SENIOR COLUMN: Make sure to pay close attention to your prescription drug plans

11/13/2013

Make sure to pay close attention to your prescription drug plans

Make sure to pay close attention to your prescription drug plans

During this open enrollment period, we have found that many of the most popular drug insurance plans have changed dramatically. When someone asks me if they have to change their drug insurance plan, I generally tell them that if the plan's drug list hasn't changed and they find the new premium acceptable, then they do not need to change. The same applies this year, but it is critically important to study the changes in covered drugs and how your drug plan pays for these drugs. Some plans have increased their premiums quite a bit. Also, some of the plans that provided free preferred generics are no longer free. Please consider carefully. Don't get stuck with "sticker shock" in January.

Here are some tips to protect your identity and finances during Open Enrollment season:

First, trust your instincts. If something does not feel right, then it probably is a scam. When someone calls you on the phone claiming to be a government employee and needing to know your personal information, such as asking for you to verify your Social Security number or requesting credit card information — stop! No government worker will call you asking for this information. Do not give this information to an unknown person, especially over the phone.

Keep Medicare cards private and in a safe place. Treat your Medicare card the way you would your Social Security card — in a safe place. Your Medicare card is someone's Social Security number.

Discern legitimate mail from scam mail. Mailings and letters from government agencies, such as Medicare and Social Security, will have an official government seal and/or logo on it. Keep this mail, don't overlook it. Other flyers, letters or postcards claiming to be from "Medicare" that don't have these seals/logos should be set aside. Do not respond to them unless you can verify that they are legitimate.

When in doubt, call them out. When someone calls you and asks for personal health or financial information, do not feel obligated to respond. Ask them for their name, number, address and the name of their agency/company. Tell them that you first need to verify who they are representing. Someone who is legitimately trying to assist you will provide you with the information and understand your need to be a safe consumer.

Report it. For every one person who reports a fraudulent scam, there are likely 10 other people who experienced the same thing but either were afraid to speak up or didn't know who to call. Beyond telling a friend or a family member about your experience, it is important to report when you believe that you have been the victim of identity theft or a scam to an official, including the police and the Federal Trade Commission, so appropriate action can be taken and to help prevent others from becoming victims. You can file a complaint online, using the FTC Complaint Assister.

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels volunteers are signing up for 2014. Two weeks are available if you and your group would like to volunteer. We are looking to fill Sept. 1 to 5, 2014, and Oct. 20 to 24, 2014. Call Patti Thummel at 272-3620 or 260-6282 for more information.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who delivered Meals on Wheels last week. Are you interested in helping with Meals on Wheels? Substitute drivers are always needed. If you would like to help, call Patti at 272-3620 or 260-6282.

Scheduled activities

Thursday begins with TOPS Club at 8:30 a.m., followed by art class at 10 a.m. The Ambassador Singers practice at 1 p.m. Skip-Bo begins at 1 p.m. Yoga begins at 6:30 p.m.

Friday starts with line dancing at 8:30 a.m. A nurse from St. Catherine Hospital will be here from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bridge starts at 12:45 p.m.

Saturday, the pool room is open from 1 to 4 p.m.

Sunday has duplicate bridge at 2 p.m.

Monday there will be double pinochle at 12:30 p.m. Duplicate bridge starts at 7 p.m.

Tuesday has walking at 8:30 a.m. Gentle exercises are at 11 a.m. Pitch starts at 12:30 p.m. Bridge begins at 1:15 p.m. Bingo begins at 1:30 p.m.

Nov. 20 has line dancing at 8:30 a.m. TOPS 1116 meets at 10 a.m. An attorney with Legal Aid will be taking appointments beginning at 10 a.m. Call 272-3620 for an appointment. Library outreach is at 11:30 a.m. Pinochle starts at 12:40 p.m. The regular Wednesday night dance featuring the Moonshiners begins at 7:30 p.m. The recommended donation is $5 per person. Come join the fun.

Lunch menus

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Baked ham, candied sweet potatoes, California blend vegetables, cherry crisp, wheat roll.

Friday: Chicken and stuffing, Harvard beets, topical fruit salad, wheat roll.

Monday: Beef and noodles, Scandinavian vegetables, strawberries and pears, wheat bread.

Tuesday: Chicken Parmesan, baked potato, peas and carrots, orange slices, wheat bread.

Nov. 20: Swiss steak with tomatoes, mashed potatoes, steamed cabbage, apricots, roll.

Celebrating 35 years at the Senior Center of Finney County. Check out our website at www.seniorcenterfc.com.

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