Aging Well in Maine

Monthly Archives: October 2018

Fall reminders

Hello from Holly…

Fall reminders

After the beautiful Maine summer we had it’s tough to think about winter; but with the chill of these fall mornings we know the weather can turn quicker than the color of the leaves! Here are a few reminders for your fall chores list:

Medicare Open Enrollment (age 65 and older) — It’s time for your annual Medicare Part D prescription drug policy check-up. Make a list of your current drugs, compare them to your insurance company’s list of accepted drugs. Do they still cover all your drugs? Perhaps there’s another insurance company that will cover more of them, or at a lower price. October 15–December 7 is the time you can change from one company to another. You can do this yourself at www.medicare.gov, or you can call SeniorsPlus at 1-800-427-1241; we’ll help you.

Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment, Nov. 1–Dec. 15 (shorter time period this year) — Those who are ages 18-64 can switch their insurance to a marketplace plan if they choose, or sign up for the first time. For assistance, go to www.Enroll207.org or call 1-855-806-7333 for an appointment with an Insurance Navigator.

Dispose of Your Old Medications — As you do your fall cleaning, don’t forget to clean out your old medications. Many towns have a special medication collection day. This is the safest disposal method. Do not flush them down the toilet. If you have to put them in the regular trash, take them out of their bottles and mix them with food waste – coffee grinds or kitty litter – to discourage theft and drug abuse.

Fuel Assistance and Weatherization — For those eligible, now is the time to apply for fuel assistance and weatherization. Call Community Concepts 1-800-866-5588 (Androscoggin and Oxford counties) or Western Maine Community Action 1-800-645-9636 (Franklin County).

I’d also like to tell you about a program we offer at SeniorsPlus called Money Minders. The program’s goal is to support independent living for individuals 60 and over who are at risk of losing their independence due to inability to manage their financial affairs. Through this program, SeniorsPlus will match a Volunteer Bill Payer with an older adult who needs some help keeping things in order. This volunteer will visit the client once or twice a month and will provide checkbook balancing and bill paying services. The client will retain control of her/his finances at all times. If you know someone who could benefit from this service, we currently have volunteers available in Lewiston, Bethel, Kingfield, Rangeley, and South Paris. Please call SeniorsPlus at 1-800-427-1241.

Announcement! — Our new Oxford County office is now open in Norway at 9 Marston Street. We are open limited hours initially, but you can always make an appointment by calling 1-800-427-1241.

Holly Zielinski is the Chief Operating Officer for SeniorsPlus.

October 15–December 7 is Medicare Open Enrollment Season

Hello from Holly…

October 15–December 7 is Medicare Open Enrollment Season

October 15 through December 7 is the official Medicare Open Enrollment Season and your chance to make any changes you’d like to your policies. Now is the time to think about your options and make decisions to leave everything the same or make some changes. You can:

• Change from traditional Medicare to one of the Medicare Advantage programs, or vice versa

• Change your prescription drug policy

• Determine if you’re eligible for a Medicare Savings Plan

All of these are important pieces to analyze. Prescription drug plans are particularly important. Each year every insurance company can change the drugs they’ll cover, change the price they charge, and change drugs from one “tier” to another (tiers determine what amount they’ll pay of the total cost). So the policy that worked well for you last year might not work as well this year and could end up costing you more. You may also have added new prescriptions this year, and another plan may cover more of your new drugs or at a lower cost.

You can go to www.medicare.gov and do this all yourself. This website has lots of useful information. You can also call Medicare and ask a representative to help you through the process. SeniorsPlus can help you in this analysis as well, with our certified Medicare Specialists. This service is free of charge. If you live in a county other than Androscoggin, Franklin, or Oxford, you can call 1-877-353-3771 to find the Area Agency on Aging for your location.

SeniorsPlus will have one-on-one appointments for anyone needing assistance with their policy review in Lewiston, Norway, Farmington, Fryeburg, and Bethel. Please call our main office at 1-800-427-1241 to make your appointment.

When you come to your appointment, you will need to bring the information about your current plan, your Medicare card, and a list of all the prescriptions you take.

Mark your calendars now for this very important review of your health insurance. Let us know if we can be of help to you. Call us at 1-800-427-1241.

Holly Zielinski is the Chief Operating Officer for SeniorsPlus.