Jorgensen Law - December 2019

Informer

DECEMBER 2019 888-855-2948

San Diego’s largest and most successful Social Security Disability & Personal Injury Law firm

2020 MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT

Know Your Options and Get Signed Up

Medicare Help USA | 855-872-4550 T he end of another year is rapidly approaching, so that means it’s time to start planning for the new open enrollment period for Medicare. Open enrollment begins Jan. 1, 2020, and remains open until March 31, 2020 . It’s important to make sure you know how to enroll, or re- enroll, and that you understand the plans that are offered. Here at Medicare Help USA, we’ve helped hundreds of people find coverage that fits their exact needs by breaking down Medicare into understandable bite-size pieces. Our goal is to help more people get the care they need without the frustration that usually accompanies the process. Those who are eligible for Medicare, meaning anyone over the age of 65 or selected people under 65 who have a long-term disability, have their choice between two types of plans. Here’s a basic look at what each of them are and what they consist of. ORIGINAL MEDICARE This plan offers a Part A or Part B. You can choose to sign up for one or the other and add supplemental insurance as needed. Part A helps pay for hospital stays and inpatient care. Part B helps pay for doctor visits and outpatient care. With either plan, you can supplement coverage by way of either Medicare supplement insurance plans offered by private companies, which help pay some out-of-pocket costs, or the Medicare Part D plan, also offered by private companies to help pay for prescriptions. Under any original Medicare plan, you’ll receive a specifically colored card to show your provider when you seek care, and most doctors in the country will take your insurance. MEDICARE ADVANTAGE Also known as Medicare Private Health, or Part C and Part D, Advantage has a wider range of plan options, including HMOs, PPOs, and PFFS plans. This plan combines all the benefits of both Part A and Part B of original Medicare, plus additional benefits. For example, your plan will also help pay

for prescriptions, cover routine vision and hearing exams, and limit your annual out-of-pocket costs. Instead of receiving a specifically colored card, you’ll use a membership card based on the exact plan you choose, which you’ll then present when you receive coverage.

It’s easy to see the additional benefits of enrolling in Medicare Advantage. Its wider range of services has consistently provided higher member satisfaction: 90% of seniors say they’re satisfied with their Medicare Advantage plan, and 87% say they’re satisfied specifically with the preventive care they’ve received through the plan. When compared to original Medicare users, Medicare Advantage users had 31% fewer hospitalizations, 19% shorter length of hospital stays, and 25% less money spent on health care overall. But regardless of reviews and statistics, you should always choose the plan that makes the most sense for the type of care you need and for the circumstances of your finances. You can reach out to us at Medicare Help USA not only to see which types you’re eligible for but also to get our expert opinion on which plan best fits your unique needs. We’ll even walk you through the application process! Take advantage of open enrollment starting Jan. 1, 2020, by visiting MedicareHelpUSA.com or calling us at 1-855- 872-4550 . Mark your calendar today so you don’t miss this important enrollment window!

–Robert Merrigan

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The Joy of a Gingerbread House EVERYTHING YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THIS HOLIDAY TRADITION

Of the many seasonal traditions that sweep

that “Hansel and Gretel,” the popular fairy tale recorded by the Brothers Grimm, was published. THE LARGEST GINGERBREAD HOUSE In 2013, the world record for the largest gingerbread house in the world was broken. The house, topping out at 21 feet and covering 2,520 square feet, was built by Traditions Golf Club in Bryan, Texas, to raise money for a local Level II trauma center. To construct the house, builders created a recipe that required 1,800 pounds of butter, 2,925 pounds of brown sugar, 7,200 eggs, 7,200 pounds of flour, 1,080 ounces of ground ginger, and a few additional ingredients. BUILD YOUR OWN! While you don’t have to challenge yourself to beat the Guinness World Record, you can still have fun creating your very own gingerbread village. Starting your gingerbread house from scratch can be a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy. Give the kids a chance to mix the ingredients, roll out the dough, and set out plenty of candies and frostings to use, and remember to have fun! If you’re looking for unique gingerbread house ideas, take a look at 20 gingerbread house ideas at TasteofHome.com/ collection/gingerbread-houses.

our nation, few are as creative, delicious, and satisfying as

building your very own gingerbread

house. Whether you’re looking to create a simple table decoration or bake a tasty treat to nibble on, everyone

can enjoy this holiday activity!

THE ORIGINS OF GINGERBREAD Ginger was first cultivated in ancient China, then traded into medieval Europe. There, Europeans incorporated it into culinary traditions and used it to bake cookies into elaborate shapes and works of art, including figures of animals and people. The gingerbread house first appeared in the early 19th century in Germany. Although historians don’t know an exact date, it’s speculated that it gained popularity around the same time Get in the Spirit of Giving

WITH THESE INEXPENSIVE SEMI-HANDMADE GIFTS

COOKING UTENSIL AND PERSONAL RECIPE CARDS

You might not have the means to buy expensive gifts this season, but buying cheap doesn’t mean you can’t also be thoughtful. Here are some great ideas for inexpensive store-bought gifts you can pair with handmade items for a more meaningful touch. BOOK AND HOMEMADE BOOKMARK For the avid readers on your list, get them that novel they’re excited to read, and then craft a bookmark they’ll use for many reads to come. Long and rectangular is ideal, so try for something like an old photo-booth photo strip or a postcard from a trip together. Or head to your local hardware store and pick up a free paper paint strip sample featuring their favorite color. Punch a hole in the bookmark and tie on some colorful string that dangles from the top of the book so they never lose their place.

