There is often confusion about Medicare, all of its parts and products. That is why, as I receive the information, I am going to try to pass it along. Hopefully you get a better understanding of what each part of Medicare covers, how it’s paid for and when it’s time to sign up. I will begin with Medigap Policies.
Medigap policies are health insurance policies that are sold by private insurance companies which help pay your share (co-payments or deductibles) of the cost of services offered by Medicare Parts A and B (hospital and medical coverage). Some policies also cover certain costs not covered by the Original Medicare plan; however Medigap policies generally do not cover prescription drugs. A Medigap policy can be very cost effective for individuals with high health care costs.
Medicap plans only work with Original Medicare and must be clearly identified as “Medicare Supplemental Insurance.” It is important to note that Medicare Advantage (Health) Plans are NOT Medigap policies.
There are 10 standardized types of Medigap policies, called “Plans A through N.” Each plan (A,C,F, etc.) has a different set of benefits. Numerous insurance companies sell Medigap policies. Each company decides which of the standardized policies it will sell and the price for each one. “Standardized plans” means a level “C” plan, for example, covers exactly the same benefits no matter which company sells it. The only difference between the same plan purchased from different companies is the monthly premium charged for it. In other words, you don’t get more by paying more for the same plan with a different company.
You have a six-month Medigap Open Enrollment period which starts the first month you’re 65 and enrolled in Part B. This period gives you a guaranteed right to buy a policy regardless of your health status. Once this period starts, it can’t be delayed or replaced. After this enrollment period, your option to buy a Medigap policy may be limited and it may cost more.
When purchasing a Medigap policy, a premium is paid to the insurance company. As long as the Medigap premium is paid, any policy bought after 1990 is automatically renewed each year. The Medicare Part B premium ($99.90 for 2012) is still deducted from one’s Social Security check when a beneficiary has a Medigap policy.
Individuals needing assistance or having questions about Medicare may contact a MMAP counselor for assistance. In Schoolcraft the two gals that have extensive training are Jeani Dalgord (341-1863) and June Ann Smith (341-1312).
Have you ever heard of the Superior Alliance for Independent Living, which is better known as “SAIL” located in Marquette? They serve the population of individuals with disabilities across the Upper Peninsula. Their services include: education, transportation, social security, employment, nursing facility transition, housing, recreation and assistive technology.
They have devices to help with low vision, hearing loss, communication disorders, memory, cooking, activities of dialing living, education, software programs, mobility issues, etc. Many of the devices are simple, inexpensive and easy to use but can make a huge impact on an individual’s level of independence and increase their quality of life.
They do not buy or sell any of the products, but are simply an educational resource to allow people to see what is out there and have an opportunity to try it out. They have offered to come to the Center to give a presentation on a variety of devices, free of charge. It gives you a chance to see what “new” is out there. We all know how fast things are changing, so this could be very interesting.
If you think this is of interest, give the Center a call at 341-5923. We certainly can invite them. You can also contact them by phone at (906) 228-5744 or by computer at www.upsail.com.
Bev Willour, who recently retired from the local Paper Mill, has dropped by the Center asking for a little help. She is looking for odd jobs, such as spring cleaning. Bev seems to think she will go start raving nuts being retired and is looking to fill in her void of no longer working. If you are interested, give her a call at 341-6712.
Are you looking for a lift chair? The Center has one in their loan closet that you might want to check out. Give us a call at 341-5923.
Can you guess which of the following are true and which are false?
• Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.
• Alfred Hitchcock didn’t have a belly button.
• People do not get sick from cold weather; it’s from being indoors a lot more.
• When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop even your heart!
• Forty people are sent to the hospital for dog bits every minute.
• The average person over 50 will have spent five years waiting in lines.
• The toothbrush was invented in 1498.
• Most of us have eaten a spider in our sleep.
They are all true….now think about the last one!
Miscellaneous donations were donated by Polly Merrell, Diane LaLonde, Edith Greene and Sharon Fish.
A monetary donation was received in memory of Ken Wise from Dick and Alice Lewis.
Maintenance and Support donations were received from George Bosanic and Norma Johnson.
BRIDGE April 23: 1st-George Lowman, 2nd-Julie Hoholik, 3rd- Helen Barton, 4th-Ann Willcock, 5th-Larry Savoie, CFC-Joyce Lesica. Hostess Doris Demars served banana split desert, crackers with spread and cheetos.
BRIDGE April 27: 1st-Janice Redeker, 2nd-Ann Willcock, 3rd- Hanna Mammen, 4th-Doris Demars, 5th-Audrey Savoie, CFCBibi Duquette. Hostess Mary Ann Thorell served cupcakes, ice cream, crackers and cheese.
PINOCHLE April 25: 1st-Peg Beckman, 2nd-Bill Keener, 3rd- Chris Keener. Should’a Stayed Home-Carol Shampine.
500 April 27: 1st-Peggy Beckman, 2nd-Audrey Newborn, 3rd- Nancy Casey, 4th-Pat Clark.
Birthdays this week: May 4-Dick Lewis, May 5-Ruth Roemer, May 6-Lorna Bowers and Joel Kruse, May 7-Donna Popour and Barb Hinkson, May 8-Bruce Rossier and Teresa Neville. Happy birthday wishes to all!