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The Aztec Local News
• October 15-31, 2014 •


AZTEC TOP TEN SAFEST NM CITY
By Movado Real Estate Blog


New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment—and for good reason. It’s one of the most culturally unique and naturally beautiful states in our country, which may seem like reason enough to move there. Before you start packing your bags, you’ll probably want to know just which places in this enchanting land will be best for you and your family. There’s cost to consider, school districts, and, most importantly, safety. We’re going to help you narrow down your choices a bit, particularly in terms of this latter (and many would say most important) factor.
Here are the 10 safest places in New Mexico:
1. Village of Corrales
2. CDP of Los Alamos
3. City of Alamogordo
4. City of Lovington
5. City of Raton
6. City of Aztec
7. City of Sunland Park
8. City of Rio Rancho
9. City of Las Vegas
10. City of Deming

Keep reading to find out how we came up with this order and just what makes these 10 places safer than the rest.
How We Created This Ranking
First, we created a list of all of the largest places in New Mexico, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Then we used the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report to collect crime data on each place for the following criteria:
Murder
Rape
Robbery
Assault
Burglary
Theft
Vehicle theft
We divided these crimes into four categories:
Murders
Violent crimes
Property crimes
Total crimes
Once we eliminated all the places that didn’t report crime data that year, we had a total of 25 to look at.
We calculated the crime rates for each place per 100,000 people in order to fairly compare places with varying population sizes. Then, we ranked each place in each category from one to 25, with the lower the score, the safer the place. We weighted each category so that murders, violent crimes, and property crimes each accounted for 30 percent of the overall score, while total crimes made up 10 percent. Finally, we averaged these adjusted rankings into one overall Big Deal Score, where the lowest score was our safest place. To see a complete list of how each place ranked, you can head to www.movoto.com/. MV

 


Time again to check your Medicare
health and drug plans



By Bob Moos/Southwest public affairs officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Now’s the time for New Mexico residents with Medicare to check their health and drug coverage for 2015.
Medicare’s open enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 until Dec. 7.
Open enrollment is the best time to make sure your health and drug plans still meet your individual needs, especially if you’ve had any changes in your health.
By now insurers should have notified you of any adjustments in your health or drug coverage or any changes in your out-of-pocket costs for next year.
The average monthly premiums for Medicare Advantage plans will increase by only $1.29 to $32.25, while the average monthly premiums for basic drug plans will inch up $1.32 to $32.
Medicare Advantage remains a strong alternative for people who prefer to receive care through a private insurer rather than through Medicare’s original fee-for-service program.
Enrollment in the private Medicare Advantage plans is expected to grow by about a half-million to 16.1 million people in 2015 – about 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries.
Even if you’ve been satisfied with your health and drug coverage, you may benefit from reviewing all your options. Shopping around may save you money or improve your coverage.
New Mexico residents in Medicare’s original fee-for-service program can choose from 31 drug plans with monthly premiums ranging from $12.60 to $127.10 – about the same number of plans and premium range as last year.
Look beyond premiums, though. The only way to determine the true cost of your drug coverage is to consider other factors like deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance.
Medicare’s website – www.medicare.gov – has the best tool for helping you narrow your search for a new health or drug plan. Just click on “Find Health and Drug Plans.”
After entering your ZIP code and the list of your prescriptions, you can use the “Medicare Plan Finder” tool to compare your coverage and out-of-pocket costs under different plans.
The quality of a health or drug plan’s customer service should be considered, too. To help you identify the best and worst, the Plan Finder provides star ratings for each plan.
A gold star will show plans with the highest, five-star rating, while a warning icon will alert you to plans that have performed poorly for at least the past three years.
Besides using Medicare.gov, you can call Medicare’s toll-free help line at 1-800-633-4227 or consult your “Medicare & You 2015 Handbook,” which you have just received in the mail.
One-on-one benefits counseling is also available through your State Health Insurance Assistance Program. In New Mexico, you should call 1-800-432-2080.
Thanks to the health care law, you’ll enjoy more savings on your prescriptions in 2015 once you land in the coverage gap, known as the “doughnut hole.”
You’ll receive a 55 percent discount on your brand-name drugs and a 35 percent discount on your generic drugs while in the gap.
The doughnut hole begins once you and your drug plan have spent $2,960 for your drugs.
If you’re having difficulty affording your medications, you may qualify for extra help with your drug coverage premiums, deductibles and co-payments.
The amount of help depends on your income and resources. But, generally, you’ll pay no more than $2.65 for generic drugs and $6.60 for brand-name drugs.
Thirty-five percent of New Mexico residents with Medicare’s drug coverage now get such a break.
To learn more about whether you qualify for extra help, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.
Again this fall and winter, many Americans younger than 65 will shop for health care policies for themselves and their families on the recently launched Health Insurance Marketplace. But the marketplace doesn’t affect you, since you have your health insurance through Medicare.
Just as you’ve always done each fall, your attention should be focused on whether you’d like to make any changes in your Medicare health and drug plans.
There’s no better time to check that coverage. Any changes you make will take effect on Jan. 1.


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Marcin Jakubowski:
Open-Sourced Blueprints
For Civilization


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334-7646
Aztec Visitor Center
334-9551
110 N. Ash • Aztec, NM 87410




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Red Apple Transit Dispatch 325-3409


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© Copyright 1993-2014 by The Aztec Local News. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the editor.
Printed by The Gallup Independent.

The Aztec Local News (TALON) is published semimonthly, on the 1st and middle of each month. As a community-input newspaper, serving the Aztec, Bloomfield, Cedar Hill, Center Point, Flora Vista, Navajo Dam, and Blanco areas, we welcome stories, news, events, poetry, photos, etc. from area residents. Please call 334-1039, fax 334-1551, or e-mail us at: aztecnews@sisna.com, to give us your input.

6200+ copies of The Aztec Local News are delivered to over 150 locations in the area for free pickup and mailed to those who prefer the convenience of a subscription.

      Editor & Publisher: J.R. Sykes, 505-334-1039
      Journalist:
      Katee McClure, 330-4616
      Reporter: Debra Mayeux
      Photographer: Katee McClure
      Proofreaders: Linda Lawson, Debbie Israel, Annette Abend
      Subscriptions: Debbie Israel
      Delivery: Stephanie and Nick, 516-8124


      PO Box 275 • Aztec, NM 87410
      505-334-1039
      e-mail: aztecnews@sisna.com


© Copyright 1993-2014 by The Aztec Local News. All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the editor.
The Aztec Local News is a compilation of articles, poems, stories, etc. written by area residents.
The opinions expressed in these articles are those of the individual authors, and do not
necessarily reflect those of The Aztec Local News.
If information is presented as fact and it is relevant to you, verify it.
Although we strive for correctness and honesty, this community paper
does not have the resources to check all incoming info.


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