Easter Facts by Tom Dowell

Easter Facts 
by Tom Dowell
  • Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Christian religion.
  • Eggs have been seen as ancient symbol of fertility, while springtime is considered to bring new life and rebirth. Read more…


St. Patrick’s Day by Tom Dowell

St. Patrick’s Day has been observed as a religious festival in Ireland for over a thousand years, this it was only recognized as a celebration of Irish culture and heritage in the 1970’s.  The day is name in honor of St. Patrick the patron saint of Ireland, who has been credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. There are multiple origin stories for St. Patrick, but: Read more…


Love by Tom Dowell

John 13:34-35 (NIV) New International Version
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another, As I have loved  you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Love is an indefinite thing to most of us; we don’t know what we mean when we talk about love. Love is the loftiest preference of one person for another, and spiritually Jesus demands that this sovereign preference be for Himself (see Luke 14:26). Initially, when “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5), it is easy to put Jesus first. But then we must practice the tinkgs mentioned in 2 Peter 1 to see them worked out in our lives.
The first thing God does is forcibly remove any insincerity, pride, and vanity form my life. And the Holy Spirit reveals to me that God loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to do so. Now He commands me to show the same love to others by saying, “…. love one another as I have loved you.: (John 15:12)
Neither natural love nor God’s divine love will remain and grow in me unless it is nurtured. Love is spontaneous, but it has to be maintained through discipline.
May we find a deeper way to love one another.


Prayer for New Year 2017

Prayer for the New Year
What shall I ask for the coming year
What shall my watchword be
What should thou do for me, dear Lord
What can I do for thee?
Lord, I would ask for a holy year
Spent in thy perfect will
Help me to walk in thy very steps
Help me to please thee still.
Lord, I would ask for a trustful year
Give me thy faith divine
Taking my full inheritance
Making thy fullness mine!
Lord, I would ask for a year of love
O let me love thee best
Give me the love that faileth not
Beneath the hardest test.
Lord, I would ask for a year of prayer
Teach me to walk with thee
Breathe in my heart the Spirit’s prayer
Pray thou thy prayer in me!
Lord, I would ask for the dying world
Stretch forth thy mighty hand
Thy truth proclaim, thy power display
This year in every land.
Lord, I would ask for a year of joy
Thy peace, thy joy divine
Springing undimmed through all the days
Be thy days of shade or shine.
Lord, I ask for a year of hope Looking for thee to come
And hastened on that year of years
That brings us home to you.


The Medicare Donut Hole Explained

By: Tom Dowell

In simple terms, the Part D Coverage Gap, also known as the Medicare donut hole, is a temporary ceiling on drug coverage benefits where the beneficiary is responsible for his or her prescription costs until reaching a certain out-of-pocket threshold. At this point, insurance coverage will kick back in to cover drug costs.

Medicare insurance coverage for prescriptions is offered through private health insurance companies. You can enroll in a Part D plan if you have Original Medicare, by selecting a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage (also called a Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plan), or by enrolling in a drug plan if your Medicare Advantage plan does not include drug coverage. Regardless of how you obtain your Part D coverage, you will likely pay a monthly premium for your insurance plan.
Each Part D plan comes with an annual deductible (which Medicare sets a maximum cost for each year), and insurance providers will not cover the cost of your medications until you pay this deductible amount out of pocket. Once you have paid 100% of your deductible, prescription insurance kicks in to defer some of the cost. From that point forward, you will pay a portion of your prescription costs (often up to 25%) while the insurance provider handles the remainder.

Many people simply never face the Medicare donut hole because their medication needs are limited or their prescription drug costs are low. After paying a monthly premium and annual deductible, most people will pay small out-of-pocket costs to receive the medications they need. However, individuals who require numerous or costly prescriptions, especially for debilitating or chronic illnesses, they may quickly reach a temporary cap on the amount of money their insurance plan is willing to pay for their medications. This is the donut hole, or coverage gap. In 2016, the amount you and your insurance provider will pay, combined, before you enter the coverage gap is $3,310 (note that this amount can change every year).

If you and your insurance plan have chipped in a total of $3,310 for your prescription medication costs and you still have months in the year to go, you have entered the donut hole. Unfortunately, people in this gap are responsible for the full costs of prescription drugs until reaching their yearly out-of-pocket spending limit. In 2016, that cap was $4,850, meaning that until you have spent this amount out-of-pocket on medications, you are responsible for their cost. After reaching this point, you are out of the donut hole and will receive some coverage once again from your insurance provider.

Fortunately, there are ways to help you get through the gap faster. Even if you are left to cover the entire cost of your medications, you will only pay 45% (in 2016) of your insurance plan’s cost for any brand name prescriptions. This discount is automatically applied when you purchase

prescription drugs through a brick-and-mortar or mail-order pharmacy. Despite paying less than half the cost, you’ll get credit for 95% of the drug’s cost, which will help you move through the gap faster and keep costs somewhat limited. Dispensing fees and your insurance provider’s contribution to that refill do not count towards your out-of-pocket spending. The process is similar for generic medications, though you’ll pay 58% of the medication cost and Medicare will pay the remaining 42%. Unfortunately, you can only count the actual amount you paid towards your out-of-pocket cost.

After you’ve made it through the Part D donut hole, your insurance plan will once again begin paying some or most of the cost of your medications. Unfortunately, you likely will still be responsible for a small portion of your medication despite reaching your yearly spending limit. In some cases, it’s as small as 5% of your prescription cost. Medicare calls this “catastrophic coverage.” (PolicyZip 2016)