For anyone who loves to cook, opening a kitchen utensil they can add to their collection is always fun, and it doesn’t have to be fancy. A sleek wooden stirring spoon or a fun pair of tongs can be useful and aesthetic. Make the tool truly meaningful by also gifting a stack of personalized recipe cards filled with your own concoctions. Handwrite some favorites you’ve made for them over the years, especially if it involves using the utensil you purchased. It really is the gift that keeps on giving. DVD AND HOMEMADE SNACKS This is for both the passionate movie fans and the cozy couch surfers on your list. Buy them a DVD of the newest blockbuster or keep an eye out for remastered releases of their old favorites. Pair it with a festive bag full of homemade goodies they can

snack on during movie night. Popcorn flavored with a blend of kitchen spices, homemade fudge to satisfy their sweet tooth, and strategically crafted trail mix consisting of all their favorite ingredients are sure to please. Meaningful and useful gifts don’t have to be expensive. It really is the thought that counts, so get thoughtful and creative with your gifts to make someone smile this season.

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WORD SEARCH

December Road Risks

AND HOW TO BEST PREPARE FOR THEM

Holidays Flurry Frozen

Penguin Wreath Snowflake Winter Sleigh Cookies Ornaments Reindeer Stockings

From 2012 to 2016, over 14,000 people lost their lives in traffic accidents during the month of December alone. Don’t become a statistic — practice safe driving however and whenever you can. If you haven’t driven in winter conditions recently, then make some time to practice. The best places to do so are in empty parking lots, free of cars or pedestrians. This is a great tactic for learning how to maneuver your car should you lose traction and slide, and it’s a great way to give your muscle reactions a refresher. The simplest rules to remember are to slow down, stop early, and drive defensively by keeping alert. average, over 300 people die each year from alcohol- related crashes during this short time frame. If you know you’ll be consuming alcohol while out, always plan ahead and appoint a designated driver. This way, you can still have fun and know you’ll make it home safely. If you’re the sober driver, be extra aware of other drivers on the road. Call in any reckless drivers who pose a threat to others and then keep your distance from them, even if it means delaying your arrival time. Amid the fun of the holidays, it’s easy to forget that your car is at risk even when you’re not in it. Car theft and burglaries also increase during this time of year as people leave gifts in their unattended cars whether they’re parked at a store or at home. So, always remember to lock your doors, be mindful when giving your keys to parking attendants or valets, hide anything of value in the trunk, and always park in busy areas, preferably near a security camera or in a well-lit area. Play it safe this holiday season so you don’t miss out on any time with your loved ones. We understand some accidents are unavoidable, so give us a call if you do end up in an accident and need someone to look at your case. During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, drunk driving across the country becomes more prevalent. On

POTATO LATKES

INGREDIENTS • 2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into quarters • 2 large eggs • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

• 2 tsp kosher salt • 1 tsp baking powder • 1/2 tsp black pepper • Safflower or vegetable oil, for frying

DIRECTIONS 1. Using either a food processor with a coarse grating disc or the coarse side of a box grater, grate potatoes and onion. (If using a food processor, halve or quarter potatoes.) Once grated, wrap in a clean dish towel or cheesecloth to wring out as much moisture as possible. 2. Transfer to a mixing bowl and mix in eggs, flour, salt, baking powder, and pepper. 3. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan containing 1/4-inch of oil over medium-high heat. Use a heaping tablespoon to drop batter into the hot pan, working in batches. Use a spatula or spoon to form them into discs. Fry about 5 minutes per side, until deeply browned. 4. Transfer to a paper towel-lined wire rack to drain, and serve alongside applesauce and sour cream.

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JORGENSEN LAW 1831 FOURTH AVE. SAN DIEGO, CA 92101 888-855-2948 MYSOCIALSECURITYATTORNEY.COM • Social Security Disability Benefits • Personal Injury Claims

INSIDE

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Prepare for Medicare Open Enrollment

Building Your Own Gingerbread House

Great Inexpensive Gift Ideas

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How to Be a Safe Driver in December

Potato Latkes

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The History Behind Christmas Lights

Why Do We Hang Christmas Lights? LIGHT UP THE NIGHT

T he first string of twinkling lights illuminating your neighbor’s house is always a telltale sign of the upcoming seasonal festivities. Christmas lights are a holiday staple, but have you ever wondered where this beloved tradition started? The tradition of hanging lights on the tree originally started with candles. Because this posed an immense fire hazard, Edward Hibberd Johnson, a close friend of Thomas Edison and vice president of the Edison Electric Light Company, vowed to find a better way to decorate Christmas trees with light. In December 1882, three years after Edison’s invention of

the lightbulb in November 1879, Johnson hand-wired 80 red, white, and blue lightbulbs together and wound them around a Christmas tree in his parlor window. A passing reporter saw the spectacle and declared in the Detroit Post and Tribune, “One can hardly imagine anything prettier.” Johnson continued this tradition, increasing the number of lights each year and eventually putting them up outside. But because electricity was still a new concept, many years passed before the fad took off for regular Americans. In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge began the tradition of lighting the National Christmas Tree, which spurred the idea of selling stringed lights commercially. By the 1930s, families everywhere were buying boxes of bulbs by the dozen. Today, an estimated 150 million Christmas lights are sold in America each year, decorating 80 million homes and consuming 6% of the nation’s electricity every December. Whether you’ll be putting up your own lights or appreciating the most impressive light displays in your neighborhood or town, let the glow fill you with joy this season. Just don’t leave them up until February!

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