Saturday, February 24, 2018

Joni Schaff

Extra Help program aids seniors with Medicare costs

Senior Center News
Our second potluck/picnic of the summer was held at the Big Horn County Historical Museum on Friday, Aug. 18. There were some 30 people in attendance, with plenty of homemade dishes to share with all. A thank you is sent to the museum staff from the seniors for providing such a beautiful outdoor venue for us to gather and socialize.
From the Medicare Rights Center:
“People who are enrolled in the federal Extra Help program may see changes for the benefits of 2018. The Extra Help program assists in paying Medicare prescription drug costs. If a change is being made to your Extra Help coverage, you will be mailed a notice sometime in September, October or November. The colors and titles of these notices will signify if you need to take action to change or keep your Extra Help benefits.
“If you receive an orange notice, you do not need to take action. This is the ‘Change in Extra Help Copayments’ Notice, and you may receive it sometime in October. This notice explains if the Extra Help copays will change in 2018.
“If you receive a blue notice, you might need to take action. There are two kinds of blue notices, and they are both called Reassignment Notices. 
“If you receive a gray notice, be prepared to take action, because it means you could be losing Extra Help or paying more in the coming year. A ‘Loss of Deemed Status’ notice is sent in September to people who no longer qualify to get Extra Help in 2018. If you think it is a mistake (because your income hasn’t changed and/or you’re still below the income and assets limits for Extra Help), you should reapply for Extra Help right away so you don’t lose coverage in 2018. You can apply by calling the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213, visiting your local Social Security office or applying online at”
The local SHIP Counselor, Patricia Fischer, may be able to help you with explanations of notices. Her office is in the Hardin Senior Center at 317 N. Custer. She is available from 2-4 p.m. each weekday. Call (406) 665-9768. Leave a message if no one answers, please.
The September calendar/menu is available at the senior center. An interesting speaker will be here on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at noon. Holly Jay will present an exercise demo, especially for seniors. She plans on starting a class in October to go through December. Come meet Holly. She is the MSU Extension Agent and our next-door neighbor.
The senior centers in Hardin and Lodge Grass will be closed for Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4.
Call the Hardin Senior Center at (406) 665-2581 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. with any questions or for help.
Hardin Senior Center menu:
Thursday, Aug. 31 – meatloaf, potatoes, vegetables, dessert
Monday, Sept. 4 – Labor Day (closed)
Tuesday, Sept. 5 – beef barley soup, sandwich, dessert
Wednesday, Sept. 6 – sauerkraut, kielbasa, potatoes, vegetables, dessert
Thursday, Sept. 7 – barbecue ribs, baked beans, vegetables, salad, dessert