plans and ratings at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan
You can save thousands of dollars per year in some cases by carefully choosing plans based on your specific health and financial situation. Your best research tool is Medicare's website www.medicare.gov where you can input your personal data and they'll help analyze which plan is best for you.

Tomorrow on Good Day Alabama, we wrap up the Democratic Debate with our political analysts. We also talk football - from some upsets last weekend to some big games this coming weekend and a few shake-ups with coaches during the week, we tackle it all with Lars Anderson! Mickey takes us to the Birmingham Zoo to visit his friends. Plus we check in with the doctor and get advice for your garden! Join us for all of this and more tomorrow on Good Day Alabama!

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